11 Aug, 2019
Din Tai Fung arrived in London at the end of last year, amid levels of hype seldom seen even in this most hyperbolic of industries. To be honest, the hype put us off a little.
Their origin story – cooking-oil retailer in Taipei falls on hard times, wife starts selling dumplings out of a hole in the wall as a sideline, global superbrandhood and Michelin stardom, subsequently recalibrated to Bib Gourmand-dom after rigid cost parameters were introduced, ensues – may have been unimpeachably cute, but there was something a little too well-oiled about the machinery (their website is more expensive-looking than a James Cameron movie).
Then some friends went, and returned, saucer-eyed with delight, gibbering excitedly at the sheer wonderfulness of it all. Leave was cancelled. Space was cleared in the diary. After a light breakfast, we went for lunch last week. And yes – it was, largely, wonderful.