Din Tai Fung, World Square

After standing on our feet for a few hours while we watched the ANZAC Day March, we needed to sit down and re-fuel.  We were in the heart of Sydney’s CBD with my sister, Lou and her family, and were pretty close to World Square near where Lou works.

The restaurant at World Square

The restaurant at World Square

Spinning around in circles wondering where to eat, Lou suggested Din Tai Fung.  Working close by, she had eaten at Din Tai Fung before but only once in Oz.

Bamboo steamers make appropriate art

Bamboo steamers make appropriate art

Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese franchise that has restaurants all around the world with a few in China and when Lou and her family lived in Beijing, they were regulars.  Lou says the dumplings in Sydney are as authentic as the dumplings served in Beijing.  The franchise is renowned for its modern and minimalist-styled restaurants, it’s consistent quality and above all else, it’s incredible dumplings.

Punching out a few dumplings

Punching out a few dumplings

The restaurant at World Square has outdoor seating where you can sit if you need to wait for a table.  We had to wait and the wait wasn’t long; they move customers through the restaurant swiftly.

It may look like a scene from CSI Miami but it's not a morgue, it's a restaurant

It may look like a scene from CSI Miami but it’s not a morgue, it’s a restaurant

If the wait is so long that you have run out of things to do on your mobile phone, you can walk up to the window where you can see the chefs, with their hair in hair-nets and their faces covered in masks, making the dumplings.  For a non-Asian who has never seen this sort of kitchen-action, it’s an added bonus to the dining experience.

Hygiene is covered.

Hygiene is covered.

There were quite a few of us in our party and the staff were happy to accommodate such a large group on a busy day.  We sat at one very long table and Lou, our family’s Asian expert, did the ordering.

Tables of large number are welcome

Tables of large numbers are welcome

We started with a cucumber salad with a vinaigrette dressing.  The cucumber was crisp and crunchy and very refreshing.  I did like the way it had been so precisely stacked.  For all those being trained by Tiago, this counts as one raw vegetable serving.

Cucumber Salad in Vinaigrette Dressing:  $6.80

Cucumber Salad in Vinaigrette Dressing: $6.80

Moving on from Tiago, I asked Lou if she could pop on the order the fried chicken fillet, a Taiwanese specialty.  I felt I’d earned it.  The batter on the chicken was wonderfully crisp and crunchy with the chicken being extremely soft and tender.

Fried Chicken Fillet, Taiwanese Specialty:  $10.80

Fried Chicken Fillet, Taiwanese Specialty: $10.80

Balancing our ‘meat and veg’ we then had the spinach with garlic.  This is a very simple dish but a wonderful accompaniment to any meal as the two components of the dish need nothing else added.

Spinach with Garlic:  $13.80

Spinach with Garlic: $13.80

There was a vegetarian dish that Lou really likes called Din Tai Fung Vegetarian Delight.  It was very good with all vegetables yielding but still retaining that outer layer of crunch.

Din Tai Fung Vegetarian Delight $10.80

Din Tai Fung Vegetarian Delight $10.80

Alfie wanted a pork bun.  No, that’s not right, he wanted five pork buns.  Anything to get calories into this wee boy so we ordered the pork buns.  Restraining myself, I didn’t have one and Alfie sat very still and ate through his pile of pork buns.  He said, ‘these are the best ever’.

Pork Bun:  $2.80

Pork Bun: $2.80

A highlight of a Din Tai Fung dining experience is ordering the Xiao Long Bao dumplings.  As you bite into them there is a wonderful burst of broth.  I did wonder how they made these and found out that when the broth is put into the dumpling it is in a jelly form but once it hits the steam it becomes liquid – and an absolute sensation.  We could have had many more of these.

Pork Dumpling Xiao Long Bao: $10.80

Pork Dumpling Xiao Long Bao: $10.80

Lastly we enjoyed the vegetable and pork wontons in a tangy sauce.  I really loved these as well; the wontons were very soft and the sauce should be bottled and available for purchase.   At this point I did wonder how I managed to get through my life without being introduced to wontons and dumplings.

There is also undercover outdoor seating

There is also undercover outdoor seating

We really enjoyed our lunch at Din Tai Fung.  It’s the kind of place that is welcoming of singles, couples or large groups and has the system so streamlined the food, once ordered, appears in minutes.  The prices are more than reasonable and the quality and consistency of what’s ordered is remarkable.

Verdict:  Very affordable with excellent quality.

ANZAC Day 2015

ANZAC Day 2015

Din Tai Fung:  World Square, Level 1, 644 George Street, Sydney

Ph:  (02) 9264 6010


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  1. Love it, Charlie and bookmarking for our next visit. Love that wall of baskets! xox

  2. We are Din Tai Fung regulars too – in fact we went there straight after our registry office wedding for lunch 🙂 They have the formula worked out to a tee – great service, good value for money and delicious dumplings.

  3. Oo I didn’t know that’s how soup dumplings are made!! Good to know. Sounds like a delicious meal!

  4. I’m so glad that Alfie found something that he liked so much! It’s great at DTF and always consistent which is nice 🙂

  5. Sounds like you had a fabulous lunch and how nice that your sister already knew the perfect dishes to order. A few years ago I made some French onion soup pillows that had the jellyied broth inside which were similar to the dumplings you had. I love that surprise when you bit into them.

  6. Wondering if there is Din Tai Fung in NYC or Toronto? Must check. Your meal sounds wonderful and is making me very hungry. Xiao Long Bao is one of my favorites. Love how they pay attention to sanitation.

  7. Sounds like you had a great day wit some great food. I will have to look out for this Taiwanese reassurance, incase they open some here I the US. Unfortunately, I don’t think Denver will be first pick, it never is!
    So glad you got Alfie to eat! Laith is beginning to give me a hard time these days and he’s just a skinny as Alfie, I will try Chinese buns on him 🙂

  8. Mmmmmm dumplings….! Mmmmm soup dumplings…..! Mmmmmm crispy fried chicken! My mouth is watering even though I’m completely full!!! Must try when back in Sydney 🙂 Liz xx

  9. I’ve never head of dumplings with broth in them! They sound like quite a delightful experience! As a matter of fact, this whole dining experience sounds wonderful!

  10. Sounds like a fabulous ANZAC day! The dumplings look incredible and I’m now going to make myself a cucumber salad for lunch. It sounds perfect.

  11. What a great restaurant to have a big family gathering at. I’ve always wanted to try the soup dumplings but never found them offered at any dim sum or other Chinese restaurant I’ve been to. I may end up having to try making them one day.

  12. How lovely to find somewhere with good food, easy seating, and large group accommodation. I hadn’t heard of the chain but will keep an eye out now.

  13. Those pork dumplings I would try immediately. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Dear Charlie,

    I believe you meant the dumplings in Sydney are as authentic as the ones in China? I haven’t been back here for a while now. That pic does look like a scene from Miami CSI LOL!

  15. I love it when Asian vegetables retain their crunch, it looks like delicious place to dine 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. How fabulous that every dish was a hit—and that Alfie got his fill, too! What a fun family gathering 🙂

  17. What a fun place. I’ll admit I didn’t know how they got the liquid in the dumpling. I thought I was just incompetent. 🙂

    I love that Alfie ate FIVE rolls!

  18. What a great family get together Charlie and the food looks delicious too!
    Nothing better than precious family memories made together!

  19. Great place to go Charlie. Skater is a pork bun fiend too. He could eat a platter of them. Looking at your family photo is amazing you look so similar. I guess thats family for you!

  20. Perfect for my large family! Although we would probably be rather noisy all together.
    Have a great day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  21. Absolitely wornderful it looks!! My kind of place. I could have breakfast, lunch and dinner here.

  22. We love DTF and always visit when we are in Taiwan. In west coast, it used to be only in LA and Bellevue (near Seattle) but finally there will be DTF in the Bay Area! We’re so excited. You wrote a really good review about the dining place – you always write great review no matter if the restaurant is bad or good and I love reading your experience! I want XLB now… the juice inside the dumpling is amazing…and Alfie with 5 buns.. haha sounds like my daughter. She loves them. 🙂

  23. I’ve never heard of this restaurant, I’ll have to Google it and see if they are anywhere here in the states. All the food looked wonderful, and what a handsome table of people! The first pork bun I ever had was handmade by a Vietnamese grandma. We were in San Francisco for an authentic Vietnamese wedding and the bride delivered them to us at our hotel! Amazing. The night before, we had a 13 course Vietnamese meal. A true adventure! 😉

  24. Winning choice indeed, Charlie! Those dumplings are identical to Japanese niku-man (meat buns). I applaud you for your restraint and not diving into your son’s plate….Speaking of plating, love the styling on the cucumber salad…LOL about your comment on CSI =) Classic line!

  25. Soup dumplings are my favorite so I’m glad to see you guys enjoying them there! That spinach looks extra yummy too!

  26. Wow Charlie…it sounds that you all had a great time on ANZAC day…Din Tai Fung…I remember visiting the original place in Taiwan…and this chain is growing like weed here in our area…
    Enjoy your week 🙂

  27. Dumplings are the BUSINESS! All the yarm for all the foods in this post. Just ate a salt & vinegar cricket, followed by a piece of vegemite chocolate, craving something normal. 🙂 I shall add this joint to my list for when I am next in Syders.

  28. Thanks for this excellent write up, I have thought about dining here and not quite been brave enough too as our time in Sydney these days is quite precious. Those Xiao Long Bao dumplings would certainly be welcome 🙂

  29. What a nice outing for all of you ending with a fabulous meal! I love the bamboo steamer art! isn’t that clever. 🙂 Maybe a few calories your trainer isn’t happy about, but you had been on your feet for hours. It is at least a healthy meal, don’t you think?

  30. Just my favourite foods ever Charlie! Id love to do work experience in a place like this, I’m sure it would take years though to become one of those dumpling masters 🙂 xo

  31. Those army of dumpling=makers are so exact and patient and nimble. I;ve been to this branch and I’m testing out the Miranda outlet this weekend. #eatAllTheFood

  32. Oh to have a wonderful restaurant in our area…the food sounds great.

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