OVER the years, Din Tai Fung has amassed a loyal following of diners for its steamed xiao loong pau. For Chinese New Year, the Taiwanese chain is presenting set menus featuring its must-have dishes including xiao loong pau.
Having tried three variations of its xiao loong pau – crab roe and pork, truffle and pork as well as steamed fish dumpling – it was easy to form a liking for these little tasty morsels.
The crab roe was a personal favourite especially when dipped in soy and vinegar.
There is an art to eating them, place the dumpling on your spoon and spear it with the chopsticks. Once the liquid is released, dip some sauce onto the dumpling and slurp the whole thing in.
The burst of flavour from the combination of meat and seafood was strangely satisfying.
Undeniably, the star of the show was the truffle and pork dumplings.
Made with imported black truffles, they lent a nutty and slightly mushroomy taste to the dish.
The Chinese New Year promotion at Din Tai Fung caters to different-sized groups, from four to 10 diners.
Starting off the meal with the obligatory yee sang toss, we found ourselves tasting a healthier rendition of the Malaysian creation.
In Din Tai Fung’s auspicious salad were smoked salmon, jelly fish, almonds and cashew nuts tossed together with about 20 other ingredients, making a delightful start to an elaborate meal that was to follow.
We savoured cold appetisers including the Din Tai Fung House Special, Shanghai Kao Fu and Shaoshing Wine Marinated Chicken.
The house special is a combination of seaweed, bean sprouts and glass noodles. The dish has a similar taste to chuka wakame (Japanese seaweed salad) but with more texture.
The kao fu, with wheat gluten cooked with mushrooms and edamame, is hard to describe as it had many flavour combinations that were likeable in this sweet and savoury treat.
The chicken appetiser is served cold and was simply tasty.
The flavour of rice wine, which usually diminishes when heated, is obvious in the chicken lacing it with mild sweetness.
A crowd pleaser, the Prawn with Salted Egg was nicely balanced with a combination of sweet, salty and buttery goodness coming through.
We also had House Steamed Truffle Chicken Soup and Shrimp and Shredded Pork Fried Rice.
For dessert, the Steamed Thousand Layer Cake is an acquired taste. The cake, made with pork lard, has a bread-like texture and is served with black sesame paste and condensed milk.
The Chinese New Year set menus range from RM288++ for four persons to RM788++ for 10 and are available at restaurants in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, The Gardens Mall, Empire Shopping Gallery, 1Utama Shopping Centre and eCurve. The Joyous Spring promotion set menus are available until Feb 11.
DIN TAI FUNG, Lot 6.01.05, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2148 8292) Business hours: 11am to 10.30pm, daily. Non-halal.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.