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Truffle dumpings at Din Tai Fung

tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 2, 2011 08:54 PM

Din Tai Fung in Taipei now has a truffle dumpling on the menu. I was dubious, but they are pretty delicious - a rich, earthy punch of truffle flavour in the dumplings.

Naturally, they're significantly more expensive than the standard xiao long bao, and you only get five in a tray.

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  1. Condimentality RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 4, 2011 07:19 PM

    I had these the other day. They are very good and have a great truffle flavor. It was my first time at Din Tai Fung, so I didn't know at the time that they are new. I recall them being around NT$ 480 for 5, which is crazy expensive, but they were definitely worth trying.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Condimentality
      hong_kong_foodie RE: Condimentality Apr 14, 2011 03:58 PM

      Just had the truffle dumplings at the 忠孝 location in Taipei -- wow they're good. I believe it was NT 450 for 5 pieces, but they were definitely worth it in my opinion.

    2. Charles Yu RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 4, 2011 08:01 PM

      I noticed a lot of high end Chinese restaurants are using Black Truffles in their dishes nowadays.

      eg., The Tofu Mille Feuille with truffle paste ( extreme left dish ) of Hong Kong's 2* Ming Court and the Crab meat with Chinese green and black truffle dumplings of the 1* Yan Toh Heen... to name a few>

      10 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu
        PhilD RE: Charles Yu Apr 4, 2011 08:22 PM

        Obviously the kudos of luxury ingredients. But I also wonder if the truffles now come from new producers like Australia and maybe the PRC so are easier to source and are cheaper.

        1. re: PhilD
          epeter03 RE: PhilD Apr 11, 2011 10:48 PM

          Yes they are now growing and harvesting truffles in southern China; I think Yunnan. I cant vouch for the quality but i'm thinking its going to be like Foie from France vs China

          1. re: epeter03
            PhilD RE: epeter03 Apr 12, 2011 05:46 AM

            That's interesting - given it is a fairly natural process, as long as the geological conditions are OK they may be as good.

        2. re: Charles Yu
          chloehk RE: Charles Yu Apr 13, 2011 07:20 PM

          We have had both DTF's truffle dumplings (Causeway Bay) and YTH's crab/truffle dumplings recently.

          I think the earthy truffle flavor works much better with DTF's very porky-tasting pork. The crab dumplings were pleasant, but not wow.

          1. re: chloehk
            Charles Yu RE: chloehk Apr 13, 2011 08:44 PM

            Agree with your accessment of DTF's crab dumpling. Looked better than it taste! Good but no 'wow' factor. On the other hand, Fu Sing's version around October/November was 'wow'!! Lovely seasoning, lots of broth and tons of crab roe!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              Lau RE: Charles Yu Apr 13, 2011 08:58 PM

              fu sing's is so damn good http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741105

              1. re: Charles Yu
                chloehk RE: Charles Yu Apr 13, 2011 11:59 PM

                Why does DTF's pork taste so good?

                Actually all of the local pork here has more flavor than what I've bought (even at premium natural butchers) in the USA.

                Is it a different variety of pig?

                In Spain the pork tasted amazing too, but it was more sweet. Here it seems *porkier* or more concentrated.

                1. re: chloehk
                  klyeoh RE: chloehk Apr 14, 2011 01:00 AM

                  Much depends on the feed given to the pigs. DTF in Taipei also touted that their black pigs (similar to Japanese kurobuta) yield superior tasting pork for their products.

                  1. re: chloehk
                    epeter03 RE: chloehk Apr 14, 2011 01:10 AM

                    Sorry to pop the bubble of great China pork but if you live here in Shanghai and missed this:

                    Glow in the dark pork:

                    The solution:

                    1. re: chloehk
                      K K RE: chloehk Apr 14, 2011 10:31 AM

                      In the USA you would have to source pork and chicken to some organic/free range independent farm in order to remotely achieve the flavor/texture that you will get in say, Taiwan. And we're just talking about something simple, if using chicken, e.g. DTF's signature stewed chicken soup.

                      Part of the differences are biological and a product of the environment (as well as farming practices). The black pig, as klyeoh mentioned is quite unbeatable over there, and if in the USA, even buying Berkshire style kurobuta from a Japanese supermarket (imported from Canada) will not taste the same.

                      There's also something about Taiwan pork bones...their structure...it's so different than the Chinese supermarkets in Northern California. As a result, pork bone stock made at home will taste different. And this will inevitably lead to different ramen pork bone broth differences in USA (no matter how good the ramen chef) vs Taiwan and Japan.

                      Such is life.

              2. K K RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 5, 2011 12:45 PM

                Yeah this is certainly an interesting trend in Taipei....suddenly in the last year or so everyone is incorporating truffles like no tomorrow, and what used to be a cheap street food item is now a deluxe ultra expensive fusion item.

                鬍鬚張 (Bearded Chang's) who is famous for minced pork rice 滷肉飯 to the point that they expanded to several locations in Japan, as well as 9 other restaurants/vendors, added a new item to the menu....yep...truffle minced pork rice, and now that mofo costs at least NT$650. Looks like they are using truffles from France, but not sure where these other business types cashing in on the craze are sourcing theirs from. Of course it is always debatable in a country where there's always fraud going on, claiming where such and such item is from (and yes PhilD is right, there are truffles exported from China....even to Italy to satisfy demand).

                Even Tu Hsiao Yeh Tainan Peddler Noodle 度小月擔仔面 is doing a truffle peddler noodle. :-o

                4 Replies
                1. re: K K
                  Charles Yu RE: K K Apr 5, 2011 03:25 PM

                  As previously reported by fellow CH'er Klyeoh, its happening in Singapore outposts' of a number of XLB places as well!

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    K K RE: Charles Yu Apr 5, 2011 04:11 PM

                    The top kappo + sushi restaurants in Taipei are also incorporating it, from nigiri to small cooked dishes.

                    1. re: K K
                      PeterL RE: K K Apr 6, 2011 02:18 PM

                      As another poster asked, where do they source their truffle?

                  2. re: K K
                    Lau RE: K K Apr 6, 2011 02:19 PM

                    hmm wow pretty interesting

                  3. s
                    sockster RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 8, 2011 10:27 AM

                    Was there two weeks ago- While they were a bit more expensive, they piled in the truffles...and they were outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sockster
                      klyeoh RE: sockster Apr 8, 2011 06:01 PM

                      Good to hear that. Chinese food is always evolving, and it does seem that incorporating truffles into our cuisine actually works beautifully.

                      1. re: klyeoh
                        Charles Yu RE: klyeoh Apr 8, 2011 06:55 PM

                        Talk about evolution of food!
                        I just saw a program on Food Network whence an Indian chef incorporated ' Red Wine' and ' Dark Chocolate' into her Mutton Curry. End product looked pretty good. I think I'm going to give the recipe a try!!

                    2. K K RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 15, 2011 09:46 AM

                      This blog post describes the DTF black truffle dumplings (in Chinese) in greater detail of its construction


                      So it looks like, assuming the source and infomartion are correct, the small whole piece truffle in the 2nd layer is Italian. Interesting how the first layer of truffles are crushed/little pieces.

                      Also, note the date of the post. We're a year behind in knowing about this :-o

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: K K
                        theskyflyer RE: K K Apr 15, 2011 07:02 PM

                        I had the black truffle version in DTF Shanghai. I am a big fan of truffle, but for some reason this doesn't work very well for me. I much prefer the liver/pork version.

                        1. re: K K
                          Condimentality RE: K K May 22, 2011 06:19 AM

                          I was at DTF the other day and asked one of the waitresses who confirmed that they're black truffles imported from Italy.

                        2. PhilD RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Apr 16, 2011 02:54 AM

                          Popped into DTF in Causeway Bay (HK) today and tried the truffle dumplings (HK$138 for 6). They do have a good truffle hit but I am with Skyflyer they didn't work well in the context of the meal for us.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: PhilD
                            hong_kong_foodie RE: PhilD Apr 16, 2011 04:43 PM

                            Also tried the truffle dumplings at the Kowloon location (HK) and thought they were not as fragrant or tasty as the ones from Taipei.

                            Also, I don't understand why but the DTF in Causeway Bay is consistently worse than the one in Kowloon.

                            1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                              harryrodgers RE: hong_kong_foodie Apr 30, 2011 06:13 AM

                              Oh great!
                              I should have read this before I trekked out to Causeway Bay today. I didn't try the truffle dumplings, just the regular pork ones. They were OK but not anything amazing. Still got hit with a >$100 bill for 6 dumplings + a plate of bok choy. Honestly, not feeling like I want to go back and try the other varieties.

                          2. r
                            racer x RE: tastesgoodwhatisit May 30, 2011 10:14 PM

                            I tried the truffles dumplings at DTF Paragon Mall, Singapore about 6 months ago.
                            That was a wasted meal.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: racer x
                              hong_kong_foodie RE: racer x Jun 3, 2011 02:07 PM

                              Oh but you have to try them at the ones in Taipei. They are far, far superior.

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