The first time we fell in love with DTF was in Shanghai!
Previous entry: Din Tai Fung Shanghai April 16, 2010
So it is a good thing that The Moment Group brings the world’s most famous Xiao Long Bao to
our shores Congratulations Chairman of Din Tai Fung, Mr. Warren Yang ( Mr. Happy OC) and the Moment Group – Jon Syjuco, Abba Napa and Eli Antonino on the opening of Din Tai Fung Philippines
They have a proper storage for your bag! Thank you YUM!Super Yum ofcourse! Super daluper yum! SUPER YUM! SUPER YUM! SUPER YUM!!! A MUST!!!! Golden lava salted egg yolk bun! On the way out we bumped into Eli and Mr. Wang! I got nervous! :-O I wish I had interviewed him! But I will one day
“The xiao long bao are small miracles; plump, round spheres soft yet firm to the touch, delicately fragranced. When you pop one into your mouth, it bursts into a mouthful of broth…transforming the filling of meat and aromatics into a loose, savory purée that melts away like pork-scented air.” —Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic of the L.A. Times, on Din Tai Fung’s hero product
Who we are
Originally a shop retailing cooking oil in Taiwan, Din Tai Fung was founded in the late 1950s by Bingyi Yang. In the ’70s, he and his wife started selling xiao long bao—steamed soup-filled dumplings. With the scrumptious morsels developing a strong following, the store transitioned into a full-service restaurant.
Since then, Din Tai Fung has accumulated numerous accolades, including the distinction of being hailed by The New York Times as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world in 1993 and number one on The Daily Meal’s “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” list in 2013. To top it all off, a Michelin star has been awarded to Din Tai Fung’s Hong Kong branch for five consecutive years since 2010.
Today, the casual Asian-dining destination is the most widely recognized xiao long bao expert in the world and boasts 119 branches in 14 countries (including the US, Australia, Japan, and Dubai), the latest of which is the Philippines. Manila continues Mr. Yang’s tradition: meticulous attention to detail, excellent service, and the best xiao long bao known the world over.
The Moment Group and one of the most demanding franchises in the world
It’s no secret that Din Tai Fung (DTF) is one of the most difficult franchises to acquire. According to a report published in Forbes in 2011, DTF headquarters receives and rejects as many as 20 letters a week from prospective franchisees in places as unlikely as Mongolia and Russia. They require half a year of rigorous training at a DTF branch.
In 2014, the Moment Group, known for cutting-edge restaurant concepts 8 Cuts Burger Blends, Manam Comfort Filipino, ‘Cue, Phat Pho Manila, Linguini Fini Manila, Bistro M, Ooma, Mecha Uma, and Bank Bar, successfully acquired the Philippine franchise for DTF. The team, led by Eliza Antonino, flew to Taiwan for the required six-month training in both culinary technique and customer service, working both the kitchen and the floor. The group’s founding members Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa, and Jon Syjuco bring Filipino inventiveness, diligence, and warmth to the world-renowned chain.
Eliza recalls the time she spent in Taiwan: “We trained there for six whole months. All 20 of us were on the floor, in the front and the back of the kitchen. We were working 12-hour shifts—it was grueling, but it was the most exciting time of my life. I’ve never learned so much in such a short span of time.”
Out of all the restaurants the Moment Group could have brought in, they chose to pursue DTF. “We have so much respect for DTF and how they uphold their brand and craft: half a century of drawing lines (before lines were a thing), unparalleled consistency in both food quality and service, a Michelin-star five times in a row…the list goes on,” Abba says.
“DTF is serious business, in every which way,” Jon adds. “The brand is run like no other in the world, with obsessive attention to detail. Securing the franchise required us to first recognize and appreciate the million things that have to be done perfectly every day. Whole-heartedly buying into this massive endeavor was part and parcel of the journey to convince Mr. Yang that we would be the right partner—that he could trust his life’s work with us. Winning DTF was a two-year courtship I compare to winning the love of your life.”
Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao
To this day, all over the world, DTF‘s xiao long bao (XLB) has been drawing lines, with customers patiently waiting hours for a bite of the delicate soup dumplings. What makes them so special?
For one, each piece is meticulously crafted, from the number of folds to the weight of each one. Abba shares, “Forbes is quoted as saying they are ‘The World’s Greatest Dumplings’ and Time Magazine touted them as ‘Shanghai’s greatest culinary joy.’ What makes them so special? Let me quote The Wall Street Journal by saying, ‘The answer is in a single bite.’”
Just like in DTF restaurants across the globe, customers here will be able to witness the chefs in action, through its signature huge glass windows, carefully rolling, cutting, weighing, filling, wrapping, pleating, and steaming each dumpling to perfection, elevating the creation of XLB to an art. Five different kinds of XLB will be available locally: pork, crab roe and pork, chicken, green squash and shrimp, and truffle, with more creations expected to follow suit.
Our mission and the Happy O.C. concept
DTF aims to bring top-quality Asian fare to customers in the friendliest, most courteous manner possible, with its waitstaff displaying a cheerful vibe. Inspired by a trip to Disneyland in 1989, incumbent DTF chairman Warren Yang encouraged his team to radiate a gleeful attitude, just like how The Happiest Place on Earth does it. “I’ve never met anyone as detail-oriented as Mr. Yang, but he always does it with a big smile. We’ve termed this as ‘Happy O.C.’” Eli shares. “There is a lot that makes Din Tai Fung special,” Abba adds. “Beyond the perfection of our XLB craft, DTF’s service and style is known worldwide for both its happiness and consistency.”
“DTF in Manila will be just as DTF is across the globe—from the exactness of each XLB to the way the staff greets customers to the way the table setting is presented,” Abba continues. “From ground zero in Xinyi Road, Taipei, to the more than one hundred stores the world over, everything is done in exactly the same way. Every store shows commitment to the standards DTF has set, long before it traveled from one continent to another, and we at the Moment Group are doing our best to do the same when we open DTF’s doors to the Philippine dining public this Holiday season.”
What’s in store for you
Aside from DTF’s popular XLB, customers can look forward to dishes only available in the Philippine branch. “What’s unique about DTF Manila is that we have a lineup of dishes that are great with rice!” Abba shares. This roster includes well-loved Filipino favorites such as Sweet & Sour Pork, Hot Prawn Salad, Crispy Beef Strips, Fried Chicken Cutlets, and more. To top it all off, DTF Manila will be serving unique desserts such as a Salted Egg Yolk Bun.
“Our goal is to provide customers what they’ve come to expect from DTF around the world—enjoyment through taste, service, and consistency in one coherent, seamless package,” Jon says. “We take to heart the responsibility of upholding one of the most-sought after restaurant brands in the world and, with this, customers can expect a true DTF experience, day in and day out.”
Din Tai Fung Philippines
Address: Ground Floor Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall Mandaluyong City
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm *Possible extended mall hours during the holidays