The arrival of Din Tai Fung was keenly anticipated by Beijing foodies. This restaurant, which specialises in the delicate dishes of Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, has a bright and contemporary design, and subtle food combinations, skilfully prepared. Xiaolong bao – juicy buns wrapped in a skin of light unleavened dough and cooked in a bamboo steamer – is the restaurant’s signature dish. They are served with thin slivers of young, tender ginger in a light black vinegar. Xiaolong bao come with three choices of filling: ground pork, seafood, and crabmeat.
Cairou zhengjiao (steamed dumplings), another specialty, are packed with youcai, small green-leaf bok choy and a small amount of minced pork with some lard. These are our favourite of all the dumplings served here – and the lard is key to the flavour. Leave some room for dousha bao, sweet red bean paste stuffed in almost transparent buns. These tiny desserts melt in your mouth.