Din Tai Fung started in 1958 as a cooking oil store in Taiwan. In order to keep the store open, owner, Bingyi Yang and his wife Penmei Lai devoted half their market to producing and selling fresh dumplings. Through word of mouth, many caught on to the delicious, mouth-watering dumplings. They were so successful that Yang stopped selling oil all together and devoted their business to quality dumplings and thus Din Tai Fung was born.
Amped Asia had the honor of interviewing the son and grandson of Din Tai Fung’s original owner. They’ve taken over the business of gourmet Taiwanese food and expanded the restaurant worldwide. We ate at their Glendale location, one of three restaurants right in California. If you’re a foodie, you’ve most likely heard of this chain. Familiar with 626’s best eats, you’ve probably eaten here. Don’t know it at all? That’s just madness…
All of Din Tai Fung’s dishes are made from scratch. Chefs can be seen through the glass making fresh dumplings one piece as time. It is said that every single dumpling must have at least 22 perfect pinches in order to contain the juicy goodness that the center contains. This is just one of the skills that Din Tai Fung’s chefs must master through rigorous training.
Pan Fried Pork and Shrimp Pot-Stickers: These beauties are actually a new item only available only at the Glendale location at the moment. The tops are steamed but the bottoms are fried. The contrasting texture of crunchy and chewy really lent a hand to the savory juicy insides. I tried not to eat them all so folks.. that’s why you order more than one serving. Mmmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it ;)
Seaweed and Bean Curd in Vinegar Dressing: This was a nice dish to start off with. Light and refreshing, the snack acted like a subtle little salad to wet one’s appetite before the main courses. You get the crunch of the poached bean sprouts, crisp sea weed, and chewy thin cut tofu. There’s a delicate marinade with hints of sesame oil and vinegar that binds this salad together. I was getting more excited about the up and coming main dishes!
Shrimp Fried Rice: Oooo Din Tai Fung’s fried rice is so righteous… The shrimps were huge and are sprinkled in the meal generously. The plate wasn’t overly greasy as I find most fried rice variations.
Fresh rice, shrimp, eggs, and green onions that are perfectly fried together in harmony. OMMMNOMNOM to simplicity and quality!
Braised Beef Noodle Soup: Everything at Din Tai Fung is so deliciously shareable; that is… if you’re feeling generous! The noodles are firm, chewy, and made fresh in house. The soup stock was hearty with lots of flavor to it.
The BEST part? Tender, melt in your mouth, beef chucks.
Pork Dumplings: The act of sharing is being able to refrain one’s self from gobbling up all the little dumplings before anyone else can even get a second piece.
The technique of eating these delicacies comes in two ways:
1) Make a dipping sauce consisting of part vinegar, part soy, and a few springs of thinly sliced ginger. The ginger acts to cleanse your palate
2) Holding the dumpling with chopsticks in one hand, have a soupspoon hovering underneath. These babies are so juicy that when you bite into one, it may squirt all over you!
Be sure to get yourself a few orders of the different varieties of dumplings. Especially because Din Tai Fung restaurants starting foundation was based off these masterpieces.
Din Tai Fung has been featured in almost every media spotlight. There have been foodies that blog about Din Tai Fung, they have been featured in a number of news articles, and television. The chain is even a favorite eatery amongst celebrities. This is definitely apart of 626’s best because not only is it reminiscent of home to many, Din Tai Fung’s comfort food comes in great quality to create only the best. Din Tai Fung offers delectable food that is coveted and craved by many so be prepared to wait in line. From humble beginnings to becoming a world famous eatery chain, Din Tai Fung sure has come far. I must go back soon… Care to join?
Learn more at www.dintaifungusa.com
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