Din Tai Fung has opened its 153rd restaurant.
Which might not sound that exciting, until you realise that it’s the first one to come to the UK. Ever.
A hugely popular Taiwanese dim sum spot, it’s been going since 1972 – winning itself Michelin stars and worldwide acclaim in the process (the New York Times reckons it’s up there in the world’s ten best restaurants). And for its London debut, it’s arrived in style – commandeering an airy, bi-level space in Covent Garden, which is decked out with sleek oriental wood panelling and soft leather banquettes overlooking an open kitchen where the dumpling prep takes place.
Scientifically optimised dumplings
And those dumplings – specifically the steamed pork soup dumplings (xiao long bao) – are the restaurant’s crowning glory, made via an elaborate six stage process that takes at least 40 minutes. And somewhere between ensuring that each dumpling’s dough weighs between 4.8-5.2g and folding them at least 18 times, the chefs somehow also find the time to roll out other classic dim sum dishes, like salted egg yolk custard buns, six-hour steamed chicken soup, and umami-laden fried rice dishes.
The place also has its own Taiwanese cocktail bar, serving spirit-laced drinks as well as bubble milk teas.
Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations, but they are, at least, running a text-back system – meaning you can hole up in one of Covent Garden’s excellent bars until it’s dumpling time.
Sounds like it’s worth a shot.
NOTE: Din Tai Fung Covent Garden is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Sunday. You can find out more on their website HERE.
Din Tai Fung Covent Garden | 5 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8PT
Like dining out in Covent Garden? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Covent Garden