In celebration of its 12th year in Singapore, Din Tai Fung has unveiled 12 new dishes which are exclusively available at their flagship restaurant in Paragon Orchard.
Spearheaded by a team of passionate chefs and food technologist, the new creations took an entire year to develop and take form. These dishes are in line with Din Tai Fung’s approach to food- simple, harmonious and balanced. Out of the 12 new items, 5 of them are suitable for vegetarians to enjoy.
We started the meal with 4 chilled starters, which were all very refreshing and healthy. The Chinese Yam Steep in Umeshu & Cherry Tomato Dressing ($7.80) took me by surprised upon my first mouthful. The flavours were amazing! Chinese Yam is steeped in Japanese plum wine for 12 hours for a hint of sweet-sour tang, then topped with cherry tomato dressing for a touch of sweetness. Chinese Yam is high in nutrients and fibre, aids digestion and boost immunity.
The Refreshing Bittergourd Marinated with Black Bean Sauce ($5.50) comprises of bittergourd that has been generously marinated with a specially concocted black bean sauce. Each piece of bittergourd is identically sized to ensure consistency during the cooking process resulting in consistent texture. Despite it numerous health benefits, I usually steer away from this nutritious vegetable, however, thanks to Din Tai Fung’s robust marinade, the bitterness was toned down and I found myself reaching for a couple more.
Black fungus in the Black Fungus with Ginger Strips & Vinegar Dressing ($5.50) is imported from Taiwan, then blanched to retain its vitamins, crunchiness and glossy black shade. It’s then lightly tossed in an invigorating roasted sesame and vinegar dressing, along with ginger strips and wolfberries. The wolfberries are imported from Ningxia, a region in China that produces premium wolfberries.
Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. In the Cucumber Dressed with Garlic & Chilli Oil ($5.30), fresh Japanese cucumbers are paired harmoniously with garlic and chilli oil. The slight heat and robust dressing highlights the natural sweetness of the cucumbers. The texture of the Japanese cucumbers were wonderful- each bite rewards with a resounding crunch. My personal favourite among the 4 new appetizers.
Vegetarians can now enjoy Din Tai Fung’s signature 18-fold dumpling with the Steamed Assorted Mushroom Dumplings Infused with Truffle Oil ($11.30/6pcs, $16.80/ 10pcs). Four varieties of mushroom are use to provide an umami flavour. The mushrooms are lightly stirred-fried and then further elevated with truffle oil, which is imported from Italy. No additional condiments are required to savour these fantastic dumplings. If you prefer something more filling, go for the larger bun version instead. The Steam Assorted Mushroom Buns Infused with Truffle Oil ($2/pc, $5.80/3pcs) have the same filling, encased in pillowy soft steamed buns.
Fans of Mei Cai Kou Rou (梅菜扣肉) will adore the Steamed Preserved Vegetables with Char Siew Buns ($2/pc, $5.80 /3 pcs). Preserved vegetables, with a distinct piquant taste, are balanced out with a blend of premium pork belly and pork loin. The former is braised for 1.5 hours in a rich braising liquid, enhanced with a hint of sweetness by way of malt sugar, then combined with leaner pork loin. This results in a filling that is juicy, but not oily. The flavour is further enhanced with a dash of rice wine and sweet rice vinegar.
Bite into the light crust coating and discover a delicate tofu accentuated with a hint of crunch, courtesy of fresh water chestnut, mushrooms, sweet carrots and black fungus. To achieve a golden brown crust, each cube of tofu is deep-fried at optimum oil temperature. In addition, the moist tofu is specially designed by chefs to retain its soft texture after deep frying. Dip the Deep-fried Handmade Tofu with Water Chestnuts & Mushrooms ($8.60) into the sweet chilli sauce for optimum enjoyment.
Another personal favourite that night was the Yam Paste wrapped in Crispy Spring Roll ($6.60). Perfectly fried, the crispy spring roll encases smooth and fragrant yam paste combined with soft yam strips for textual variation.
Hidden within these elegantly stamped buns are explosions of savoury salted egg yolk and sweet custard. Din Tai Fung’s Steamed Custard Buns ($2/pc, $5.80/ 3pcs), oozed almost endlessly. Just look at that amount of gold! No judgment if you want a second serving *winks*.
Wrap up the meal with a chilled bowl of Double-boiled Snow Pear & Coral Seaweed with Red Dates Soup ($7.80). Double-boiled to extract the natural sweetness and nutrients from the ingredients, the cooling dessert soup is so apt for Singapore’s hot weather (and haze). Nourishing snow pears helps to dispel “body heat”, plump dates reduces fatigue while coral seaweed improves digestion and is a good source of collagen. For those who like light and mildly sweet desserts, this is for you.
For something more decadent, go for the Finely Mashed Yam Paste with Pumpkin & Gingko Nuts ($5.30). Din Tai Fung rendition incorporates fragrant pandan syrup to complement the finely mashed yam. The lusciously smooth Teo Chew classic is completed with sweet pumpkin and gingko nuts.
Din Tai Fung @ Paragon has increased its seating capacity during the recent renovation. The restaurant now spans across 8,500 square feet, with 200 seats and 3 VIP rooms. Waiting time is now shorter than before 🙂
Many thanks to Denise and Din Tai Fung for the invite, and congratulations on your anniversary 🙂