Location: Ground Floor SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City (Beside Tim Ho Wan)
Telephone Number: +632 997 1935, +632 997 1936, +632 997 0931
Mall Hours: Daily 10:00am – 10:00pm
Email Address: [email protected]
Official Website: www.dintaifungph.com
Din Tai Fung Manila Philippines Menu
Din Tai Fung Philippines 鼎泰豐: Michelin Star Restaurant Sweeps Manila with its World Famous Xiao Long Bao
Finally, Filipinos no longer have to fly out of the country in order to taste Din Tai Fung’s world famous Xiao Long Bao dumplings, the Taiwanese delicacy awarded 1 Michelin Star consecutively since 2010. We have The Moment Group, the group behind 8 Cuts Burger Blends, Ooma, Mecha Uma, and Bank Bar, to thank for officially opening this climactic branch right in the heart of SM Mega Fashion Hall last December 8. Since its opening day graced by President Aquino himself, Din Tai Fung President Yang BingYi and several key directors of other branches in Asia, the queue has been non-stop, nearly double the size of Tim Ho Wan’s queue during its opening.
Din Tai Fung needs no further introduction to many of us, as the Filipino market has already been accustomed to eating Xiao Long Bao in the past couple of years as taught to us by many equally excellent brands such as Shi Lin and Crystal Jade. But no one’s immune to the Din Tai Fung charm, its brand capable of drawing magnetic crowds to its already steady following base just to taste the difference that sets its soupy dumplings apart from the rest. With stored opened across 14 countries including the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia, does Manila keep up with over five decades of Din Tai Fung standards set by founder Bingyi Yang?
鼎泰豐 – What do the characters mean?
Owing to its name 鼎, a type of cooking Cauldron; 泰, Peace; and 豐, Abundance, together the characters concocte the soupy translucent dumplings that only Din Tai Fung can bring you, never breaking its thin wrapper and always overflowing with flavors.
The Right Way to Manage Queues
As with other Din Tai Fung stores worldwide, Manila doesn’t veer far from its efficient way of managing the influx of crowds, dividing the queue into groups of 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7 above. While waiting time may stretch longer for larger groups compared to smaller groups, The Moment Group effectively manages customer’s expectations by letting them know an estimated time when one can get seated, and allow you to roam around malls while waiting for your number to be called. If you miss your number, a staff will gladly seat you at the next available table.
It seems that the Moment Group has learned many lessons from their service back at Ooma Rice Bar.
Average waiting time for 10 groups ahead of your number is around 70-90 minutes.
While waiting, customers can then plan on what to eat and submit orders to their staff, many of which come from overseas such as Taiwan, and are already adept to respond.
Din Tai Fung House Special – P155
Call it a case of serendipity, but I was glad to be introduced to this cold appetizer by Din Tai Fung’s staff. The House Special is mixed strings of tofu, bamboo shoots, beehoon, and beansprouts, which ended up tasting quite good.
Pork Xiao Long Bao (5 pcs – P160; 10 pcs – P315)
Din Tai Fung’s neat Xiao Long Baos have around 18 to 21 folds. I personally find the pork Xiao Long Bao pretty standard, and none of the extraordinary. While there is noticeably less soup inside compared to Shi Lin (and less of a mess), it’s a staple that’s found in every single table at the restaurant.
Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao (5 pcs – P285; 10pcs – P565)
For the adventurous palate, I recommend the Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao, whose taste is loads better than its original base, with hints of Crab Roe mixed with pork. Ten pieces might be a stretch, so it might be more economical to go for the 5-piece order.
Green Squash and Shrimp Xiao Long Bao (5 pcs – P160; 10 pcs – P315)
Quietly sitting on the menu is Din Tai Fung’s Green Squash and Shrimp Xiao Long Bao. This is my favorite out of the three flavors I’ve tried as it tastes different.
Fried Rice with Salted Fish – P185
Din Tai Fung’s fried rice with salted fish is made out of good quality of rice, but the serving size can be a problem for families.
Noodles with Minced Pork Sauce – P145
Din Tai Fung is not only well-known for its Xiao Long Bao, but their La Mian is very delicate and slippery to taste. I love its Minced Pork kind, a good alternative for anyone tired of the noodle soup.
Golden Prawn Cake – P220
I first tried this dish back in Singapore and ordered this dish twice because it was that good. To be honest, I would only eat at Din Tai Fung if this dish was available and it’s good to know that Manila has it. Not only that, I hope they continue to nail it over time. (Shi Lin has tried serving this in their menu but they can’t pull it off.)
Fried Pork Chop – P190
This is pretty ordinary pork chop dish, but a good staple for large groups.
Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun – P85 (2 pieces per order)
It’s worth to note that Din Tai Fun Philippines has dishes unique to this branch only, such as the Chocolate Lava Xiao Long Bao (P115), and the Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun. I chose the latter as I’m curious how Din Tai Fung can create this dish that has the potential to compete with Tim Ho Wan‘s addictive pork buns (without the pork). This dish is popular in Cha Chaan Teng’s in Hong Kong. The buns are too small, and as you break it in half, the oozing egg yolk tends to go from melting hot to pasty in a couple of seconds. It needs a stronger taste of salted egg into it, and once it does, we’ve got another crowd favorite.
A Breakthrough in Manila Dining Scene
Din Tai Fung Philippines is not only sweeping the city with its magical Xiao Long Bao prowess, but its boldness in taking the first step to allow customers in paying at the cashier after dining is a major breakthrough in Manila dining scene. This kind of system works especially well for the Philippines as customers tend to wait too long for their bill, resulting in many tables being held up. For frequently flocked restaurants as such, this is the right way to do it, similar to restaurants in Japan. It’s time for other restaurants to follow suit!
Contrary to its predecessors The Halal Guys and Ooma Rice Bar, the opening of Din Tai Fung Philippines at SM Mega Fashion Hall caps the year 2015 as the biggest restaurant opening all the while striving to maintain its world standard. While other customers reported the service as amiss, the restaurant manages to make itself a well-oiled machine on its first week, a remarkable feat compared to the others.
I might go when the crowds have significantly thinned to revisit my favorites, and try new ones, but perhaps not to satisfy my Xiao Long Bao craving.
Have you tried Din Tai Fung here in Manila? Share your thoughts on Candid Cuisine!
Din Tai Fung Philippines Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||( 3.5 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||( 4 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||( 3 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||( 3.5 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.5 / 5)|