During LVMH South Asia Group President Ravi Thakran’s most interesting talk on the rise of Asian luxury and commodities at Asia Fashion Summit, he happened to mention his favourite dumpling restaurant in Singapore, Din Tai Fung.
It was the end of a long two days, where I had been crippled by jetlag and not nearly enough sleep, but the mention of a good cheap place that a group president of LVMH cited as an example of Asian excellence?
Lead me to it IMMEDIATELY.
Sorry Ravi: I fear I may not have paid *quite* enough attention to the rest of your talk, as I was already Googling on my HTC One, discovering first that there were twelve branches in the city, including a branch at MBS (Marina Bay Sands) two stops on the MRT. Then I hit paydirt: there was a branch in my very hotel. Well, not the hotel exactly, but in the basement of the Raffles City shopping center, which is not just the home of the conference hall of the same name where I was sitting at that very moment but also conveniently attached to my hotel (the Swissotel Stamford), and actually accessible from the elevator on my bedroom floor.
As soon as Ravi stopped speaking at 5pm, I was out that conference hall like a rat out a trap and trotting down the escalator to dumpling heaven.
I had wandered (lonely as an unwanted dumpling) around the food court the night before but had ruled out Din Tai Fung as it was at the end of a long corner & looked a bit scarily expensive and Chinese. (Very trad Chinese restaurants not so good for vegetarians, with their emphasis on bodily parts I don’t wish to acknowledge).
More fool me. This time I was in like Flynn, and sat down, with the Mulberry & Bottega gently nestled in their very own handbag sling next to my table. (Oh Singapore, you are so very, very civilised.)
I have eyes way, way larger than my stomach: I’m intensely curious (about non bodily part) menus and always want to order everything that sounds good. I restrained myself – sort of, and ended up with two mushroom buns, six dumplings and a plate of oddly delicious & spongy marinated kao fu — a Shanghainese dish of wheat gluten, deep-fried and then braised, served with mushrooms and soya nuts. (Big thanks to Emily who corrected my initial assumption that it was tofu.)
Of course I was stuffed after the tofu, one bun and a couple of dumplings. I tried to (wo)manfully battled through the dumplings, but ended up taking all the leftovers to go; they made a very acceptable breakfast at 1430 the next day when I overslept and missed both breakfast and lunch.
Raffles City Branch,
252 North Bridge Road #B1-08/09/10 Raffles City Shopping Centre Singapore 17910mplings)