March 6, 2016 / Leave a Comment
I’ve dined at DTF in 7 countries, so I was over the moon when they announced their arrival in Dubai. The Dubai outlet is based in the Mall of the Emirates, with no alcohol license and no pork license. So for my beer and pork Xiao Long Bao cravings I’ll need to get on a flight.
Still, for a long time, hardcore Din tai Fung fan this was a momentous life event – finally living in a city that has a DTF! We even have a finely honed DTF dining tecnhnique thanks to the hubby’s logistics smarts. Here’s the pro tip – sit down, order a portion of Xiao Long Bao immediately, ask fora extra ginger and chili oil, and when the first batch arrives, order another! By then you should have the rest of your order sorted, and you won’t be fretting over a cold steamer of XLB.
Pork or no pork, beer or no beer, there are still mountains of delicious dishes to be enjoyed.
To start, things were a little rusty at the MoE branch and meat quality was a bit off. But I’ve dined there about another 10 times since the opening so wanted to bring my review up to date.
I’ve dined there so many times intact that I have a set menu of greatest hits that I order pretty much every time I dine, and I’m going to share it with you!
To start – in addition to the XLB, I always order the house special salad, a delicious slightly sour and texturally interesting dish of seaweed and vermicelli among other weird and wonderful elements. Next the Szechuan dumplings (they’re not too spicy at all so don’t be scared by the name) – scrumptious and the sauce is great for mixing with other things. Crispy beef is also a must, usually the most popular dish at the table. Not hugely spicy either despite the staff’s warnings! Avoid the crispy chicken though, this is just bones and rather unpleasant, nothing at all like similar dishes served in other outposts.
Our other faves include the beef fillet with fried rice – the mayo style sauce that accompanies this is incredible. It’s a pretty decadent combination. My husbands favourite part of the dish is that it’s much cheaper to buy this dish than the beef fillet and egg fried rice separately – so it gives him much satisfaction to be saving a few dirhams here. The sweet and sour chicken is a new discovery and trust me you’ll be fighting over the juicy morsels. I’ve never been huge on sweet and sour but this dish is a winner.
For those brave enough to venture into Asian dessert territory, I recommend either the taro dumplings or the red bean dumplings. In either Singapore or Hong Kong you could get a mixture of the two in one dumpling for a while, bliss! Not everyone’s cup of tea though, but I find them pretty tasty.
It seems that DTF MoE has fully settled in now and knows what it’s doing – a menu update even came out a couple of weeks ago which is good news for regulars. You may have to wait a while for a table – up to 1 hour on weekends and peak times so plan ahead as they don’t take bookings. Go and put your name down for a table and do your shopping while you wait for the beeper to signal your table is ready. You’ll notice the stark contrast between the jam packed DTF and it’s sparsely populated neighbours, which is another indication of just how good it is – and fab value to boot. Trust me, you’re going to love it.