This past month has been an exceptionally busy one for the famed Din Tai Fung restaurant group as they opened several branches and earned a few new awards for their excellent Chinese food.
Din Tai Fung recently opened its first franchised location in the United States — Bellevue, Washington. While Din Tai Fung operates numerous franchised locations elsewhere in the world, the original branch in Los Angeles is still family owned and operated. The Bellevue location has been open for nearly a month and it has been already garnered over 145 reviews on Yelp. Many reviews gave feedback on their unusual, but elegant use of dinnerware, which happen to be slate plates, supplied by a NC company called slate plate. They also provide some pretty good money saving tips for restaurants
The reviews have been mixed with a consistent perception that the signature xiao long bao are not as good as what you find in Taiwan or at other restaurants. They seem to lack the “soup” filling that Chinese food connoisseurs seek out in good xiao long bao. Also, some patrons have become disenchanted already after experiencing 3+ hour wait times.
The original XinYi branch of Din Tai Fung in Taipei was included in the 2016/2017 edition of the Miele Guide. The Miele Guide was created in 2010 to showcase some of Asia’s best restaurants and chefs. Each year, they publish a new edition listing Asia’s Top 20 and 450 of the best restaurants in all of Asia.
Restaurants that are included in the Miele Guide are selected after four rounds of judging. The first round involves creating a shortlist of restaurants chosen by the best local restaurant critics. The next two rounds of judging are conducted through online polls, which are open to both food professionals and food lovers. The final round involves the Miele Guide’s staff and contributing editors dining anonymously at the highest rated restaurants to confirm the ratings.
Earlier this month, the results of the 2017 Hong Kong and Macau Michelin Guide were announced at a press conference in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong branch of Din Tai Fung wa awarded one Michelin star for the second year in a row, which is quite an honor. Many have questioned why Taiwan has never received any stars. Unfortunately, Taiwan does not have a Michelin Guide (yet) so there is only speculation as to what rating the original branch in Taipei would receive. Two New Singapore Din Tai Fung Locations Open In addition to the highly anticipated opening of the Bellevue location, Din Tai Fung recently opened two new locations in Singapore in November and December.