Hello Chatswood, how you doin’?
I swear, I turn my back for one second, and Chatswood suddenly becomes a massive foodie hub, with specialty gelato, dessert cafes, Michelin Star restaurant, and Chinese hotpot, just to name a few. I mean, I knew that there was more to it than night markets and Daiso, but it really didn’t hit me till we were looking for a satisfying dinner after treating ourselves to a movie.
Enter Din Tai Fung.
I already have a bias to loving Din Tai Fung. I mean, it’s really hard to fault a restaurant chain that not only has Anthony Bourdain’s stamp of approval, but that also takes the time and effort to make sure that their signature dish – their soup dumplings – tastes and feels exactly the same, every. single. place. in. the .world.
That, my friend, is some serious brand commitment.
The Rainbow Dumplings are every ADD foodie’s wet dream, in that every single one has a different flavour. Is it in-your-face-obvious different? No, but it’s just different enough to keep you on your toes. At its core, these dumplings use the same signature recipe that words for them, and it’s like betting on the safe horse:
It just never disappoints.
To fill my craving, I also ordered the Tofu with Century Egg and Pork Floss. It must be me getting older, but I’m really acquiring a taste for the black jelly-like century egg. Coupled with silky tofu and sweet/savoury pork floss (which is pork cooked in a soy based sauce till it’s dried out completely and pulled into floss), it’s an absolute heaven in both taste and texture.
Well, if you’ve acquired the taste, of course.
There was also the pork cutlet that I got because the Taiwanese are somewhat famous for fusion street food, like pork cutlet, and Din Tai Fung is founded in Taiwan. This one, however, um.
No. Just no.
Nothing really going for it, and we really could’ve ordered something way more worthwhile.
But other than that, going to one of Din Tai Fung’s many outlets has started to feel like coming home. You know exactly what to expect, and you know that that they’re not going to suddenly turn the tables on you. Sure, it’s nothing particularly new and exciting, but hey, not everyone has to be a Heston.
The Chatswood outlet is somewhat more worn than say, the one in The Living Mall, or the one at World Square, but the locals don’t seem to mind at all. I’m not so sure that they would keep up with Chatswood’s burgeoning food scene – even the service has that old-world quality of ignoring you, slightly 😉 – but I’m sure such a large brand like that has no problems holding their own.
If you can, though, go to the ones in the city. The ambience is much MUCH better.