If you miss dumplings and noodles, Din Tai Fung delivers a Chinese cook-at-home feast with a 50kms radius of Sydney's CBD. From perfect pleated dumplings to heat-and-eat lobster noodles, roast duck and truffle egg fried rice it's perfect for a weekend or Father's Day feast!
Din Tai Fung started its deliveries of frozen dumplings and foods in April 2020 after seeing a gap in the market for frozen foods that could be prepared at home at any time. And although Din Tai Fung is an international chain, the current frozen delivery service and offerings are unique to Australia. The current delivery radius is about 50km from the Sydney CBD but is expanding every day due to the growing demand.
Teddy the food inspector!
Din Tai Fung deliver in certain areas on certain days and everything arrives frozen from sauces, noodles, dumplings and meals. They come packed in their signature bags and they also give you extra steamer paper inserts. You can find cooking instructions online and some things can be thawed while others can be cooked from frozen. There is also currently a discount for frozen delivery where if you spend over $100 you receive $20 off and if you spend over $200 you receive $50 off.
I ordered things that were easy to heat aka steamed dumplings and dishes that were already cooked. There are some items that you need to deep fry but I don't like deep frying and I only tend to order deep fried things if someone else cooks it for me. It took about 25-30 minutes to heat up everything.
Frozen Prawn Hargow (12pcs) $16.90, Frozen Seafood Ingot Dumpling (12pcs) $16.90, Frozen Pork Bun (6pcs) $15
We start with both of our favourites: the prawn har gows which are fantastic value. These beauties are enormous and absolutely delicious. The seafood ingot dumplings can either be boiled or steamed but I prefer them steamed. These are very tasty with a range of prawn in them. I also recommend buying a jar of the Din Tai Fung chilli sauce which comes in a presentation box. It's garlicky, well seasoned with Szechuan peppercorns and very aromatic and you can add it to pretty much anything to add flavour with a mild heat.
The instructions also have a handy tip for cooking the pork buns in the microwave if you run out of room in your steamer (which was the case for me). You thaw them for an hour and then wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave each bun for 40 seconds. They came out perfectly and the buns have just the right amount of filling in them.
Frozen Black Truffle Pork Xiao Long Bao (12pcs) $38.90, Frozen Sichuan Mala Pork Xiao Long Bao (12pcs) $22.50
Din Tai Fung are known for their perfect pleating of their Xiao Long bao or soup dumplings. Each dumpling has 18 pleats and you can see how picture-perfect they are. Sometimes I've bought XLB frozen from Asian supermarkets and not all of them survive the steaming process intact as a few split open and the soup drains out but all of these xiao long bao steamed up perfectly. The last time I tried the truffle pork xiao long bao the truffle was very subtle but this time there's much more flavour to it. You want to eat these as they are, without chilli sauce or the dipping sauce to really discern the truffle aroma. My other favourite dumpling along with the har gows are the Sichuan Mala xiao long bao. You can tell the difference between these and the regular or truffle ones with the slight tinge of red chilli in these. These spicy Xiao Long Baos are new to me and Mr NQN fight over the last one. The chilli isn't super numbing but it gives the perfect amount of chilli flavour to these dumplings.
Frozen Shrimp & Pork Shao Mai (12pcs) $24
I also loved the shrimp and pork shao mai which had a little pocket of soup in them. They can tip over when they steam but they are absolutely tasty with that delicious soup, pork mince and a small prawn on top.
Frozen Shrimp & Pork Dumpling (8pcs) $15.90
The shrimp and pork dumplings are also delicious although they come in a 8 piece portion so I prefer the har gows because they're better value and they're all seafood which I prefer.
Frozen Stir Fried Black Pepper Lobster Noodle $27.90
One of the things I miss a lot are the lobster noodles at Chinese restaurants. It seems a bit excessive to buy a whole live lobster and noodles for just two people so I was excited to see that there was stir fried black pepper lobster noodles. These items are all heated up in the cardboard containers for 5 minutes in the microwave although this needed a bit more time. The lobster is a bit chewy and the noodles are quite soft although the flavour is really good. I think this is perhaps the only thing I wouldn't order again because of the texture.
Frozen Kung Pao Chicken Noodle with Egg & Cashew Nuts $17.90
The kung pao chicken noodles heated up perfectly and the noodles still had the perfect texture to them. There's a generous amount of chicken, fried egg and cashew nuts and a delicious gingery flavour to this dish.
Frozen Vegetarian Egg Fried Rice with Mushroom & Truffle Oil $12.50
The egg fried rice is a nice version of fried rice although the truffle oil is a bit mild in this.
Frozen Roast Duck (800g) $38 Frozen Plain Bao (8pcs) $10.50
I ordered the frozen roast duck to slip into the plain baos as most of the bao fillings required deep frying (fried chicken, tempura prawns, vegetable fritters). I roasted the thawed duck in the oven for 30 minutes. While the skin wasn't crispy it was so flavoursome and came in thick slices perfect for the baos. Just add some hoi sin, spring onion, cucumber, pickled ginger and mayo and it was absolutely heavenly. This is another favourite along with the Sichuan xiao long baos and the prawn har gows.
So tell me Dear Reader, what type of food do you miss the most? Are you much of a deep fryer at home?
NQN was offered the food but all opinions remain her own.
Din Tai Fung