Eatery - Din Tai Fung (CA)

1088 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
Pricing - $$ | Dining - Casual, To-Go | Cuisine - Taiwanese, Chinese | Reservations - Unavailable

So my dad had eaten here with his friend before and really wanted to take the family because he said it was delicious. When he told me you could watch the cooks make the dumplings in front of you, I thought that it would be an exciting experience where we could talk to the chefs or something. When we got there, I realized that watching them make the food was basically just a floor to ceiling window to the kitchen. It was still interesting for a little while but the little while turned into a long while. We waited nearly 2 hours to get our party of 5 seated and that was after persistent bothering of the hostesses to remind them that we were still waiting.

When we sat down, it took a while for them to grab our order form which we had filled out while we were waiting. To pass the time by, I looked at the instructions for how to best enjoy their dumplings (located on the back of the chopstick wrapper)...To be honest, when the food came out, I was unimpressed. The dumplings themselves were somewhat small and for about $9 an order, that made each one nearly a dollar! I think that the place was overly hyped up really. The long wait and the high prices made me think that the majority of the constituents that day were all first-timers. Perhaps it was the day we went. Nevertheless, the dumplings were good but not mind-blowing.

The first to come out was the juicy pork and crab dumpling. I thought that the crab was a bit too fishy in taste and smell for me. My favorite order was the vegetarian dumpling because it was chock full of delicious greens minced quite well.

When our order of the small dumpling with soup was unavailable, we opted for the green melon and shrimp dumpling which was...interesting. I'm not sure they worked well at all together. Simultaneously the famous juicy pork dumpling and the shrimp and pork dumpling orders came out. The pork dumpling was pretty good but not super special; I liked it better than the latter of the two though.

Next was my younger brother's order of the porkchop fried rice which had been suggested online from reviewers on Yelp. It was actually pretty good though the rice had a lot of oil. The rice itself wasn't jasmine or long grain but the sticky Japanese type. It was fried with egg, green onions, and a whole lot of oil. After that was the rice and pork Shao Mai which I found pretty tasty though a little too soft. There was a bit too much glutinous rice in it and hardly any pork.

Our dessert was an order of red bean dumplings. This and the vegetarian dumplings were the best in my opinion. It was just the right amount of sweet and the portion was ample. In general, the dumplings were pretty good but not worth the price and wait. We weren't even full at the end. What they do well here is having a good sauce of ginger and Chinese vinegar to dip the dumpling in and a decent amount of soupiness in them.



  1. You should've left after tasting the crab dumplings. Crab meat that smells and tastes fishy is probably not fresh, and for $9 an order, I would've expected nothing less of fresh meat.

  2. We were just all at a point of being too frustrated to leave.