We were invited to the soft opening of Din Tai Fung Philippines last December but since I was out of town, only hubby got to go. No cameras were allowed during the soft opening so he could only tell me what they ordered and how the food was compared to the HK counterpart.
A spur of the moment decision found us at Megamall yesterday morning…we arrived a little before 11am and decided to head to DTF to check how long the line was. Surprisingly while there was a line starting to form for groups of diners, if you’re going solo or just 2, its easier to get a table. We were seated almost immediately and even got to pick where we wanted to sit.
It took us less than 5 minutes to decide on what we wanted. We ordered the pork xiao long bao, shrimp & pork wontons in house special spicy sauce, shrimp & pork pot stickers, porkchop rice, and golden lava salted egg yolk bun.
Pork Xiao Long Bao (Php160/5pcs)
Their famous XLB was served first. After dipping the dumpling and putting it in my soup spoon, I noticed that the dumpling wrapper was a bit tough (the kind of tough that borders to chewy). When I broke through the wrapper, there was virtually no soup inside. And the pork filling was a bit tinier than I remembered from HK. Quite disappointing really. The couple next to us commented that the XLB from Lugang Cafe was much better; but since I haven’t tried Lugang’s yet, I couldn’t really say. I could say though that the DTF’s XLB (whether in HK or here in Manila) wasn’t as impressive as it was all hyped up to be. Of all the XLB I tasted, I liked Modern Shanghai’s here in Manila.
Shrimp and Pork Wontons with House Special Spicy Sauce (PHP 175 / 6 pcs)
I remembered liking the Shrimp and Pork Wontoons with House Special Spicy Sauce which we first ordered in the HK outlet so we ordered this one. I was surprised to see the serving portion (the wontons appear to be smaller) smaller than I remembered. The dumpling wrapper and filling was good but the best part is the special spicy sauce. We ended up using the spicy sauce for the rest of our meal.
Shrimp and Pork Pot Stickers (PHP 220 / 6 pcs)
This one was a disappointment. I mean, this was fried more crisp than the ones we ate in the HK outlet but beyond the crispy pot sticker, it was tasteless. I had to dump it in the spicy sauce to infuse more taste.
Oh did I mention that I loved their House Special Spicy Sauce? And I think they sell it by the bottle (saw a spicy sauce being sold behind the cashier for Php465).
Pork Chop Fried Rice (PHP 270)
Another big disappointment. The fried rice was good but oily (as all fried rice are)…but the pork chop was not seasoned at all.
Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun (PHP 85 / 2 pcs)
This is the saving grace of the entire meal (this and the wontons in spicy sauce). We were surprised to see 4 pcs of buns in the basket (so either they made a mistake or instead of 2 large buns they gave us 4 mini buns).
The buns were soft and pillowy and is just a dream to bite into. The salted egg yolk was a bit on the sweet side and not too runny. But I really liked it. In fact, if I were to come back to DTF, I would probably go back for the wontons in spicy sauce and these salted egg yolk buns…and oh, the House special spicy sauce too!
All in all, it was a surprising visit. I liked the service – quick, efficient and friendly. Prices were surprisingly reasonable (I think it was cheaper than what we ate in HK) although I think serving size or portioning is not the same. Taste-wise, I’m not too sure though. I found most of our order bland or lacking in seasoning.