Din Tai Fung is a favorite restaurant of our close friends here, and it’s not hard to understand why. They introduced me to this place tonight and I will, without question, be back within a week. The novelty is the glass-enclosed kitchen where a team of men rolls the dough, snips the noodles and every dish is made to order. The addiction is the fresh, simple food that fills your belly in a way that reminds you of home.
We started with celery. Yes, celery. I know, hard to believe — has any memorable meal ever started with celery? Chopped in inch-long sections and soaked/pickled (pardon me as I get to know the nuances of the food preparation here) it had a perfect lightness and crunch. This was followed by lotus flower, also soaked/pickled and cut in slices about as thin as a credit card. Both dishes were so pleasant, light and surprising in introducing the old and the new to the table.
Following this we had a fried pork fillet that was truly the purest, thickest, juiciest piece of meat I’ve had since I set foot on the island. Note to self: come here when you need protein.
This was followed by the most amazing and beautiful mushiki full of SOUP DUMPLINGS. This was the first time I’ve ever tried them and all I can say is… paradise. Imagine the best homemade chicken soup (pork, actually) bundled up in a bite-size, perfectly cinched bag (18 folds) of thin dough and you hopefully understand the deliciousness of one of these puppies. But you gotta eat ’em fast! As they cool they tear, and out comes the soup. To these we added shrimp and pork Shao-Mai and noodles with minced pork in bean sauce (both great).
For dessert? Marumochi — little squishy balls filled with ground peanuts and rolled in coconut.
Wahoo! Thanks for the introduction, J & J! Din Tai Fung. Let’s go eat!