Eating at Din Tai Fung, Take 2

Walking past Din Tai Fung before its opening, I've come across this huge wall of Taiwan Beer on many a morning. 

This is the location at No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Taipei City. At MRT metro Dongmen Station, exit 5. 

Lovin' the team work and chain system to get those boxes of beer into the restaurant. 

The cute Din Tai Fung xiao long bao mascot says "Good work, team!". 

Before I first tried the food here (first time dining here being a few weeks back, at the beginning of July), I was enamored by the sleek dining area. Simple, cozy, casual elegance at its best. 

I also enjoy the art on the wall. It works together so nicely with the overall feel and design of this dining room. 

I wonder if these guys are specifically up for the Year of the Monkey? 

Here is another vantage point of the upstairs dining area. 

Another smart detail at Din Tai Fung is the use of these movable storage units at the end of your table. They offer these at the as storage for your bags, etc. What a brilliant idea to keep things organized, off the floor plus improve the look of the restaurant by minimizing clutter. 

See? Great idea, no? 

Viking Bear loves all the sweet little characters at Din Tai Fung. It is one of his favorite parts of visiting the restaurant. 

The "spicy pickled cucumbers" again! What refreshing delights with the crispness and the vinegar. I don't notice heat or spiciness when eating them. The only hint of this is the color of the sauce. 

Last time we didn't notice this... See the card with step by step instructions? Viking Bear and I really needed this! 

It guides you on how to prepare for a f eat your xiao long bao appropriately. Step 1 is to get your dipping sauce ready. The wait staff brings a little dish with finely shredded ginger strips in it. To that, you add soy sauce and vinegar. The waitress and instruction card noted that the ratio favors vinegar (3 to 1) over the soy sauce. Good to know. 

Then step 2 is to dip your xiao long bao in the sauce. Step 3 is the true "news to me" of how to eat a xiao long bao! It is recommended to but the xiao long bao in your spoon then use your chopstick to poke a small hole in it to release the broth. Previously I was making a small bit in the think dough skin and drinking the broth. This was problematic for the first couple of xiao long bao when the broth was super hot. Yay to learning a better way // the best practice. : ) 

Here are the vinegar and soy sauce nicely placed on the table. 

The original pork xiao long hanlu big bao. Always amazing looking and delicious! 

We also ordered a vegetable wonton soup for some added green goodness. Really enjoyed the wonton and the light, healthful feeling broth they came in.

Plus, we went with the green squash and shrimp xiao long bao again because I find the unique and fresh burst of squash flavor and texture with those superb. 

Finally eating xiao long bao correctly. This is the view of it right after poking the skin with a chopstick and the broth being released into the spoon. 

The squash and shrimp variety of xiao long bao that has me say "wow". 

And dessert. Again, the eight flavor rice dish. The first ho of it a few weeks back, I though each of the colors / flavors was fruit. This time, one of the color bursts I ate was actually a bean! What a surprise! 

Do you see the bean shape below? 

Yum, yum!

Photos by Jules at Quirky Wanderlust 

For more xiao long bao dining snapshots, check out Paradise Dynasty (super cool and colorful xiao long bao!) and Din Tai Fung (my first time at this restaurant).