Thursday, 28 October 2010

Let's Bring Din Tai Fung to London

[Update Feb 2012: Please visit Din Tai Fung London Fan Club and sign the petition to bring this restaurant to London.]

Xiao long bao @ Din Tai Fung (photo courtesy of Chensiyuan, Wikipedia)
Last week, I wrote a post called Wish You Were Here, in which I dared to dream of a better world where some of the top Chinese restaurant groups set up shop in London. Dreams don't come true, do they? Well they don't unless you do something about it. So inspired by Cheese and Biscuits' campaign to bring the esteemed burger chain, In-N-Out to London, I'm asking my loyal readers (all nine of you) to help bring Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) to the capital.

This restaurant is renowned for its Shanghai-style dim sum, in particular its legendary soup-filled dumplings, xiao long bao (小籠包). Whilst Din Tai Fung isn't at the top of my wish list; it is the only one that operates outside of Asia and is therefore most likely to open in the UK. After all, if they have branches in Los Angeles, Sydney and Seattle, there's no reason why Din Tai Fung can't open in London?

I know some of you might be concerned that Din Tai Fung is a chain but it's not as if it's the dumpling equivalent of Pizza Hut. There are only around 50 restaurants worldwide and quality control is taken very seriously. But don't just take my word for it, as the blogosphere is full of praise for this restaurant e.g. there are no less than three posts about Din Tai Fung in the esteemed World Foodie Guide

I know it's a long shot but the more of you who write in to Din Tai Fung, the greater the chance that they will open in London. So please click on the link below and let the management know how badly we want their dumplings:


  1. I left a message on their website. Fingers crossed!

  2. Why don't we open a branch ourselves ..... I hate my job and need a change (again) .....

    Added a message myself on their website .....

  3. I'm in, for sure! I'm headed to Taipei in a few weeks and revisiting DTF there is at the top of my list. While I'm there, I'll try to put in a face-to-face request!

  4. Chris - thanks! Wouldn't be it great if we lived in a London that had both In-N-Out and Din Tai Fung.

    Mzungu - don't think I haven't thought about it myself. Fancy going halves on pitching for a franchise?

    A-in-L - lucky lucky you! Taipei is just the most amazing foodie city and not just because it's the birthplace of DTF. It'd be great if you did it the old fashioned way and presented a petition in person!

  5. Got a reply!

    Dear Mr. Chris,

    Thank you for your email and thank you for liking Din Tai Fung.
    We will pass on your request to the superior and related departments for evaluation.

    Thank you for your understanding.
    We hope to serve you in our restaurants around the world.

    Din Tai Fung Customer Services Department

  6. I received the same response from Din Tai Fong that Chris did. : )

  7. Chris/A-in-L - Me too. I hope Din Tai Fung take note!

  8. Same response form them as well.

    For sure I'd go halves ....

  9. Haha - this would be amazing if it happened. Imagine Saturdays and Sundays would be changed for pretty much ever!

  10. Mzungu - we could expand the idea further and set up a bloggers' co-operative to raise the funds!

    TomEats - you never know! I still can't believe Seattle is their third non-asian outpost after LA and Sydney. You'd think London, Toronto, New York or Melbourne might be in the mix first.

  11. @Mr. Noodles - there are a *ton* of Chinese living in Seattle -- more so than in London, I'd reckon. Maybe that's a factor for them. And New York is over-saturated with xiao long bao (though obviously there is always room for improvement).

  12. A-in-L - A quick google also reveals that the Seattle branch is located near the US HQ of HTC, a Taiwanese tech firm. I guess this explains a lot, as DTF originates from Taiwan.

    Coupled with the local Chinese populace, I guess it's a no brainer that they're setting up in Seattle.

  13. I ate there in Taipei and it was great!
    We have Din Tai Fung in Tokyo, but I would love to see one in London too.

  14. sight - welcome and thanks! I'm off to Tokyo shortly and I'm really looking forward to the food there.

  15. Hi!
    I spent 4years in Taiwan and now I live close to London .. I remember I read in an Italian magazine that Din Tai Fung was planing to open branches in Paris and London .. but reading your article seems like they haven't yet. Pity! I have to go back to Taiwan to enjoy their food again!

  16. Andrea - welcome! I also remember talk of Din Tai Fung opening in Europe, a few years ago. But alas it seems they have yet to do so. I know that some of their operations overseas are franchises, so perhaps some dumpling loving business types might want to take a chance!?