Culinary Workshop @ Din Tai Fung Paragon

8 05 2011

*This workshop was sponsored by Dai Tai Fung

Originating in Taiwan originally, Din Tai Fung has since expanded around the world and was awarded a Michelin 1 Star in Hong Kong’s 2010 Michelin Guide. It’s secret to success…no doubt their renowned Xiao Long Baos.

The Din Tai Fung branches found in Singapore is franchised by the Breadtalk Group (who is also responsible for franchising Carl’s Junior and Ramenplay, in addition to owning Toastbox, Bread Society and Food Republic), and the chefs here are apparently required to undergo a 9-month vigorous training program in Taiwan to ensure that standards of the franchisees remain on par with the Taiwan and Hong Kong branches.

With regards to their Xiao Long Baos, strict guidelines have been set such that the xiao long bao skins must be within 5.8g to 6.2g and there must be 18 folds on each xiao long bao.

We were first given a demonstration with explanation on the ingredients used to make the Xiao Long Baos and how to fold the 18 folds.

After the mass demonstration, it was time for a hands-on! Each table of 4 participants were allocated with a personal Xiao Long Bao instructor to guide us in making the highly elusive 18 folds. I failed miserably 😦

After which, we were treated to high tea, a 10-course one at that!

Cucumber wrapped in Pork Belly in Chili Oil.

The Caucasian lady sitting on my table mentioned that this was her son’s favourite dish at Din Tai Fung. It’s not difficult to see why with the generous stuffing of springy shrimps in this dim sum inspired Shrimp Pancake.

Din Tai Fung is also famous for their Ginseng Chicken Soup which packs some umami flavour though I still think that it lacks the appeal of a home-made soup showered with motherly love.

Xiao Long Baos here are definitely competent but there are competitors around whom I actually prefer. They are Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant and Hand in Hand Beijing Restaurant, both located along Jalan Besar.

The Black Truffle Xiao Long Bao is only available at 2 Din Tai Fung outlets in Singapore (Paragon and 1 other outlet which I can’t recall now). I’m not sure if something is wrong with me but truffles don’t appeal to me much, so I’d much prefer the original Pork Xiao Long Baos which doesn’t come with such an earthly taste. On the other hand, the Caucasian women sitting next to me were deeply enamoured by the robust flavours bursting from the truffle xlb. To each his own I guess.

Pea Shoots stir fried with Sunflower Oil.

Dan Dan Noodles.

Snow Fungus with Red Dates and Papaya.

This is the first culinary workshop I have attended and I have to say it’s really good fun.

On a side note, Din Tai Fung will also be flying in Red Bean Rice Dumplings from Taiwan in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival. It will be sold at $4 per dumpling from 9 May to 6th June 2011, and DBS/POSB Card holders will enjoy a complimentary dumpling with minimum spending of $50. 

A very special thanks to Din Tai Fung for the invitation.

Bon Appetit!

DIN TAI FUNG

290 ORCHARD ROAD, #B1-03 THE PARAGON

TEL: +65 6836 8336

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3 responses

8 05 2011
Christine Leow

You really liked Swee Choon’s? I actually found the skins a little too thick and hard. The filling as good though. Haha. Such a shame they didn’t serve their fried rice as one of the courses for the tea.

10 05 2011
drpiggy

yeah really feel that din tai fung’s standards have dropped since it first opened shop here. and swee choon’s are cheaper!

8 05 2011
Christine Leow

was*

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