I blogged about Ding Tai Fung previously as it is one of my go-to place for Shanghainese food. When Mack (@M3foods) suggested doing a Tweetup there (#DumplingMe) I was all for it . It is rare that Tweetups are in uptown (like Markham or Richmond Hill) so initially I wasn't counting on a big turnout....but whoa! This Tweetup was full in record time - I think after 15 minutes or so it was already full. I guess a lot of people like dumplings, either that or a lot of people like Mack =P
My first post about Ding Tai Fung can be found here, in case you want to read about what I had there that particular time. I have also included some background information about the restaurant on that post, and how it is actually different from the restaurant chain in Asia (even though they have the same name).
Having said that, I'm going to go right into the food. Mack and I were pretty much in charge of ordering food, with a few suggestions from Evie (@eviechiu) and Ben (@LauBenedict). We wanted mostly dim sum with a few noodle dishes on the side.
Have you tried ordering dim sum for 13 people? It is not an easy task as it is hard to gauge whether or not we are ordering enough or ordering too much. It was quite a daunting task as I have never had to write down "5" besides "pork dumplings" on the order sheet before (each order has 6 dumplings)! Well I don't know, maybe it was just me who felt it was daunting since Mack was just like "yeah order whatever and as much as you want" =P Anyway, we had 3 to 5 orders of each dim sum dish to ensure that everyone got to try everything.
So here goes!
Jellyfish and Shredded Turnip
Savoury Soy Milk with Fried Dough Sticks
Fried "Man Tau" with Condensed Milk
Spicy Chive and Chili Pork Wontons
We started eating right away when these dishes came. The servers brought in food constantly thereafter (we got one of the private rooms at the back of the restaurant). Scared me after awhile as it seemed like food was coming non-stop; plates on the table had to be rearranged and stacked up, food had to be moved from one plate to another just to make room for more food. I've never seen Shanghai dim sum piled up on plates like this.
Fried Dough Sticks (these are great for dipping in the soy milk)
Glutinous Rice with Shredded Fried Pork & Fried Dough Stick
Steamed Pork Dumplings. These are just two of the several "dumpling towers" on the table.
Handle with care! You wouldn't want to break the dumpling as most of it is filled with delicious broth.
Pan-Fried Green Onion Pancakes
Steamed Pork Buns
Potstickers with Pork Filling
After all the dim sum dishes, plates of noodles came...
Stir Fried Rice Cakes with Preserved Vegetables and Shredded Pork
Stir-Fried Shanghai Noodles
Beef Noodle Soup
I was really full, and so were the others, especially because Shanghainese dim sum contains a lot of dough (i.e. noodles, rice, dough sticks, buns etc) which can fill you up very quickly. But I couldn't let these people leave without trying some Shanghainese dessert.
Glutinous Sesame Rice Balls with Rice Wine
Egg White Puffs with Red Bean Filling (I need to say that they usually do not use confectioner's sugar and just normal sugar. I don't know why confectioner's sugar was used this time, with such a heavy hand too >_<)
Great group pic, courtesy of Dan (@deguzzi).
Thanks to Mack for organizing #DumplingMe. I hope everybody enjoyed the food that night, especially those who never had Shanghai food before. As usual, it was great seeing (and meeting) everyone~
As for the service, I was pleasantly surprised at how attentive the servers were (as you may know, service at Chinese restaurants can be awful sometimes, a hit and miss). But this time, servers came in frequently to make sure that our teas were filled; they also checked up on us often to take away empty plates too.
By the way, our whole feast only cost $26 pp, tax and tips included =)