Nicholas Lander, the restaurant critic at the Financial Times, was one of a number of food fans excited by reports that Din Tai Fung is to open its first outlet in London.
The Taiwanese dumpling chain has more than a hundred restaurants in mainland China, as well as spread across countries like Japan, Australia and the US. But London is one of the major missing links in its global footprint.
Din Tai Fung is best known for its soup-and-pork filled dumplings (known as Xiao long bao, see WiC8), a dim sum that originated as a Shanghai delicacy. Harvard Business School has even written a case study about the company and its visionary founder Yang Bingyi.
Lander reports in the Financial Times that Din Tai Fung sells 2.3 million Xiao long bao every month, each made to exacting standards. The filling must weigh 16 grams, the case another 5g, and the circumference must be 6.5cm. Each of the dumplings must be pleated 18 times too.
Despite all the hard work, the end result is very affordable. A steamed basket featuring five of the original recipe pork Xiao long bao dumplings (purchased in Taipei) costs just NT$100, or $3.15.
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