Today I got a chance to go to the original location of the world famous Din Tai Fung. It's the one where you walk through the kitchen to get to the dining room. Along with my friends from the states, we waited over an hour for a table of four. Despite getting there early at 5:15, there was still a mass of people outside. So if your craving xiaolongbao from the original location show up REALLY EARLY or be prepared with cellphone games and hopefully be waiting with friends. Why would you go alone!? Well...the kitchen is no longer a kitchen. It's now partitioned with a big glass window and there's a small payment counter and a table. One single table for that lucky person that gets to eat in part of the original kitchen. The rest of us get to walk upstairs to the dining room. It's still a very narrow pathway and stairwell. The waitresses come out of a different stairwell that is so steep and narrow, it looks like they're climbing out of a cubby hole from the second floor. Moving on to the food. The xiaolongbao is excellent. It's the same great taste you get from the other locations. So if you could care less about the nostalgic feel and long wait, then by all means seek their other locations. And while your there, you definitly have to try out the red oil wontons (红油抄手). Fantastic!!!
Photos by Jeff Parker