Hurrah for visitors.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Visitors, so many reasons to love them:

 1) They inspire momentary clean living. Without visitors, we wouldn’t experience the thrill of creatively hiding dirty laundry and kids toys in order to pretend our abode looks like a double page spread from Better Homes and Gardens all the time.

2)  They’re usually folks we haven’t seen in a while, so it’s a great excuse to crack open a good bottle of wine or bubbly to celebrate.

3)    The fridge gets stocked with all sorts of  special nibblies – “for the guests” of course.

4)    They’re just plain fun!

Obviously, to really celebrate with our visiting guests, a night out on the town was called for.  But with three kids in tow, it turned out to be more of an “early evening” out on the town. Which was actually a good thing in retrospect.

We found ourselves at Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese dumpling chain, at around 6ish, and managed to get a shared table pretty much straightaway. I’d only vaguely heard about this place (yes, I don’t get out much), so I wasn’t sure why they wouldn’t let us eat at the “outdoor seating” area.  It turned out that this was the waiting area, and by the time we left the restaurant after our meal, a sizeable crowd had gathered here. So the moral of this story is: eat out at toddler-friendly mealtimes and you’re sorted.

The waiting game

It turned out to be a fantastic night. The food was tasty enough, although the menu is pretty pork heavy, but what made it such a memorable night was the “fun”ness of it all. From the décor that doesn’t take itself too seriously right down to the zany coloured drinks, our Din Tai Fung experience was one I’d gladly repeat. Preferably with friends ☺

Here are some pics from our night.

 Peep into the kitchen and watch the dumpling masters at work

 The interior is decorated with culinary items, like these bowls. There were also steamer lids and giant chopsticks

Whoa, you're spinning me out man..., 

Don't be alarmed by the weird green drink.  It was a lychee, mint ice blended type drink, and it was SO refreshing and utterly delicious. The red one was watermelon juice.

Noodles in pork broth with fried pork strips on the side - for the kids. They loved it.

 This is a bad shot of some very unassuming looking noodles called Dandan Noodles. They turned out to be the best noodle dish of the night. The base was spicy peanut sauce base with sesame in it too. Very interesting.

 Forgot the name of these noodles. They came with minced pork, bits of pickle and soybeans.

Drunken chicken. It was ok, but we weren't overly bowled over by it, probably because it was served very cold (think refrigerator cold) rather than room temperature cold. Maybe it's a cultural thing we didn't get.

Tofu with pork floss and century egg. Again, served really cold. Only I was interested in this dish, although MC Senior ate the tofu and pork floss, and one of our friends braved an egg slice. (He wasn't a convert. ) Hard to pass judgement on this dish because I don't know if they made each component at the restaurant or whether it was a case of just assembling the various bits. I liked all the various bits but in was neither here nor there.

 Soup filled dumplings. This is what the restaurant is famous for, and they do deliver. These were pork ones, and were very tasty.

 But these pork and prawn jiaozi ones were even tastier, prompting us to order an extra helping. Even Mr. Kitchen Hand really liked them and he's really not that into prawns, so that's saying a lot!

Speaking of friends, we have more visitors with us this weekend, so Malaysian Monday might be a tad late.

Have a wonderful weekend, and see you real soon.

Din Tai Fung Sydney
Shop 11.04, World Square Shopping Centre,
644 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

 On the way back to our car, we were treated to the sight of random fireworks. What a way to end the eveing :)


grace said...

i imagine that you are one of the finest hostesses ever, so bravo for that. me, i'm not much of an entertainer...i like to be entertained. :)

Anh said...

This post makes me want to fly back to Sydney asap :) Love Din Tai Fung!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Love the dumplings from Din Tai Foong but haven't been there since New shanghai has opened two outlets in Chatswood!

3 hungry tummies said...

Hey Shaz I love visitors for the same reasons lol
We are still waiting for a Din Tai fong here in Melbourne.
The second noodle dish is Zhajiangmian. Both drunken chicken and the cold tofu dish are served cold but not straight out of the fridge, it must be the health and safety regulations here in Australia.

pierre said...

these little dumplings are very tempting !! Pierre

shaz said...

grace - I'm sure you're a fine hostess! I'd love a slice of your mint choc pie :)

Anh - but you have so many great culinary treasures in Melbourne that I'm envious about!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - oooh, new places to try, thanks!

3 hungry tummies - thanks for the name. And I kind of thought that might be the reason for the ultra-coldness of the dishes.

pierre - and very tasty too!

Kirbie said...

Love DTF! But I've only been to ones in Taipei and LA. I haven't tried a lot of the dishes you had either. Must try some of them next time.