This in­ter­na­tional chain of restau­rants be­gan life as a hum­ble lit­tle cook­ing oil re­tailer. But as fac­tory-pro­duced oil be­came the norm, this fam­ily shop be­gan sell­ing xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings) in the 1980s and it quickly be­came the main­stay. Din Tai Fung be­came a fully-fledged restau­rant by the decade’s end and there are cur­rently nine lo­ca­tions in Tai­wan, plus over­seas op­er­a­tions in Hong Kong and Main­land China as well as eight other coun­tries in­clud­ing Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore, South Korea, In­done­sia and the US. But loy­al­ists still swear by the flag­ship in Xinyi dis­trict, where a queue is con­stantly seen as it has been for decades. The xiao long bao (NT200/$6.70 for 10 pieces) is, of course, a must, but there are plenty other dishes to choose from, rang­ing from house steamed chicken soup, sautéed shrimp and var­i­ous types of steamed buns to fried rice and soup noo­dles. The Tai­wanese beef noo­dles (NT220/$7.40) here are so good we lick the bowl clean ev­ery time.

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