My fobby flashback: Din Tai Fung, mecca of soup dumplings

Few people would wait four hours for a table at a restaurant, but I am more than willing to when it comes to dining at Din Tai Fung. I could barely contain my excitement when I learned last year that my favorite xiao long bao joint was opening in Seattle! This internationally famous chain actually began as a small shop in Taipei City before spreading to Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and the US. Its specialty is xiao long bao, a tasty dumpling filled with pork and a hot broth, pouring flavor into your mouth when you bite into its delicate, doughy skin.

I felt so nostalgic watching everyone around me enjoy good food, drink, and company.  This restaurant was my go-to spot in Singapore every time I craved soup dumplings.  Even in Seattle, Din Tai Fung’s dumplings are top notch, with the perfect ratio of meat filling and soup, and a super thin dumpling skin.  We even paired our delicious meal with ice cold Tiger Beer, Singapore’s national beer.  The four hour wait was totally worth it.

I noticed amongst my friends that we all have our own techniques for eating xiao long bao.  I like to put my soup dumpling on a spoon filled with soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger, and then place everything in my mouth all at once.  I notice others like to poke a hole in the soup dumpling and drain the broth into their spoon, sip on the broth, and then eat the dumpling.

I’m curious, is there a “right” way to eat xiao long bao? How do you eat yours?

Hungry yet?  Read about other fobby food favorites, such as Disney dim sum, instant ramen, Obama’s favorite Indonesian meatball soup, congee, Filipino comfort food, Vietnamese banh mi, and Rachel Ray’s version of pho.

(Thanks, Jennifer for the pics!)

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  • my grandpa is shanghainese, s0 we always try to take him for xiao long bao since it’s his ultimate comfort food. he always talks about the proper way to pick the up, only by the top 3rd of the dumpling so you maintain it’s structural integrity. he doesn’t believe in premature dumpling popping! i actually have a video of us sharing a steamer of xiao long bao with him demonstrating how to eat one.

    i generally put the dumpling in a spoon with some vinegar and eat it in two bites 🙂

  • Amy

    @Karen, I never knew that! I’m actually curious now. I would love to see the video of your grandpa demonstrating =)

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  • Hu-what now?! In my hometown of seattle you say?! thx for the tip — can’t wait to go!

  • gar

    Haven’t been there yet, but I’ll most definitely be going over to Bellevue to try it… been hearing good reviews from folks in the area.

  • Amy

    @Cbruhs and gar, you guys should definitely go! Be prepared for a wait though. I waited 4 hours on a Saturday and I came at 4:30. However, once you sit down, your food comes within 5 minutes and TOTALLY worth it!

  • DM

    Nice review and pics! You’ve instilled a craving in me for some XLBs now. Good thing there’s a location in Markham Ontario that’s slightly closer to me… I too like to devour the entire dumpling all at once so that not a droplet of broth could escape. I think that’s the “proper” way of eating it.