Come June 24, diners in Abu Dhabi will be able to get their fill of Din Tai Fung's famed xiaolongbao and chilli noodles at The Galleria Al Maryah Island. The Taiwanese restaurant confirmed its opening date at the mall after years of anticipation.
Din Tai Fung has more than 100 outposts around the world, and first came to the UAE in 2015 when it opened at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. To date, it's almost impossible to get a table at the restaurant without some amount of waiting time.
After opening branches in The Dubai Mall, Al Ghurair Centre and Nakheel Mall, Din Tai Fung launched a delivery-only service in Abu Dhabi in November 2020, hinting even back then that a brick-and-mortar restaurant was in the pipeline for the capital, something it officially announced the following year.
Early 2022 may have become mid-2022, but the brand is living up its promise of opening a stand-alone Abu Dhabi restaurant. Just be prepared to queue up (the restaurant does not accept reservations).
Eight dishes to try at Din Tai Fung
Hands down the most popular dish, xiaolongbao or soup dumplings is dim sum filled with steaming broth. It's best eaten in one bite, but mind you don't scald your tongue. Din Tai Fung offers truffle chicken, mutton, scallops and crab xiaolongbao, starting from Dh16.
The Sichuan sauce here is not too spicy (there's no comparison to the Indian-Chinese iteration, for example), but it has a mild kick and tangy aftertaste. Options include vegetable, chicken and shrimp wantons, starting from Dh30.
For those who cannot choose between steamed and fried dumplings, potstickers are pan-fried and steamed at the same time, so they are at once moist and crunchy. Din Tai Fung offers mutton, shrimp and chicken potstickers, starting from Dh35.
Bean curd puffs
One for the vegans, this Shanghai-inspired dish is at once spongy, chewy and flavourful, and comes with tofu, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots and edamame, and costs Dh28.
Garlic egg fried rice
It's the simplest rice dish of them all (other options include beef-egg and chicken-shrimp-egg combos), but also arguably the tastiest. The rice is uber flavourful and soft without being limp, and the dish (Dh33) is also suitable for children.
If deep-fried anything is your idea of a cheat treat, Din Tai Fung does a mean batter-fried pancake stuffed with shredded, saucy prawns for Dh61.
Deemed a “house special”, these moreish, herbaceous noodles are laid on a bed of Din Tai Fung's signature umami sauce. A portion costs Dh33.
Dan dan noodles
If you've already had your fill of the restaurant's house sauce with your appetisers, this dish is a worthy main — and combines the noodles with a sesame-peanut sauce that makes for a delicious flavour change, for Dh35.