The Top Line: DTF is an institution, and specialise in the xiao long bao. So I would only ever go there to eat xiao long bao, which is basically the only thing worth trying there!
The Review: After visiting DTF for the fourth time (twice in Taiwan and once in World Square) it just hit me like a smack in the face – This was a Taiwanese dumpling store..! Which made it different to a Shanghainese one – such as Taste of Shanghai or Shanghai Nights. In addition, because it is an upper scale restaurant, it has a reason to keep its menu so narrow. And that is how I failed to find those pan-fried pork buns on the menu, or the chilli chicken appetiser dish. But DTF has its own perks! Like their strange little dumpling gems and dessert taro xiao long bao.
The Original – The Best – The Xiao Long Bao
Skin as thing as silk, pockets for succulent tasty pork fillings and all its glorious soupy juices. Avoid breaking this delicate masterpiece at all costs, or forever be judged as the one who cannot eat a xiao long bao with chopsticks! No but seriously, let it cool down a tiny bit and then shove the whole thing in your mouth and let it explode then dissolve – one of the best culinary experience in life.
Dumpling Gems – Dumpling What??
So some genius decided to put food colouring in to xiao long bao – great seller! (except for those horrible shades of pink >.< ) OK and the best part was that each of these had a different flavour which made it even more fun!!
- Red – Bolognese: I loved this one, my favourite because it was very clever. It was a normaly xiao long bao pork filling but with a little bit of tomato-ey juicy goodness, extremely similar to some tomato and mince in a spag bol.
- Yellow – Cheeeese: So they mixed cheese with the pork filling … It doesn’t work for asian flavours.
- Black – BBQ Pork: I was thinking char siew… but it was just pork filling with slightly sweet BBQ flavoured juices coming out of the pork that was not char siew.
- Green – Salad: wait, what? No, there was no meat in this. Instead, there was seaweed, vermecelli and carrot strips. It was like a vegetarian spring roll! The flavour tasted like sesame oil but there was a lack of soup in this one.
- Orange – Corn: I did not taste this one but apparently it was very good!
- Salmon Pink – Seafood: Hmmmm fitting colour for seafood! I also did not taste this one.
- Purple Pink – Garlic Pork: Just tasted like pork .. with a little bit of garlic.
What do they have apart from dumplings?? Noodles…
The noodles were fantastic – even though they had been sitting on our table for a while. After you pry them apart with some forceful and skilled chopsticking, eating this is a treat because the noodles were bouncy and tense and fun to chew. The minced pork cha jian was pleasant and light. Loved the edition of the small pieces of tomato, adding bursts of juice to this. The green beans also added to this dish, while the small 1mm cubes of tofu did not.
Dessert Time: Taro Dumplings!
It might seem unappetising, but the skin was still as thin as ever. I found this tasted a little doughey, though, to be honest. The saviour was the extremely light, smooth and soft taro that melted in your mouth and left you feeling like you were floating on a mashed taro cloud.