It was about 3 years ago when I first tried Din Tai Fung’s signature dish, Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) in Singapore. Since then, I find myself habitually visiting the restaurant wherever country I go and whenever I can to get my doze of XLB’s and to try their other dishes as well.
So… When they opened their first branch here in Manila, I got too excited! But not to the point that I went there on their first few weeks because I knew how crazy the line would be. And because I had DTF in Hong Kong a few weeks before it opened. HAHA!
Anyway… These are some things you should know about Din Tai Fung in Manila.
DTF doesn’t take reservations. You have to go there and suffer the long line that usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour or so before you get seated. LOL. Kidding aside, I suggest you go there during off-hours to avoid it.
But hey, don’t get intimidated by the long wait. Their system is very efficient and well organised! Here’s how it works:
- Get your number at the podium in front of the restaurant. As soon as you get your number, they’ll give you the menu, a checklist and a pen for you to decide on what to order.
- Wait for your number to be called at the waiting area. Or you can watch them make their masterpiece.
- When you finally get seated, they’ll get your checklist, set your table and provide you with a cloth basket holder for your bags. And tadaaah! Your food will be served right before you know it. Hot and fresh!
- After you eat, they’ll clean your table and give you your billing receipt. There’s a check-out counter at the other side of the restaurant where all payments are made.
Nice, noh? We were 5 in the group when we had late lunch there (around 2PM) on a Sunday. Our wait time was just less than 5 minutes.
The moment the food was served on our table, they ATTACKED right away! Haha! It was late and we were all starving! Good thing I was faster than a lightning strike. I was able to take pictures before they were gone in seconds. 😉
PORK XIAO LONG BAO (P315/10pcs). XLB is the #1 dish you should absolutely order. This is what they’re famous for so it’s a shame to miss it! They have other XLB options on the menu but this one’s the bestseller.
TRUFFLE AND PORK XIAO LONG BAO (P135/pc). The ridiculously hefty price tag was so worth it! Its flavors were rich but not too overwhelming. Another must try! I could actually taste it in my mouth right now as I write this. Hmmm.
So if you happen to have a deep pocket or just plain curious as to why it is expensive, then go for it!
SHRIMP FRIED RICE (P210). The BEST fried rice with a very generous load of shrimps I’ve had in my whole life! Super favorite!
SALTED EGG YOLK PRAWNS (P375). This dish was really good but the one I had in Singapore was better.
SALT AND PEPPER SQUID (P245). Their squid was crispy and tasty. It was even better when dipped in vinegar. Yum!
STIR-FRIED CHINESE KANGKONG (P155). Their recipe was simple but very good. Plus, I needed to eat healthy sometimes ya’ know.
FRIED NOODLES WITH BEEF (P190). It was my first time to try their noodles and it was okay. It didn’t disappoint.
Not only does DTF serve good food but they do train their staff really well. They were attentive and quick to check in on us despite the many customers they needed to attend to as well. Good job, guys!
This was the nth time I visited DTF since it opened in Megamall late last year (December 2015) and I’d be coming back soon, over and over again, for the shrimp fried rice and those little sacks of happiness I love so dearly!
After lunch, we had BLK 513 for dessert.
LOCATION: Ground Floor (beside Tim Ho Wan), Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City