The World-Famous Soup Dumplings of Din Tai Fung Arrives in Manila

din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao

The opening of Din Tai Fung in Manila was met with anticipation from many foodies who have encountered the brand abroad. As for me, the mention of “Xiao Long Bao”, or soup dumplings, was enough to get me curious. It was a five-time Michelin star-awarded restaurant that promises the highest standards when it comes to food and service. If that’s not enough to tell you what to expect, DTF was also ranked by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Restaurants in the world. It is also located next to another Michelin-star awarded restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, and it would be interesting to see how these two giants battle head-to-head for the attention of consumers.

I dropped by on their opening week, but we had to wait in line for almost an hour — well, technically not me, but it was Kyle who waited in line for almost an hour. And since I was late, we got our number called but they wouldn’t allow you to wait inside if your group isn’t completely present. Fortunately for us, we didn’t have to get a new number and start at the end of the line. Upon my arrival, we approached one of the staff who confirmed the availability of a table inside before ushering us in.din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao

While waiting, we decided to scan the menu and order ahead to ensure efficient use of our time. As is our custom, we didn’t order a lot, and decided to try a few dishes only for our first visit. We decided to go with one order of Pork Xiao Long Bao (Php 160 for 5 pieces), Chicken Xiao Long Bao (Php 160 for 5 pieces), Din Tai Fung House Special Appetizer (Php 155), and Noodles with House Spicy Special Sauce (Php 120).

din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao

Truth be told, I didn’t want to order too many dishes because both Kyle and I are not very fond of Chinese food, and it was his first time trying our Xiao Long Bao — I didn’t want to overwhelm him. Despite this, we both found Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, combined with the special mix of soy sauce and rice vinegar with slices of ginger, very tasty (even though the Chinese women seated next to us disagree).

din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao noodles

Noodles with House Spicy Special Sauce (Php 120)

The DTF House Special Appetizer was underwhelming for the price, but the Spicy Noodles made up for it. I realized though that their serving sizes are only good for one person, which would explain why the dishes are reasonably priced.

din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao

I also ordered a glass of Iced Rose Tea (minus the ice) and I found the drink very refreshing. For only Php 45, which is cheaper than the usual price point for a regular glass of iced tea, the Iced Rose Tea offers a unique-tasting drink that would make a great addition to your meal. I would definitely order it the next time I visit again!

Service was very efficient. You can tell that they put a lot of thought into the queueing and payment process. I also noticed that they have a different set of staff bringing out food from the kitchen from the set of staff serving the food on the tables. I can’t really say for sure that I understand the reason why they chose this process, but it seems to work, and that’s good enough for me.

Price Range: Php 700-1000 for two

I’ve been to Din Tai Fung a total of two times since it opened in December, and I can say that it has quickly become one of my happy places, and high up in my list of go-to restaurants for affordable and great food. I would have spent Chinese New Year lunch there if I didn’t know any better, but I’m sure in a few days or weeks, I’ll be back in line at DTF, waiting for my turn to savor their world-famous soup dumplings.

din tai fung megamall ortigas manila xiao long bao

Aside from the xiao long baos, what are your high recommended dishes from Din Tai Fung? Sound off in the comments section below!-HANA

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