Most of you in Singapore should be quite familiar with Din Tai Fung, which is one of the best restaurants to go for good xiao long bao. Back at home, I frequent Din Tai Fung a lot as an ex-boss of mine is a big fan of theirs so whenever we arrange for a catch up meal, we always end up there. She’s never sick of it, lol.
When I was at Johor Bahru City Square, I spotted the opening of the first Din Tai Fung outlet in JB. Instead of finding somewhere new to try, the husband and I decided to have dinner there. He had cravings for Din Tai Fung for quite a while and I was curious to find out how the standard would match up to Singapore’s too. But I guess what really motivated our decision was the hard-to-beat currency exchange rate that seemed to make dining here a very wallet-friendly affair. 😉
Din Tai Fung
Lot J2-06, 07, 08, 09, Level 2
Johor Bahru City Square Shopping Mall
106 – 108 Jalan Wong Ah Fook
80000 Johor Bahru
11.00am to 10.00pm (Mon-Thu)
10.00am to 10.00pm (Fri-Sun)
Tel: +60 7 2070 069
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DinTaiFungMalaysia/
Queue was quite long and we had to wait for about 20 minutes or so which wasn’t too bad given that we were quite close to peak dinner time. From the moment we were in the queue till we were seated at a table, we really appreciated the impeccable service from the staff who noticed that both of us were carrying a lot of stuffs (our shopping haul from Kaison @ AEON Tebrau City). She had helped us put away our things behind the cashier counter just so we could sit comfortably at the table and then used a cloth napkin to protect the husband’s backpack (from possible spills and stains) that was jutting out the bag storage next to our table. She also immediately pulled another chair to our table just so I could put my bag on it. Such initiative and thoughtfulness – she’s really a role model for the F&B service industry. ??
Food wise, we ordered some of our usual dishes and added two which we had not tried before.
The Crispy Shrimp & Pork Wontons (RM7.50) were served hot and fresh. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. Yum.
We were kinda disappointed when this Crispy Prawn Cake (RM17.40) was served because the portion was miserable. The prawn cake was small and thin but the good thing was that we could taste the crunch of fresh prawns in it and it was very well seasoned too. Still didn’t think it was worth the price tag though.
The Xiao Long Bao (RM21) here were also made on the spot. Served steaming hot and fresh, with plenty of flavoursome broth in every dumpling. So comforting to dig into them.
I would never leave DTF without ordering a fried rice. Such a common dish that anyone could also make at home anytime but the Pork Fried Rice (RM18.50) here had a lot of wok hei. I just loved how the rice grains weren’t clumpy (粒粒分明) and every mouthful was just packed with so much flavour. There was definitely MSG but I was glad they didn’t go over the top because we didn’t feel extremely thirsty after the meal unlike what we had at Dragon-i Restaurant previously.
The Braised Beef Noodle Soup (RM24.50) was another hearty and comforting dish. The broth was robust but wasn’t overly salty or greasy. Could really taste the richness of beef in it. Noodles were done just right – not too soft and still with a slight chew. The beef chunks that had tendons and fats were amazingly tender and flavoursome. It was definitely one of the best braised beef noodle soups we had.
We also ordered the Spicy Egg Tofu with Minced Pork (RM16.80) which I forgot to take a picture of. It was like fried egg tofu and minced pork in a chilli bean paste (辣豆瓣酱) sauce. 很下飯 (went really well with rice).
The whole meal worked out to be just under SGD35 which was about 50% cheaper as it would have cost more than SGD70 back home in Singapore. There wasn’t any service charge. Prices indicated already included 6% GST.
Very satisfying meal. How could we not come back again? 🙂