I love dumplings. If there were no health repercussions, I could quite possibly literally eat hundreds of steamed or boiled dumplings every day. During our July trip in Hong Kong, we went to a dumpling place, Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), to discover that they had branches in Sydney. We decided that since I love dumplings so much and Richard also really liked a chicken dish there, Din Tai Fung back in Sydney would make quite a nice half-year anniversary dinner for us.
It’s finally our anniversary night. We researched ahead to find the best Sydney branch for us, all the while wondering how neither of us could have not heard of this famous dumpling place. There are 6 Sydney branches at the time of writing, but only George Street (CBD) and Central Park seemed to have the full menu available. We were also told that the George Street branch was always super packed, so Din Tai Fung, Central Park dinner for us it was!
I was slightly worried about not being able to get a table at the Central Park branch in the beginning what with it being so close to a university, but then I remembered that it’s Friday today and students never go to classes on Fridays. Yep. Nice and empty at 6 pm. A staff quickly attended to us, shielded my jacket and handbag (Wait, exactly how messy is this going to be?) and took our order.
We got the Drunken Chicken ($10.80), Shrimp and Pork Wonton ($10.80), Taiwanese Specialty Fried Pork Chop ($10.80), Xiao Long Bao (8 pieces for $12.80), Shrimp and Pork Jiao Ze ($11.80) and Pork Buns (2 for $5.50). We looked up and down but none of the chicken dishes seemed to be the one Richard liked from the Hong Kong branch. Oh well.
The dishes came quickly; the portions were quite small but Richard wasn’t starving. Being such a dumpling lover, it wasn’t surprising that my favourites were the xiao long bao and wontons. The rest of the dishes was mostly good, too; the drunken chicken was tender and the jiao ze weren’t greasy. The very thin fried pork chop didn’t quite taste like pork to us, though, and had an interesting spice on it, but I guess the keywords were “Taiwanese Specialty”. I wasn’t anywhere full after the first round and was going to order more, but we got very thirsty very quickly and I just wanted to drink water.
I love dumplings, and I can’t really fault Din Tai Fung at Central Park, but there must be MSG-free alternatives other than my ugly homemade ones out there!