Monday, June 11, 2007
A Taste of Shanghai Heaven
A famous Shanghainese restaurant chain has made it to Beijing.
Din Tai Fung is a well-known dining establishment in Taiwan, Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
And it recently opened up two locations in the Chinese capital.
Having tried the one in Shanghai (and with delicious memories of it!) I had to try one in Beijing.
The one I went to is in Shin Kong Place, an upscale shopping mall that houses the likes of Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Agnes B, Hugo Boss, Swarovski and Coach, all of which were completely empty.
The restaurant is on the sixth floor with modern bright decor that looks more like a hotel coffee shop than a Chinese restaurant.
While the menu has some staple Shanghainese dishes, this particular location was missing things like stir-fried river shrimps and lotus roots stuffed with glutinous rice and osmanthus.
The cold appetizer of finely diced tofu and vegetable was molded from a bowl and very refreshing; stir-fried wild mushrooms with bamboo shoots were very fresh and cooked just right. Instead of stir-fried river shrimps we ordered shrimp wontons, each with one whole shrimp and minced pork in a flavourful broth with no MSG.
And then the main event -- 20 small ball-shaped xiaolong bao. We were instructed to dip them in soup stock before dipping them in vinegar and ginger. And they were absolutely heavenly -- the skin wrapping the dumpling is so thin and delicate. When you pop them into your mouth you can't help but savour the taste and sigh with satisfaction.
For dessert, we ordered steamed cake with tiny green and red dots filled with red bean. It's a traditional Hunanese dish that my colleague says was done quite authentically. We washed everything down with organic jasmine tea.
And for all that -- the bill came to 149RMB (US$19.44).
I think I've found one of my favourite restaurants in Beijing!
Din Tai Fung
6/F, Shin Kong Place
87 Jianguo Road