OPENS EARLY 2020
If you trace Taiwanese restaurant royalty Din Tai Fung back to its roots, you will find it was doing the one-item menu trick decades before London caught on. This xiao long bao specialist came from humble beginnings, but nearly four decades on it is an industry byword for superlative steamed soup-filled dumplings.
Founded by default in Taipei in 1980 (the owners needed to make ends meet on the premises of their cooking oil business when it threatened to fold), it became so successful that it has since branched out, and now boasts branches across Asia, some with Michelin stars to their name, plus much-lauded venues in Australia, the US and Dubai.
This Centre Point site is the brand's second London location, following its debut Covent Garden site which opened in December 2018. The restaurant sits in the space formerly occupied by short-lived Vivi: a 60’s-themed restaurant that was favoured by the stars of Love Island, but closed its doors after just six months.
Din Tai Fung’s signature dish may be its xiao long bao, but there are plenty of other dishes to choose from on its extensive menu. Starters and small plates include the likes of pork and vegetable wontons or chopped cucumbers in a spicy sauce, while larger offerings see pork chop with egg fried rice and noodle soup topped with braised beef.
If you can’t get enough of Din Tai Fung’s signature steamed buns, you can even enjoy them at dessert. Order the red bean xiao long bao which are filled with chocolate ‘lava’, or stick to a slightly more conventional dessert with cubes of chilled Osmanthus jelly.
Din Tai Fung is not the only food offering in the Centre Point building, as upmarket street food hall Arcade Food Theatre can be found on the buildings ground floor, housing casual spin-offs of big names such as Casa do Frango and Lina Stores.