The opening of Din Tai Fung’s first London instalment has become the stuff of legend throughout the city, with rumours of four- or five-hour long queues circulating regularly. It’s not hard to see why; this dumpling chain is the largest in the world with over 160 sites worldwide with Michelin stars awarded to the Hong Kong and Macau branches. Now the renowned brand is set to launch its third London site in Centre Point.
This move is said to have been in the works since 2019. Since then, Din Tai Fung has already opened another branch in Covent Garden, but have now confirmed that the Centre Point site will be opening in September 2022, just in time for the 60th anniversary of Centre Point itself. Located above the Arcade Food Hall a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court Road station, this prime location is sure to drive traffic towards this already immensely popular restaurant.
The obvious star of the show here is the xiao long bao, available with steamed chilli crab, pork and vegetable jiao zi, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. The dumplings go through royal treatment, with 40 minutes of hand preparation devoted to each one and a different chef at each stage of the preparation process, all of whom have undergone up to six months of training. A minimum of 18 folds are added before the buns are steamed and served, hot and fresh, to salivating customers.
The new Centre Point site will see some interesting features. A separate bar area will be installed where guests can enjoy the range of signature Din Tai Fung cocktails. As with the Selfridges site, food will be served by adorable little robots, who spin around the restaurant with wide eyes and smiles on their faces.
It remains to be seen whether the Centre Point venue will attract a four-hour queue, but one thing’s for sure: Din Tai Fung is a smash hit wherever it goes.