“There is No sincerer love than the love of food.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Now if you are a foodie in Singapore and you love dumplings (especially xiao long baos) you can’t possibly not know this place. (Cues my drumroll please) It’s none other than… Ding Tai Fung. I know many people have challenged the fact that Ding Tai Fung has ‘the best dumpling in Singapore’ but the fact is that Ding Tai Fung is probably the most renowned dumpling restaurant in Singapore. With over 15 restaurants at all corners of Singapore, Ding Tai Fung has cemented its place as one of the go to restaurants for locals and foreigners alike when searching for a good Chinese place.
Originated from Taiwan, Ding Tai Fung has won many accolades for it’s most famous dish, the xiao long bao. Ding Tai Fung’s xiao long bao is characterized with a particularly thin dumpling skin that despite its fragile look and feel, has the right amount of strength to hold the soup without breakage. Personally, I feel that whilst many places have been able to rival the taste of the xian (the meat inside) the dumpling, many have failed in their attempt to make thin yet sturdy dumpling skins. Out of my multiple times having their xiao long baos, never once have their skin given way on me and had the soup within the dumpling leak out.
Although the xiao long bao is Ding Tai Fung’s highlight, Ding Tai Fung does have a huge array of different chinese dishes available to go alongside the dumplings. When my friends from Canada came to visit Singapore, my family decided to bring them to Ding Tai Fung and their sentiments were identical to ours. That Ding Tai Fung is indeed a strong competitor in the field of Chinese Cuisine.
During that particular trip, we ordered the
紅油抄手(wontons with black vinegar and chilli oil)
酸辣汤(hot and sour soup)
翻炒菠菜(stir fry spinach)
and of course, the 小笼包(xiao long bao)
On my first taste, I felt that the drunken chicken felt a little too salty. It seemed to me that it lacked other flavour profiles besides being salty. However, as I tried more pieces, I began to fall in love with the lightness of that dish. The wontons was indeed spicy and sour, just like the traditional style. The balance was ideal and was basically the best ones I’ve eaten in quite a while. The beef noodles (as you can see from the picture) really looked unappetizing. However, the noodles were stretchy and the soup was also tasty. In Singapore, this beef noodles would probably be ranked highly in the hearts of many foodies. Yet if you compare it very critically to one from Taiwan or Hong Kong, it seems a little average.
Moving on to the spinach (before people start bashing me on my comparison scales) the spinach was not too bad, generally falling into the ‘okay’ category. It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste memorable (sadly). The prawn pancake was interesting really, it was thin and was created from the prawn paste. This dish definitely can hold its own as a side but I enjoyed dipping mine in the vinegar and chilli oil to spice everything up (oil over oil. I need a oil intervention…)
I suppose I have raved enough about the xiao long bao that I don’t need to give any further descriptions about it. Definitely a must try. (Don’t blame me if you get addicted though)
Ding Tai Fung is one of the few restaurants I tend to go to time and time again because of its captivating tastes. The best thing about Ding Tai Fung? There are so many chain stores all over the world that you can try the different ones around and compare them! Within Singapore, my foodie sister recommends the Marina Bay Sands one (which I agree wholeheartedly- it’s a good plus especially when bringing your friends from other countries no?) and the one at Paragon. Personally I’ve only tried the ones at Marina Bay Sands, Junction 8 and Wisma Atria and I think the one at Marina Bay Sands has the best service and food based off my experience.
Food Taste- 9/10 (You really need to try it. Once at least.)
Ambience- 8/10 (It can get a little more hectic during lunch and dinner time. It also depends on which one you head to, the Junction 8 one to me seems the most hectic and cramped)
Location- 9/10 (Just find the one nearest to you. Even if most aren’t near you, most are easily accessible by train and are in town!)
THREE CHOPSTICKS RANKING