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On a rainy, cold evening last week on our way to the Gourmet Traveller Institute with Mark Best, we stopped off at Din Tai Fung for a quick bite to eat. We wanted just a few light things, not to fill us, to allow for potential taste-testing later.

Din Tai Fung was perfect for that.

It was funny watching the staff with their protective gear 🙂 I don’t know why the need for the face masks. It seems that protocol is a priority. Our table was less than 3 feet from the counter, but it was still necessary for the staff to put the drinks on a tray and then turn around and take the drinks off the tray and put them on our table.

Now, for the dumplings. This is where that attention to detail shines, with 18 folds at the top of each dumpling. We ordered by ticking a list of items on the menu, then they went away and made what we ordered, fresh to order. First, the xiao long bao, the steam pork dumpling with the hot soup inside which spills out as you bite into it.

Then the vegie dumplings:

Then the crab xiao long bao, similar to the first one, except with crab as well as pork inside:

On the top right here are the shrimp and pork shao mai. They look spectacular, looking like a fountain with some shrimp sitting on top. Very tasty.

And then we had to have some of the good-sized steamed buns. On the left vegie bun with green vegies, and on the right the pork bun. The pork was not the cha siu bao pork found typically at yum cha, but a more plain pork mixture.

The atmosphere was warm, the food excellent. I look forward to getting back again to try more dishes, especially the dumplings. Perfect for a winter’s night.

Details

Here are the details about Din Tai Fung at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site http://www.dintaifungaustralia.com.au/
Address World Square, 644 George St, Sydney, NSW, 2000
Phone (02) 9264 6010
Open Lunch
Mon-Fri: 11:30-2:30
Sat-Sun: 11:00-3:00
Dinner
Mon-Wed: 5:30-9:00
Thur-Sat: 5:00-9:30
Sun: 5:00-9:00
Menu Chinese: dumplings and more ($10-20 per serve)
Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon


Where do you like to go for dumplings?

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When I heard that the owner of Zilver, Henry Tang, had opened a new restaurant, The Eight, I just had to get there and check it out. The Eight is on the top floor of Market City (on the site which once held Kam Fook). It’s large, holding about 750 people.

We got there to The Eight about 11:30am on a Sunday, and managed to walk right in, and sit down at a table right away. By the time we left there were people queuing up outside.

The size amplifies the hubbub of activity always surrounding yum cha, with a constant stream of carts passing by.

Please forgive me if I don’t use all of the correct names of the dishes (gwei-lo!). We started with the scallop siu mai. Gorgeous.

Followed by vegetable dumplings, with mushroom and corn inside:

Spinach and prawn dumplings:

The char siu bau and other dishes:

The char siu bau was particularly tasty, with a touch of ginger.

Towards the end of the meal, one of the ? managers ? came around, making sure that we had eaten all we wanted, and to tell us about the parking. Most helpful. And that seemed to be unusual in a yum cha place, where the service is usually brusque.

The dumplings which had been fried. Full of flavour.

After we had finished eating, we saw this grill at the side of the room on the way out. Apparently the taro, turnip and chestnut cakes, and the other things here have to be ordered specifically, either by asking a waiter or coming here to order it, rather than choose it from a roving cart:

So I’m still figuring out how it all works. I’ve also heard of some ordering additional dishes from menus with pictures, which would be helpful, but maybe that referred to the evening meal instead of yum cha.

Apparently parking between 11am and 2pm (on a weekend at least), you can pay The Eight $1, and they’ll stamp your parking ticket from the car park downstairs, so you only pay $3 there, making the parking $4 for that whole time. That’s a good deal.

The food we tried in yum cha at The Eight was fresh and delicious, with some new spins to some of the dishes, and good-sized serves. I’ll certainly be back to try it again, especially as I know now about how ordering dishes like the taro cakes separately (i.e. not waiting for a cart to drop by).

Details

Here are the details about The Eight at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site http://www.theeightrestaurant.com.au
Address Level 3, Market City, 9 Hay St, Haymarket, NSW, 2000
Phone (02) 9282 9988
Open Mon-Fri 10am-3:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Sat-Sun 9am-4pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Menu Chinese: yum cha for lunch, a la carte for dinner ($25-35 mains)
The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Where do you like to go for yum cha?