Tokyo Food Page
Din Tai Fung/
Shiodome: Dim sum
₯5537-2081
€Data
There are dumplings,
and then there are
shouronbo. Literally
translated, their
name means simply
"little steamer bun"
but when done well,
these dumplings are
technical and gusta-
tory marvels. Just
bite into one -
after first draping
it with a few wisps
of ginger drenched
in fruity black
vinegar - and what
makes them so spe-
cial flows, if not
squirts, into your
mouth. Besides meaty
filling, each wrap-
per encloses a good
shot of sweet,
hearty broth that
can scald you if
you're not careful.

Few other dumplings
evoke such devotion
in their fans, and
few dumpling houses
command as many fans
around the world as
the original Din Tai
Fung in Taipei.
Fortunately for
those of us living
in Tokyo, Din Tai
Fung has brought its
dumplings to town,
with a branch in the
Caretta Shiodome
complex.

There are consis-
tently long and
daunting lines to
get in, particularly
on weekends. But the
line moves fast, and
while you wait you
can watch the dump-
ling makers show off
their skills. One
cook rolls out slen-
der ropes of dough,
and slices thin
disks off with a
knife. Another rolls
each disk into a
thin round before
tossing it to the
next station, where
yet another person
puts a generous
smear of filling on
the wrapper. The
filling contains
generous amounts of
chopped aspic, which
will render out into
broth as the dump-
ling steams. The
last person on the
production line
deftly seals in the
filling, closing the
dumpling with 18
tiny pleats. Then
they all do it
again. And again.

The fruits of their
labor arrive at your
table about five
minutes after you
order them, and each
one is a representa-
tive of Din Tai Fung
consistency. Every
tender pouch arrives
screaming hot with
its precious load of
soup and tender
filling intact,
quivering like lit-
tle water balloons
when you pick them
up (carefully!).
Regular pork shou-
ronbo come six to an
order, and cost
580yen.

Also of note is
paigumen, a delight-
fully salty, five-
spice fragrant fried
pork chop served
over thin egg noo-
dles in soup. An-
other house special-
ty is noodles with
chicken soup (1000
yen). These are egg
noodles cooked until
just tender then
drained and dipped
into oily chicken
broth to prevent
them from sticking.
These are served
alongside a little
crock of light,
long-simmered chick-
en broth.

The menu also fea-
tures several non-
soupy dumplings and
other snacks such as
fluffy steamed buns
(both savory and
sweet), and chimaki
- seasoned sticky
rice wrapped in
bamboo. Lunch sets
featuring noodles or
fried rice plus a
basket of 4 shouron-
bo start at 1200
yen. But if you
brave the wait, why
restrict yourself to
just 4?

There's also a
branch of Din Tai
Fung on the 10th
floor of Takashimaya
in Shinjuku, with a
slightly bigger menu
but even longer
lines.
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Minato-ku,
Higashi-Shimbashi 1-
8-2, Caretta Shio-
dome B2F.  Open
11am-9:30pm (LO)
daily.
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