Saturday, September 23, 2006
Din Tai Fung @ Raffles City
A xiao long bao photowall put up by Din Tai Fung! Can you spot my signature?
Ranked as one of the top restaurants in the world by The New York Times, Din Tai Fung is definitely not your run-of-the-mill dim sum outfit and it's not a place I go to regularly.
In fact, I've only been there once, on my birthday two months back.
This week, I went back again, but it wasn't with friends or family.
I went there alone.
No no, I didn't go there specifically to dine by myself.
I was invited to the grand opening of Din Tai Fung's fifth outlet in Singapore - at Raffles City. You know the newly revamped basement? Yep, it's there, near Aerin and Kuriya.
As a freelance journalist I write about food places, etc and will get invited to the occasional press conference such as this. Well now that I mentioned, I really miss my days as an intern at I-S Magazine. I went to countless press conferences and food tastings and learnt alot. I was glad they didn't task me to brew coffee all day long. I got sent out on assignments. Writing is my passion and it works out well.
Anyway, yep, back to Din Tai Fung. So I was there on Thursday and the restaurant also recently launched some new items (yep we the journos got to try them) and I have loads of photos for you so do enjoy:
Steamed Glutinous Rice in Red Dates ($4)
These dates are interesting. I love the chewy filling. It's an appetiser actually. One of the 6 offered on their new menu.
Crunchy Mini Cucumber in Spicy Sauce ($3.80)
These really were crunchy. I think they used japanese cucumbers? I like! Totally dig the spciy combi.
Finely Sliced Honey Lotus Root Stuffed with Glutinous Rice ($4)
Another sweet treat. This is the first time I've eaten lotus root made this way. I totally enjoyed it. How innovative!
Century Eggs with Fermented Soya ($3.30)
I almost skipped this. But I'm glad I tried it in the end. I usually avoid century eggs whenever possible but the others said it was bearable because the garlic would have masked the taste. And guess what, they were right. I like the jelly-like texture. Hmmm...
This steamed chicken was totally yum. Tender meat.
Five Spiced Braised Dried Bean Curd with Minced Meat ($3.30)
Tofu is one of my favourite dishes and I do fancy how they made this one. It's more dense than normal beancurd. I like the sauce very much.
Now this is what I call chicken soup! You know those books "Chicken Soup for the Soul"? I think they really meant this type of chicken soup. No kidding! Flavourful and aromatic, this soup will lift your spirits.
Fried Rice with Prawns
Talk about fresh juicy prawns. This is some delicious fried rice. The prawns are really succulent. Can't you see from the picture? Gorgeous.
This is one of my most favourite vegetables. I love it's fresh crunchy texture. They cooked it well! I think they added chicken too. Yum yum yum!
Their famous xiao long bao! Simply divine and best eaten this way:
Yes, with slices of ginger and vinegar! Mmmmmmmmm...... I'm totally crazy about xiao long baos now!!!
Here's how the meat filling looks like. Check out the juices. It's amazing how the skin of the dumplings are not too thick and not too thin. It really holds the juices well and doesn't tear when you pick it from the bamboo steamer.
Some chives dumplings. Another of my favourite. Oh and I am a huge fan of anything to do with red bean so I was hugely excited when they served this:
Red bean dumplings! How cool is that? I've only ate red bean pau at dim sum places. But this one was oh-so-lovely. Check out the filling:
Gosh. I think I am one lucky person, to be able to eat so much good things in one night. Best of all, it was a press event.
But seriously, this press conference was well executed. The PR Company, Ubersprint helmed the entire event. Din Tai Fung's one of their clients and I think they couldn't have chosen a better PR company. I know some people at Ubersprint and am always very impressed by their standard of public relations. Well done guys, and girls! To Diana & Jessica, great job done. I hope you poor girls got to eat after the event!
So before I go to get some shuteye, here's the last photo of something sweet and delightful:
Chilled Grass Jelly topped with Sweet Black Glutinous Rice ($4.30)
I do think it's a perfect dessert to end a meal. It's not too heavy and just nice to keep you happy. I know I was happy. Grass jelly goes well with black glutinous rice I realised. Kudos to the chefs at Din Tai Fung. I know this whole post might sound bias because one might say that the food tasted good because it was for the media. Perhaps it might be the case but I'd rather give the chefs the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure they do work hard and even more so for this event. It's not easy serving a full restaurant filled with journos and what not.
Din Tai Fung, this isn't the last you'll see of me! I'm craving for some xiao long baos now....