Din Tai Fung in Shanghai

Food Chronicles

Xiao long bao and Shanghai

Considered a dim sum or snack, the steamed soup dumpling originates from Nanxiang, a suburb of Shanghai. Hence, xiao long bao is a specialty food associated with the metropolitan city.

The dumplings typically fill a delicately thin wrapper with ground pork and its broth. Variations can include additional ingredients to add indulgences, such as black truffle, crab, or foie gras.

The xiao long bao eating experience is one of a kind.

First, you must carefully transport the piece from the basket to your spoon. Then, nibble the skin to drink in the steaming hot broth inside the dumpling. The first taste of the broth opens up your senses to the deep flavor of the pork. After savoring the soup, add slivers of ginger and the vinegar sauce to enjoy the rest of the dumpling.

From the first sip to the last bite, you will experience an explosion of flavors on your palate.

 

Din Tai Fung in Shanghai

While xiao long bao originates from Shanghai, a world-renown restaurant from Taipei produces some of the best soup dumplings.

Din Tai Fung prides themselves with a high-quality of ingredients, preparation, and presentation of the dumplings. They also have impressively quick service and clean restaurants (considering the crowds of eaters).

Must orders from the extensive menu include the original pork xiao long bao, the pork and crab roe xiao long bao, and the foie gras and pork xiao long bao. In Shanghai, look for items with hairy crab, a regional and seasonal specialty with a remarkably intense crab flavor.

Shanghai has 8 Din Tai Fung outlets, including a store in Xintiandi and the Shanghai World Financial Center – a perfect food stop while sightseeing.

For more of their worldwide outlets closer to you, check out their locations here.

 

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The original xiao long bao. Orders come in steamed baskets of 5 or 10 pieces. The small order will be eaten so fast that you will end up ordering one or two more. Every basket is steamed to order and comes out quickly.
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The dumplings are placed on a cloth to prevent breakage when you pick up your piece. Typically paper or the use of a vegetable can also cause the dumpling skin to break and the succulent soup leaks out. The use of cloth is quite thoughtful
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An order of 5, which looks lonely after devouring orders of 10. The smaller orders are ideal for smaller groups looking to taste a variety of dumpling flavors
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After a little nibble to drink the hot soup inside the dumpling, the rest of the xiao long bao can be enjoyed with slivers of ginger and vinegar to brighten and enhance each bite
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Aside from the original pork soup dumpling, the menu offers a variety of flavors including indulgent combinations and local ingredients. When in Shanghai, make sure to try to pork and crab dumplings as crabs and hairy crabs are specialties of the city
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The bite. You can see the orange bits from the crab roe which intensifies the flavor of the crab alongside the bites of pork. The pork and crab xiao long baos are a must order
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Order specialty xiao long baos include black truffle with pork and foie gras with pork. The smaller orders of 5 are perfect for indulging in these bites of dumplings
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The black truffle xiao long bao. The idea of truffles sets a high expectation for a pronounced flavor burst. If you want an indulgent dumpling, go for the foie gras xiao long baos and you will not be disappointed
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Steamed vegetable dumplings. You can also order dumplings beyond xiao long bao to balance all the meat. The vegetable inside the dumplings is fresh and not mushy adding to the healthy and satisfying bites
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Slivers of ginger which can be eaten with the bites of xiao long bao alongside the vinegar sauce. The freshness and spice of the ginger add a light, brightness to contrast the steaming heat and fat of the pork dumplings
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Noodles in sesame and peanut sauce. Also known as dan dan noodles which have a slight spice in the broth. The fresh, chewiness of the noodles are such a comfort, and the spice level is perfect and leaves you wanting more
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Sugar pea shoots. Aside from dumplings and noodles, the menu has a generous offering of vegetables. The freshly steamed local greens taste deliciously clean and healthy
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Pea shoots with hairy crab. Another must order when in Shanghai. The hairy crab sauce is generous and intensely crab-flavored. One of the best vegetable dishes around
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Red bean dumpling. Why not end your meal full of dumplings with more dumplings? Using the same thinly rolled wrapper, red bean paste and gingko nuts are filled inside these dessert bites
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A small order is sufficient for one or two dumplings per person, as the paste is a bit thick and heavy, but the flavor finishes your palate on a nice sweet note
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Sweet rice wine soup with dumplings. The soup is beautifully flavored with osmanthus flowers, and the dumpling is a mochi ball filled with black sesame. For a sweet, satisfying, happy conclusion to the meal, this dessert will surely do the trick

 

Din Tai Fung, Shanghai Outlets
8 locations in Shanghai, including:

SWFC Outlet
3/F, SWFC Shanghai
No. 100 Century Road
Pudong
+86-21-6877-6886

Xintiandi Outlet
2/F House 6
South Block Xintiandi
Lane 123
Xinye Road
+86-21-6385-8378

 


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