Din Tai Fung at Central World Plaza shopping mall in downtown Bangkok is one of the city’s latest imports. A Taiwanese chain of dumpling restaurants, originally from Taipei but famous all over Asia, Din Tai Fung has captured the imagination of Thais, many of whom you’ll see on any evening lined up outside this newly trendy restaurant waiting for their turn to eat. Said to serve some of the best dim sum in Bangkok, an American friend and I decided to try them out. Here’s what we discovered.
Location of Din Tai Fung – Din Tai Fung is on the seventh floor of the massive Central World Plaza shopping mall. Located in a corner, it’s easy to find as it’s quite large and, as it’s also open-plan, you can see the chefs cooking, even from a distance. Just head in their direction.
Food at Din Tai Fung – In a word — exceptional. I’m a newly-converted fan of dim sum and, in the last couple of years, have eaten at a large number of Bangkok dim sum restaurants. Din Tai Fung is right up there at the top of my list of dim sum restaurants in Bangkok you must eat at.
The secret to enjoying dim sum is to order as many bamboo baskets as you can afford. Most dim sum comes with 4-8 pieces per basket and, as they’re usually relatively cheap, you can sample five or six types without spending a lot of money. So, my friend and I looked through the menu and began to order. (We went early so didn’t have to wait, but if you arrive and there’s a line, you can spend your time checking off the dishes you want on an order list a waitress will give you).
Pork dumplings, of course, are the thing just about everyone orders, so they were first on our list. We then went through and picked out two types of broth-filled dumpliings, sesame steamed buns, two orders of dan dan noodles, and a plate of stir-fried morning glory. The food arrived, although the delicious aroma arrived before it, and we started to eat. Normally talkative, I don’t think we said more than two words to each other as we proceeded to polish off as much food as we could, as fast as we could. The taste of every dish was rich and satisfying, but the broth-filled dumplings really are supreme. The aroma is incredible too.
Price-wise, most of our dishes were around the 145-190 baht range, which for what we ordered, split between two of us came to just less than 500 baht each ($16.50) — not too expensive for a world-class dim sum dinner.
Din Tai Fung has branches all over Asia, but this location at Central World is the first one to arrive in Thailand. I’m betting they’ll soon be at Siam Paragon, Terminal 21 and Central Ladprao as, if a restaurant has a line this long and so many loyal customers already, every other mall is soon clammering for a branch of their own.