One of the many things I missed during lockdown was Shanghai soup dumplings, aka xiaolongbao 小笼包. These little parcels of umami with filled with a clear, tasty meat broth cannot be delivered because it would all dry out in the process. So you can sense the excitement of our first visit to the stalwart of xiaolongbao – Din Tai Fung from Taipei.
DTF’s kitchen has always been a marvel. Every piece of dough is exactly 13g, each xiaolongbao is exactly 27 folds, and the steaming process has been computerised so that they can manage those stacks of dumplings in the making. Since reopening, there’s only 50% capacity for everything, so the kitchen is not hustle and bustle that it used to be.
The seating has been spaced out to maximum 5 per table with at least 1m between us. For couples, they cannot sit facing each other, and have to be seated side-by-side, just like the couple opposite our table.
But we are here for xiaolongbao, how’s the taste after these months in lockdown? Without thinking, we ordered our usuals:
- 10 pieces of their signature xiaolongbao 小笼包
- 6 pieces of their crab roe filled xiaolongbao 蟹粉小笼包
- drunken chicken 醉鸡
- sweet and sour soup 酸辣汤
Signature xiaolongbao 小笼包
OK, this is still same flavour that we remembered. Princess commented that the meat is drier than before, but the broth still very tasty.
It has to be the lighting, but I find more broth this time round, and that’s a good thing.
And the presentation has not altered a bit over the years.
Crab roe filled xiaolongbao 蟹粉小笼包
I don’t know why I ordered this, but I was never impressed by their crab roe xiaolongbao in the first place. The crab roe has a sandy texture and not fragrant, not like the ones I had in Nanxiang in Shanghai. Anyway, I tried and I was not impressed yet again. Should have stuck to the original flavour.
Sweet and sour soup 酸辣汤
In the past, they have not put any vinegar or chilli oil in the soup. And in 2017, they even skipped the pepper.
Because of Covid-19, we cannot help ourselves to the condiments on the table in fear of contamination. So these important ingredients are already added in the kitchen. So you finally get to taste the correct amount of pepper, vinegar and chilli oil for their sweet and sour soup.
The medium size is enough for 5 small bowls, so if you are not going to fill yourselves with soup, a small one would do for two persons.
We always enjoy their side dishes, especially the century eggs and drunken chicken. The century egg was out of stock during our visit, fortunately they still have the drunken chicken. It was exactly we have left it – thankfully.
Others that we did not order
Their noodle dishes are very good too, but we don’t have the appetite to order it all this time. But judging from how the rest of the food turned out, I am pretty sure they have kept the standards for everything.
The service has always been good, but this time round you may experience some inconvenience because of the restrictions around Covid-19 and many usual requests cannot be accommodated. Hey, it’s a trying time for all of us, let’s just give and take ok? Be thankful that you are still having xiaolongbao now.
Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰 Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road #B1-08 Singapore 179103
Tel : +65 6336 6369
Date Visited : Jul 2020