Din Tai Fung @ e@Curve (Invited Review)

Being one of the world’s top ten restaurants ranked by the New York Times and awarded one Michelin star, Din Tai Fung receives great response from diners when it first opened in The Garden, Mid Valley City. After the second and third successful outlets in Pavillion KL and Empire Shopping Gallery, Din Tai Fung officially opens its fourth outlet in e@Curve, Mutiara Damanasara.
The fourth outlet maintains the same quality, preparation and cooking methods as the other three outlets in Malaysia and in fact worldwide outlets, as quality standardization is a principal that Din Tai Fung strongly holds. “To ensure exacting standards in quality and service, our chef and service staff had to undergo an intensive training program in Taiwan to import back the Taiwan operation model to our outlets in Malaysia. For the opening of fourth outlet, we have employed an additional 50 staff to ensure and maintain quality and efficiency of our service. Our franchisor has provided us with excellent support in terms of technical, training and marketing,” said Miss Lim Meng Lu, Managing Director of FC Club Sdn Bhd, the sole franchise of Din Tai Fung in Malaysia.
Flipping through the menu, you know that the famous Xiao Long Bao is must order and apart from that, what else? Introducing here are some of the Shanghainese and Taiwanese delicacies in Din Tai Fung that you shouldn’t miss, from appetizer, mains, ala-carte dishes to desserts.
House Special Appetizer (招牌小菜)
To start your meal, look for the House Special Appetizer which is also the signature appetizer in Din Tai Fung. Tossed with seaweed, glass noodles, bean sprout, spicy dried bean, green onions, sesame oil, red chili, chili oil and vinegar, the House Special Appetizer is spicy with crunchy texture.
Pickled Cucumber (凉拌小黄瓜)
Pickled cucumber is another appetizer that is worth trying out. Prepared using Japanese cucumber of same size and same weight, the pickled cucumber is tangy, crunchy and juicy with a hint of spiciness from chili oil and red chili.
Xiao Long Bao (小笼包)
Carefully weight, crafted into 18 exquisite folds and steamed for a precise length of time, the Xiao Long Bao is certainly delightful. I used to pick up my xiao long bao and pop into my mouth as soon as possible before the skin is torn down. There’s actually “incantations” in eating xiao long bao , which is “ 轻轻提, 慢慢移,先开窗,后品汤, 沾酱汁,一口尝 ”. In other words it means, “ pick up the xiao long bao carefully, move it slowly to your plate, make a small hole on the xiao long bao’s skin, savour the soup, add a dollop of sauce, and pop the whole xiao long bao into your mouth in one go ”.
To make the perfect dipping sauce, mix three part of vinegar with one part of soy sauce onto the shredded ginger.
Truffle Xiao Long Bao (松露小笼包)
Premium Xiao Long Bao with whole slice of truffle sitting beneath the dumpling skin. The earthy flavor of truffle pairs nicely with the meat fillings and dumpling soup, a pleasure treat to your stomach indeed.
Mushroom Vegetarian Dumplings (香菇素饺)
A healthier version of dumpling that is light but equally good, consists of baby cabbage, mushrooms, glass noodles, spicy dried beans, you tiao, and black fungus.
Shanghainese Drunken Chicken (上海醉鸡)
A Shanghainese dish that is served cold, with chicken pieces marinated in alcohol beverage- the Shao Hsing Rice Wine (绍兴酒) and Nu’er Hong (女儿红). The concoction of chicken pieces and rice wine is surprisingly good with tender chicken pieces drown richly in wine flavor and the skin being silky, velvety.
Spicy Shrimp Pork Wanton (红油虾肉馄饨)
A savory and spicy combinations that wakes up your appetite, with sizeable wanton placed on a bed of fiery sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil and special sauce. The chili oil is not as spicy as it looks, but gives a gush of aromatic flavor that makes your bite into the into the spicy shrimp pork wanton brimming with shrimp and meat fillings so enjoyable.
Cha Jiang La Mian (炸酱拉面)
La mian is firm and springy, and tossing the thick sauce coupled from spicy dried beans, tomato, shredded meat, green soy bean, soy bean paste instantly flavored up the very plain la mian, making it so slurrpy and full flavor. Adding a dash of chili oil specially made by Din Tai Fung gives an extra kick , promoting a more distinct flavor to the la mian.
Pork Chop Fried Rice (猪排蛋炒饭)
If you savored Din Tai Fung’s fried rice before, you might find that their fried rice is flavorful, aromatic and fluffy, but somehow lack of wok hei. Don’t worry you are not getting a plate of fried rice that is not nicely done, because this is what Din Tai Fung focuses on and persist in. Cook using two cups of Japanese rice and two eggs, Din Tai Fung egg fried rice is fragrance, flavorful, and more to Taiwanese style fried rice, but not Hong Kong style which is full with wok hei. So don’t expect to get a plate of fried rice that is full of wok hei in Din Tai Fung, else you will get disappointed.
I personally feel that the plate of fried rice is delicious, even though it looks simple and pale physically, and I enjoy tucking in the mouth watering pork chop that comes with the fried rice, as it is thickly cut, nicely marinated, tender and flavorful.
Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣汤)
Nothing is more comfort than indulging a bowl a soup which is thick, hot and with a proper dosage of spiciness and sourness that trigger your taste buds, and Din Tai Fung does this well. The bowl of Hot and Sour soup has an intense flavor and filled with chock full of black fungus, mushroom, taufu, bamboo shoots, pork slices, eggs, green onions, and seasoned with chili oil, vinegar, black pepper.
Baby Green Beans with Minced Pork ( 干扁四季豆)
Baby green beans stir fried with minched pork, preserved vegetables, dried shrimps, and green onions.
Mini Sesame Buns (迷你芝麻包)
Made from sesame fillings and flour imported from Taiwan, the cute and adorable buns prompt to be a good choice to end the meal without have to over-burden your tummy. My girl likes the buns so much, as it is bursting with the good flavor of sesame and not sickening sweet. Perhaps I should have a few candles on the bun and makes this as her birthday cake next year. XD
Thousand Layered Cake (千层糕)
Soft and fluffy layered cake comes with condensed milk and sesame paste for spread. Peel off the cake layer by layer and spread each layer with condensed milk and sesame paste and pop them all together into the mouth, a simple and humble dessert that tastes heavenly.
Lastly, try on another two cooling desserts,the chilled mango pudding and guileng gou.
Chilled Mango Pudding (鲜切芒果布丁)
Gui Ling Gao (龟苓膏)

Din Tai Fung have done more than 20 mandarin classes for students from Mont Kiara International School, International School Kuala Lumpur, and The Garden International School last year. They also organised Xiao Long Bao cooking class with Pavilion Junior, The Gardens Club members’ kids, Toys R Us star card members and Taipei International School students.

So the good news here is,  for the coming school holiday, Din Tai Fung at e@Curve outlet will be having a  Xiao Long Bao Cooking Class specially for Toy R Us’ star card members. Two classes will be held on 6/6/12 (Wednesday) & 7/6/12 (Thursday). One more great news! The cooking class is absolutely FREE! Some light refreshment will be prepared for the kids as well after class. So book your day and join the class if you are the star card members of Toy R Us’!

Photographer: Summer

Writer: YLing
Din Tai Fung
G17-G20, Ground Floor e@curve,
No. 2A, Jln PJU 7/3,
Mutiara Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel no: 03-7728 3218
Business Hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm (daily)