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Hong Kong & Taiwan Dumpling Wars

Dumplings
Hong Kong & Taiwan Dumpling Wars

While hot sausage and mustard may have been what Oliver Twist and his hungry cohorts craved, dumplings and Chinese mustard would be more likely to inspire people to burst into song today. Two dumpling restaurants – one in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong – have earned Michelin stars and become destinations in their own right.

Ranked as one of the world’s Top Ten Best Restaurants by The New York Times, Din Tai Fung has its roots dating back to Taiwan 46 years ago, when the owner of a cooking oil store noticed that more and more of his customers were buying their oil prepackaged in tins rather than bringing their refillable bottles to him.  Casting about for a new business that he could launch, he turned half of his oil store into a dumpling shop.  Today, with its famous signature steamed pork dumplings and heart-warming steamed chicken soup, this authentic Taiwanese restaurant chain has a Michelin star and over 120 branches throughout the world.

Following closely on the heels of Din Tai Fung is Hong Kong originated Tim Ho Wan.  When chef Mak Kwai-Pui opened a hole-in-the-wall dumpling joint, crowds flocked there for top-quality Hong Kong dim sum at rock-bottom prices. Then came a Michelin star. And the masses descended. A two-hour wait became a daily phenomenon, forcing Kwai-Pui to open multiple venues. Today there are nearly 50 Tim Ho Wan outlets.

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