Taipei was amazingggg! It was my first time there and it almost usurped Seoul as my favourite Asian city for cheapish and awesome shopping matched squarely by its cheapish and hearty fooding.
After picking us up from the airport, Armstrong, Stella and Stella's mum took us to lunch. We were given a choice of braised pork rice or Ding Tai Fung. Given we had just been on a four and a half hour flight, we decided on the more comfortable option - Ding Tai Fung at Taipei 101 (http://www.dintaifung.com.tw/en/index.asp).
Sure, we might have the famous xiao long bao chain here in Singapore but the Ding Tai Fung in Taipei is fabled to be much better than those overseas.
The proof is in the dumpling.
Besides xiao long baos, we also tucked ferociously into familiar favourites including wantons in chili oil, fried rice with deep-fried pork chops, steamed pork and vegetable dumplings.
There were slight differences between the offerings in Taipei and Singapore, for example, Taipei has additional cold appetizers such as pickled cabbage and Shanghai bean sprouts, and a delicious 'Secret Menu' dish (dry noodles) that yup, can't be found on the printed menu.
Other than the fact that the xiao long baos were a tad less "porky" and wantons in chili oil were twice the size of ours, I'm pretty pleased with what we get back at home.
Was it loads better than what we have back in Singapore? Well, tough call - the problem with Singapore is consistency so I have had “blah and bland” to “I can't believe a chain could be this good good”.
Though I won’t asked you to drop everything to have lunch at Ding Tai Fung Taipei 101, lunch was unapologetically satisfying. Ok, maybe just drop 90% of your friends on Facebook since you hardly talk to them anyway.