Din Tai Fung

Mike and I tried the #1 restaurant in Hong Kong on Tripadvisor - and it was very easy to see why. It originates in Taiwan, but has branches all along the Pacific rim (maybe one will open in Vancouver?) It once ranked as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world by the New York Times, and the one we went to in Tsim Sha Tsui received one Michelin star when it first opened.

The food was quite good, but I was blown away by the service. Maybe it's just because I'm used to being ignored in a Chinese restaurant, but the waitresses were very friendly from the start. Here are some examples of why I thought the service was so great:
  • Waitresses poured tea for us... not just the first time, but throughout the meal
  • They refilled our tea pot for us - without us asking
  • Not only did the menu have English, it had pictures for every single item
  • They asked what order we wanted the food brought out
  • Any backpacks (or large bags) were covered by a large napkin so that sauce wouldn't get on them
  • They switched our plates for "dessert"
  • They actually wipe down the tables - there weren't those yucky reused white tablecloths
  • The waitress waited for us to pay, instead of rushing us out
  • Clean washroom!

This place was made famous by their xiao long bao. I won't say it's the best I've ever had, but it was pretty delish.

We went for a late lunch at 2pm so luckily there was no wait, as I hear there's usually a long queue. We weren't even that hungry at the time, but we finished everything. The price was quite affordable too! It was about $25 CDN for the two of us (comparable to Vancouver anyway... I still haven't gotten over how cheap other food in Hong Kong is).

In short, if I ever find myself really hungry in Asia in a country where I can't speak the language, I just have to find a Din Tai Fung branch and point to the pictures. At least I won't starve!

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