The queues outside Din Tai Fung at World Square don’t seem to have gotten any shorter even though its been years since this original dumpling den that brought xiao long bao fever down under has expanded all over Sydney. It’s really a testament to the consistent quality of the dishes at Din Tai Fung and the everlasting popularity of their delicate dumplings.
Tonight, we’ve headed back to Din Tai Fung to try out some of their newer offerings which are now spicing up their menu, including some Chinese New Year specials. We started off with their Mango Shrimp Roll which was a blend of unexpected flavours that somehow work together – prawns with cubes of fresh mango, smothered with mayonnaise and encased in a lightly crumbed fried roll. It’s the kind of dish you’d expect to have at yum cha, but still makes for an interesting start to dinner for us.
Mango Shrimp Roll, $9.80
Next up is a more conventional dish, their silky Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons which are bathed in a spicy “gravy” that is more of a thick chilli oil with a thicker consistency than the version we’ve previously had here. It’s a deliciously addictive sauce that makes a great accompaniment to these juicy wontons.
Spicy Shrimp and Pork Wontons, $10.80
Their signature Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) are still are good as ever, with the kitchen rolling out these tasty little parcels that all weigh between 20.8g and 21.2g (that’s some serious precision and efficiency right there!) non-stop every day during the peak lunch and dinner hours. But its their new, more colourful cousins which we’re more excited about – introducing the rainbow Dumpling Gems which feature 7 unique flavours that are each linked to a jewel tone created by natural food colouring. You can choose from Bolognaise, Seafood, Cheese, BBQ Pork, Salad Greens, Golden Corn and our personal favourite – the Garlic Pork (the “sapphire” coloured one which is actually purple…) The flavours in the ones we tried are quite strong – we also had the Bolognaise which really tasted like a mix of tomato and beef!
Dumpling Gems, $15.80
The contemporary twists on their signature xiao long bao continue with their deluxe Black Truffle Pork Dumplings, which take the dumplings to a whole other level. You can actually see the black truffle flakes in the soup which bursts out of each dumpling so you know you’re getting the real deal, although the distinctive flavour of the black truffle itself is rather subtle.
Black Truffle Pork Dumplings, $4.80 per piece
Our final round of dumplings were the Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai, which is a quintessential yum cha dish that I’ve actually never had at Din Tai Fung before. These succulent morsels were tasty (as expected) and each adorned with a prawn on top, making it one of the prettier renditions we’ve had.
Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai, $10.80
The Chinese New Year special this year come in the form of the cheekiest desserts we’ve ever seen – move over piggy and panda buns, these Monkey Buns (created for the Year of the Monkey) are almost too cute to eat, though the oozy chocolate centres are worth the guilt of munching on their adorable little faces.
Monkey Buns, $4.80
Although Din Tai Fung is generally a pretty safe bet for quality dumplings, they’re really mixing things up with more innovative dishes now to keep drawing in the crowds and the novelty factor of their new, special xiao long bao offerings are fun and do deliver on the flavour.