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Mar 4, 2010 08:45 AM

Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong

I had dinner at Din Tai Fung, and it was so good, I went back for lunch the next day. This place is more expensive than many dim sum restaurants...not sure it's worth the premium, but it was near my hotel and I really enjoyed my meals.

The xiao long bao were truly excellent. Great wrappers and fantastic filling...full of flavor but not greasy.

The steamed pork buns were also a highlight, as were the spicy wontons.

There are a couple of locations in Hong Kong. The one I visited was in Causeway Bay, just a few blocks from the Causeway Bay MTR station.

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  1. Din Tai Fung also has its restaurant chains in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.Din Tai Fung is known internationally for its xiaolongbao. Din Tai Fung was ranked as one of the world's top 10 restaurants.

    8 Replies
    1. re: allangering

      Don't forget Taiwan!

      The original Din Tai Fung is in Taipei - a little four floor restaurant on Xinyi St near Yongkang St. It was featured in a New York Times article about top ten obscure restaurants around the world.

      The ones in the US and Australia and so on are good, but not as good as the Taiwan ones.

      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

        Although I prefer the original restaurant in Taipei I wouldn't say the branch restaurants are 'worse' per say. In a way it's like comparing apples and oranges. I like the xiao long bao of the original shop mainly because I find their filling is chopped finer and also the pork is more 'porky'. The Hong Kong branch I think serves food that is more subtle in flavor (which caters more to HK people's palette) versus Taiwan which I feel the flavor is more robust. A few of my HK friends has said they feel the xiao long bao at their HK branch is more 'delicate' which apparently is more to their liking.

        As long as you are ordering their signature dishes they are pretty much solid in every Din Tai Fung branch I have been to.

        1. re: big_apple_ken

          It is interesting that despite Hong Kong having branches of Din Tai Fung, whenever I am back in Taipei and happen to cruise by DTF Xinyi location, there are hoards and hoards and hoards (did I mention hoards?) of visitors/tourists from Hong Kong waiting upwards of more than an hour just to get in, more than Japanese tourists especially in the last 2 years.

          1. re: K K

            I guess I am not too surprised considering the Din Tai Fung name is quite famous is Asia now. One of my friends recently traveled from the US to Asia and went to Din Tai Fung in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Japan....the proceeded to hit up Ding Tai Fung when he landed back in LA (all in a matter of 2-3 weeks). He is definitely a Din Tai Fung fanboy! Haha!

            Although when I go to Taipei I do think about going to Din Tai Fung for their xiao long bao and chicken soup but personally I can't stand waiting over 30 minutes for a table...

            1. re: big_apple_ken

              yeah, HK vs Taipei DTF does taste slightly different. I just returned from Taipei and visited the DTF Tian Mu (SOGO) location and it was good! (and less ppl waiting too) ... I find that not only the meat were more finely chopped, the size of the XLBs seem to be smaller in size compared with HK's branch which is good IMO.

              I think it is very important to have a good ratio of dough / meat / juice to created a balance taste + texture. Too much dough will create bigger XLB and it will fall flat easily soon after being served. I like to pick the XLB up by its tip and swing it around to check on its meat juice before putting the whole thing into my mouth :)

              1. re: big_apple_ken

                Yep, I'm with you on not waiting more than 30 minutes for a table.

                First time I went to Taipei, I had to go, but nowadays I just go to one of the many other restaurants that make fine xiao long bao.

                I have to disagree though that DTF is consistent around the world. I've been to a ton of locations from Singapore to HK and I find the one in LA is substantially and consistently worse than the rest. Basically everything you can think of (thicker skin? meat not as fresh? flavors not as clean?) is worse, to the point where I won't even go to the one in LA anymore.

                1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                  As I mentioned above my buddy who went to DTF in Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo and LA all in the span of 2-3 weeks says the same. He says he rates Taipei as #1 but he thinks Hong Kong is pretty close up there. Shanghai and Tokyo is a slight step down below that and LA is the worst out of the bunch. Not surprised.

                  I was actually staying in Shinjuku (Tokyo) 2 weeks ago and our hotel was just right across the street from DTF. Wanted to bring my American friends there but honestly we had way too much eating in hole-in-wall places in Tokyo.

                  1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                    Pork in Taiwan tastes like a completely different (re: way more delicious and robust) animal than in California. There are cuts sold by butchers there I never even knew existed. The same goes with chicken. So in order for DTF LA to reproduce a DTF Taipei flavor with pork alone (or even with their stewed chicken soup), the cost would obviously be a lot higher.

                    I read a Taipei guidebook about DTF Xinyi recently, that their ratios of skin to filling are very exact, like 18 grams filling to 5 grams skin (with of course 18 pleats per bao). Perhaps this is not entirely consistent across other locations but should be.