It has been some time since we were at Suntec City, so we were quite impressed by what we saw when we were there recently for lunch. After the major renovations at Suntec City, the retail area near the convention halls have been substantially revamped and there is now quite a variety of restaurants available. There are a few new Japanese and Korean restaurants that were quite tempting. But in the end, we decided to eat at Din Tai Fung, for the simple reason that we were early and there was no queue (the photo above was taken after our lunch – what a difference an hour makes).
Although they have many branches in Singapore, we have seldom eaten at Din Tai Fung because there is always a queue. And we realised that every time we were there, we would just zoom in onto their world-famous xiao long bao plus maybe one or two side dishes. Looking at their menu, there is actually a whole range of dumplings which we somehow have ignored. This time we were determined to explore the menu a bit more.
Of course we still had to have the xiao long bao which is always amazingly tasty and flavourful. At $9.80 for ten pieces, this can be a meal for one person as the meat dumplings are quite small. The ability of Din Tai Fung to maintain their consistency over so many branches and over such a long time should be applauded. As always, the dumplings were delicious. The skin of the dumplings were thin and yet able to hold the meat and broth within. We noticed that the dumplings seem a bit smaller than what we remember from our last visit.
For our exploration that day, we ordered two other kinds of dumplings that we had never thought of ordering before. The first is steamed shrimp and pork dumplings ($10.80 for ten). They are larger than the xiao long bao. The skin is thicker and a bit more chewy. The contents of the dumpling were shrimp and pork. The taste of the pork is similar to that in the xia long bao except that there is no broth. The overall taste is a bit like a cross between a har gao and a xiao long bao. It is good but we would rate it slightly lower than xiao long bao as the broth adds to the overall flavour and mouthfeel.
The other dumpling dish we tried was the Oriental wantons with black vinegar and chilli oil ($7.80). Unlike the shrimp dumplings which seem like a variation of the xiao long bao, this one was totally different. The skin here is not the same. Its texture and feel is closer to that of a chiong fun dish. Very smooth and thin. The biggest difference of course is the addition of a generous amount of black vinegar and some chilli oil. It is not very spicy and the overall blend of the seasoning was really good. If you are someone who likes black vinegar and asks for more of it when you order Teochew bak chor mee, I think you will love this, as we did. We would rate this on par or even slightly higher than the xiao long bao. In fact this is something I am looking forward to eating now when I am writing this blog.
After all the meat and carbo, we ordered some plain vegetables ($7.80) and a simple dessert ($3.80) to complete the meal. The taste of these were fine but not exceptional. All in all it was an enjoyable meal in Din Tai Fung at Suntec City and we would certainly explore more of the menu at our next visit.
Food: 4 TOPs
Service: 3 TOPs
Value: 3 TOPs
Atmosphere: 3 TOPs
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Din Tai Fung at Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard #02-302 Singapore 038983
Tel: 6338 2422