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World-Famous Dumpling Specialist Din Tai Fung Explains Why London, Why Now

Cult Taiwanese restaurant says it wants to expand across the U.K. after opening two restaurants in London

A steamer of xiao long bao. Din Tai Fung [Official Photo]

Din Tai Fung, the world-famous Taiwanese dumpling brand which has confirmed two London openings in the next six months — the first of which is now open — has told QSR Media that it hopes to bring its celebrated xiaolongbao to “a foodie capital of the world.”

The company’s U.K. director Xue Feng reflected on the chain’s status as a destination for travellers as much as local residents: “Din Tai Fung is very fortunate to have become a food must-try destination across Asia; we get to cater for numerous travellers, many of which have for a long time been asking us to come to the UK and Europe.” It was reported that further regional expansion was on the chain’s radar. Eater understands, however, that the two London restaurants are the priority for the foreseeable future.

That must-try food — xiaolongbao, shao mai, noodle soups, and steamed buns — will be as close to its Taiwanese mother restaurants as possible: “Our UK menu is not a compromised version for the local market ... We believe that London, being a foodie capital of the world, would not accept any less than that.”

Feng also explained that Din Tai Fung’s arrival not just be about the restaurants: ingredients specially grown for the company will be coming too, to ensure the consistent excellence that makes the greatest chains what they are. With hotpot specialists Hai Di Lao, Istanbul’s BunCo and Spain’s celebrity magnet Amazonico just a few of the international operators picking now to move in on London — while local chain contemporaries struggle, no less — the uniqueness of Din Tai Fung’s offering will be crucial to ensuring success. And huge, established investment, of course. Feng made standards a priority with concluding remarks:

From the very beginning, the Yang family were adamant about the highest quality standards at every stage of the food preparation to ensure consistency in every single dish. Finally, their original flavours can only be achieved by using the best ingredients. Some key ingredients such as flour, rice and sauces are specially grown or produced specifically for Din Tai Fung and brought from Taiwan to ensure consistent taste.