Din Tai Fung, Sydney

Traveling with my parents means double the amount of food photos. My mom was never a big photographer, always being the one to ask, “which button do I press?” just to take a photo. However, give my dad and I cameras, and we’ll be snap-happy. Give my dad and I cameras and some good food, and, well, I feel bad for my mom having to deal with two fools taking close-up shots of food in a busy restaurant.

When my parents were in town, we stopped at  Din Tai Fung, which is a chain restaurant with origins in China. We first spotted the dumplings at the Pitt Street Mall food court, but we ventured to World Square so that we could sit down at a place that was not a food court. The restaurant at World Square is not in a food court per se, but the rush and chatter of the place is enough for you to believe you are in one. The place was packed. While you wait for your table, or in some cases, spot at a shared table, you fill out an order form.Although I do eat fish, most dishes included pork or some other meat, which limited the menu tremendously for me. However, I was able to order vegetarian dumplings while my parents ordered pork and shrimp dumplings.We also bought some Dan Dan noodles. We soon realized that the noodles were not meant to be shared. The family next to us gave us some severe glances when we tried to divide and scoop the noodles into our dishes. First we tried using our chopsticks, followed by the small soup spoon. We ended up passing around the bowl of noodles as if we were playing Hot Potato, looking like silly Americans. Despite our antics, the Dan Dan noodles were delicious. I even tried to slurp up the sauce at the end, only to add to our clear misunderstanding of Chinese dining etiquette.

My final word on Din Tai Fung? Definitely a good spot to eat some scrumptious dumplings and to experience a dining culture. The fast-paced restaurant is not a cozy, romantic spot, nor is it particularly in favor of vegetarians, but nonetheless, the food served here is noteworthy.

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