The owners of Din Tai Fung recently opened a second location—one block away—just for the spillover. The dumplings are that good. Steamed buns (two to an order) are pillows of rice flour bearing bites of cooked-down pork. Sheer crab and pork purses erupt with juices at the first nibble. Service has a snap and an elegance, and though there’s always a wait, once seated at a table you never feel hurried.
Best Dumpling House, June 2006
Resident Chinese foodies—and others who’ve done their legwork—may recommend the newest seafood house or chandelier-lit dim sum hall to acquaintances, but for close friends and family they name Din Tai Fung
. The Taiwanese-owned, Shanghai-style dumpling house tops our list because, unlike many splashier places we know, each dish is still flawless. The soup dumplings are delicate and bursting with intense broth; the tissue-thin dumpling wrappers are made from a proprietary flour blend, and the five-spice-infused fried pork chop always crackles with the scent of fresh oil. The house chicken broth is so potent, it’s offered in diminutive bowls—pricey black chicken is said to be the secret ingredient. The operation is expanding, but to avoid a long wait we advise going during off-hours.