Rage Against Suburban Zombie-ism
Saturday, August 24, 2013
My Din Tai Fung
Ding Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung - Originally from Taiwan, but with various locations all over Asia and including 2 in the US. I didn't go to the real deal in Taipei, but I did get a chance to check out their Arcadia location in a 'burb outside of LA.
Atmosphere was clean and contemporary. Food, or at least what was ordered, matched the décor, clean tasting, fresh, and nothing greasy.
Din Tai Fung's famous for their xiaolongbao which translates to "soup dumpling", but I didn't order these 'cause there wasn't enough people to eat 'em all. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of these dumplings that look like baos (buns) and have hot liquid squeezing out of 'em when you bite into one! A common source for burning parts of your mouth.
What really stood out about Din Tai Fung was the service. I hate to say this about my people, but I couldn't believe that I was actually in a Chinese establishment! Servers were civilised, polite, and refined. Dishes were placed on the table, not pushed, empty plates were taken away in a timely fashion, and packed up in a nice container/bag. Servers were actually attentive!
I remember prices being very reasonable. Lunch for 2 was ~$15 which included an awesome iced milk tea! I left feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.
Now, onto the bastardised version that is located in Markham, ON... :S
Ding Tai Fung - different English spelling with exact same Chinese characters presents itself as a Shanghai Dim Sum place. I asked my mom about this and she said that the concept of Shanghai Vs. Taiwan dumplings is very similar!
Almost right off the bat, service was amiss. 1 menu for 4 people? Do I seriously hafta get out of my chair to ask you for another one??
(Aside: I honestly don't know why some Asian places, namely Chinese & Viet, are soo damn stingy with their menus. They are not made out of gold, I am not going to steal 'em...but I can't promise you that I won't take pics of it and post it on Yelp! Ha ha.)
I was with non-Chinese friends, so there goes my pet peeve of being the only Chinese person, in a Chinese restaurant, amongst non-Chinese. I can't explain how this irks me so. Maybe I should fully take the reigns and do all the ordering 'cause I don't like it when stuff like Fried Rice/Bok Choy is ordered when I would never order this shit!!!
(On another note, Fried Rice shouldn't even be on the menu of a Shanghainese place! So clearly it's for the Whitey/other non-Chinese patrons.)
It pains me more when the Fried Rice is dripping in oil and is $13.50 and the Bok Choy is like $8.99 and I eat none of it!!! Fried Rice for $13.50? Really, why don't I just buy a freakin' bag of rice myself and feed all the entire horn of Africa? Bok Choy = $8.99? Are you kiddin' me?? I eat this shit on a daily basis at home and a bag is like $2, that'll last a week!
So in short, the fake Ding Tai Fung is OVERPRICED! Lunch for 4, without me making the executive decision, was close to $75, before tips. (I think I could've shaved it down to about $50/55.) I was sorta stuffed, but I also left, feeling like promptly going on a detox diet 'cause there was soo much oil.
Now, back to the service...
As each dish rolled out, I'd hear, "Scuse me, Scuse me", then plate settings/existing dishes would be shoved over in favour of the new dish. In addition, dishes would be placed in very awkward spots, re: right in between diners! So again, a HUGE contrast from the original DTF.
If I were Din Tai Fung, I'd have a problem with another establishment hitching onto my success. So why hasn't this place been shutdown or at least forced to change their name? I wonder how much more money this Markham place has raked in 'cause people think it's the real deal??
Does anyone else have a problem with this or am I the only one?
posted by Stephania at 1:06 pm
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