By Assunta Ng
There’s a fake Din Tai Fung?
According to Din Tai Fung owner David Wasielewski, a Taiwanese immigrant, Toronto’s Ding Tai Fung is not a part of the Taiwanese chain, although the restaurant’s name has the same Chinese characters. The only difference is the English translation — the “fake” one is spelled Ding, the chain leaves off the “g.”
When I was in Toronto in 2011, my friend took me to dine at Ding Tai Fung. A month later, I saw Wasielewski at a wedding reception and raved to him about the fact that I had dined at Din in Shanghai and Toronto. I even told him that Toronto’s Ding even served green onion cake, one of the favorite Shanghainese snacks. I wish that Bellevue’s Din Tai Fung would include it on their menu.
The Toronto Ding was opened long before the real Din Tai Fung launched in the United States, trademarking the name in the process. The Toronto Ding is pretty good, too. When we went, there was a line of people stretching out the door.
A new Din is opening
I first learned of the second Din Tai Fung’s opening at University Village in my own paper. The Seattle Chinese Post’s classified section listed a kitchen opening in the soon-to-be-opened restaurant in its April 27 issue.
I am not surprised. The famous Wild Ginger restaurant hired its first award-winning head chef, James Lock, by placing a classified ad in our paper.
The new Din Tai Fung? Just another step in the chain’s American invasion, as it already has five restaurants in the States, with more scheduled to open in Southern California.
Now, I don’t need to drive across the bridge for the juicy xiao lung bao. (end)
To read the publisher’s blog in Chinese, visit www.seattlechinesepost.com.
I think the Toronto Ding Tai Fung is much better than the real Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung did not taste as fresh and the soup dumpling had a strange taste, perhaps too much five spice or anise.
I loved the Location in Taipei. The dumplings are great, and the spicy won tons are even better. I will give the place in Markham a try this week. Hopefully they will have something that I like. I don’t want to have to fly 15 hours across the world for good spicy won tons.
I find the Toronto Ding Tai Fung to be better than the “real” Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung in the US tastes very Americanized… a slight step above P.F. Changs.