Din Tai Fung is on the way to opening a London restaurant at Centre Point, nearly five years after first planning to do so. Having abandoned its initial space — and then opening its first London xiao long bao restaurant in Covent Garden — it has exchanged licenses on the cavernous former Vivi space at the development by Tottenham Court Road station. The opening has been in the works since late 2019, but according to a source in the building, it’s now actually in motion. Din Tai Fung has since confirmed that it will open the restaurant “in the second half of 2022.”
The 16,000-square-foot space, which in its former iteration as a tribute to 1970s mediocrity served 290 covers, should offer enough room for the open dumpling-preparation area that is a hallmark of its restaurant on Henrietta Street, from which emerge the meticulously pleated xiao long bao.
It has since opened another at Selfridges, which was a departure from the self-fulfilling prophecy of four-to-five hour queues that formed outside its Covent Garden restaurant in November and December 2018. That overwhelming popularity stemmed not just from its international reputation for translucent, brimming, quality xiao long bao — a rare find in a city of many dumplings — but its delicate balance between being a brand new arrival as much as, for many Londoners, a taste of home. It will hope that this new, huge flagship, aided by the buzz of the newly opened Arcade Food Hall below, will hit the ground running.