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Monday, March 26, 2012

Din Tai Fung Chinese - Central World, Bangkok

Din Tai Fung Central World, Bangkok

Overall Score  5/10
Taste  3/5
Ambiance 3.5/5
Service  3.5/5
Value  2/5

Din Tai Fung - Chinese Restaurant on BuMRes.com

The Din Tai Fung is a Chinese restaurant from Taiwan.  Based on my knowledge, this restaurant was renowned and famous in Singapore and other cities.  A location of this brand somewhere has a Michelin star to hold up the pride.  I don’t think it is the one in Singapore because there is no Michelin guide book in Singapore yet.  When I first found out that this place was going to be opened at Central World, I was counting days.  The restaurant was opened on May 1st, 2011 but I actually didn’t go on the date but only a couple months later.  Still at the beginning of their business, the place already had the digital counting numbers for the waiting queue like the one you find at the bank.  I was stunned with their greeting (I found it unnecessary).   The Din Tai Fung must be so confident about their greatness.  I had to wait for 40 minutes to get the seat, unbelievable!

Service staffs were imported from somewhere; they couldn’t speak Thai at all.  They were speaking English to me but I managed to order everything.  I wonder if these foreign workers will go back after the business is running steadily.  Then I saw many non-Thai customers, perhaps servers were supposed to take care of the international guests. 

When I first saw the menu, all I could think about was the word, “Expensive.”  There weren’t as many main dishes to choose from like any other Chinese restaurants in the city.  Dim Sum seemed to offer a variety but in fact, the selections were like the Rice buns of different stuffing, not the variety in types.  Then the Noodles section had about 10 choices; each of them cost around 200 Baht.      

First one to come to the table was the Fried Rice with crispy fried pork.  Presentation was like a kid’s menu.   The look was deceiving; this fried rice was more delicious than it appeared.  But, this rice still couldn’t beat the Chinese Fried Rice at Yaowarat.  Second dish was the Siew Lon Pao with shrimp (dumplings), which was just not good; flour wrap was so dry and weird.  I didn’t like it at all.  Third one was a Shrimp Shumai in an awkward shape, squished in the middle and tried to look like a flower.   After I had one piece, I didn’t want to have more at all.  Similar to the dumpling earlier, it was dry, bland, and had too much flour.  What the heck is going on here? All dishes were so colorless and boring; please see photos. 

Fourth dish at Din Tai Fung was the egg noodle with boiled chicken.  The noodle was brought by itself, dry and plain without seasoning.  And the chicken soup was served on the side.  The broth was boring, so bland to almost no flavor.  I had to pour the soup into the noodle bowl; the soup bowl was so hot.  Why do I have to burn my hand to even get the taste of nothing?  The chicken was overcooked.  I was about to go insane by this point.  The next one was a traditional Siew Lon Pao, which tasted better than the other one.  Sixth was the crispy fried dumpling, which was a hard one to go wrong.  Large pieces of the dumpling had stuffing that went well with the sweet plum sauce.  These two choices calmed me down a bit.

Next up, the seventh dish was the egg noodles with shrimp dumplings.  The noodle and the broth was exactly the same as the bowl earlier except this one had a more enjoyable shrimp dumplings, otherwise this dish would have failed as well.  Last one was a dessert, which shouldn’t have even come to the table.  This big block of flour was just miserable.  Some of you may like it but my friends and I thought that it was no good. 

For the party of three, the total damage for this meal at Din Tai Fung was 1,842 Baht of a mistake since none of us were satisfied.   For 600 Baht per person, we mostly received the carbohydrate from all the flour in everything.  Even with more Protein, the taste would still be bland.  My friends and I were so disappointed at this Chinese restaurant.  What about all the Michelin pride in the name? Well, I guess the franchise already ruined the name.  Why do the international guests seem to like the food so much? It must be the mild flavor.  We, Thai palates don’t belong here then.  I will keep my eyes out for this spot, to see how long they would last.  But, I will never go in there again since I already have a great Chinese restaurant with tasty food and priced three times lower in front of my house.  The name is the Din Tai Foo (it’s funny how the names are similar but the offerings are so different) 


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