Din Tai Fung: The restaurant Wichita needs for soup dumplings

Let’s review Din Tai Fung!

While in Las Vegas, one restaurant I wanted to visit because it was near our hotel was Din Tai Fung. It’s an upscale Chinese restaurant chain that’s known for their xiaolongbao, otherwise known as soup dumplings. There aren’t any restaurants that serve soup dumplings, which are delicate steamed dumpling often filled with a soup broth of some sort. Many places in Wichita serve dumplings and dumpling soup which is just dumplings sitting in a bowl of soup; way different.

I’ve been to the Seattle location, but was able to get some people in our group to join me for a late night dinner.

On our visit, we started our dinner with sweet and sour pork baby back ribs. There were roughly eight of them which was perfect for our party of four. They were meaty and more on the sweet side than anything.

The Las Vegas location only had three soup dumplings on the menu: a Kurobuta Pork, Crab & Kurobuta Pork and Truffle & Kurobuta Pork xiaolongbao. They came out steaming hot. I couldn’t wait. Just like a pizza roll, I popped one in my mouth and had an instantaneous burning pain that I fought through. Was it worth it? Yes. The soup was slightly salty yet incredibly flavorful. The dumplings themselves were incredibly soft to the touch. It was easily the best meal of my entire trip.

If you ever go, we’d also highly recommend the vegetable & Kurobuta pork wontons with house spicy sauce. The sauce really made the wontons pop. It was the delicious type of heat you couldn’t get enough of.

We did order some regular dumplings but they didn’t compare at all to the soup kind.

The third best part of our meal was the noodles with diced beef and Szechuan peppers. It was similar to the house spicy sauce earlier. The diced beef and Szechuan peppers had plenty of heat and the noodles were insanely good.

The food came at a cost, but it was worth it. The xaiolongbao (soup dumplings) were between $9.75 and $12.50 a piece, while the one with truffle was $30. The regular dumplings ranged between $10 and $12.75.

Soup dumplings take a long time to make, which certainly bumps up the price. They are rather labor intensive and as much as I’d love to have a restaurant serve them in Wichita, I’m not entirely sure our city is ready to pay the prices for the amount of food you get. If a restaurant does decide to serve them, I’ll make sure I put 10% of my salary towards keeping the place alive.

Someone, please bring xaiolongbao to Wichita.

Happy Dining,

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