Test Driving Din Tai Fung at Selfridges - soup dumplings and robots hit Oxford Street

din tai fung selfridges london reviewA Taiwanese feast of Din Tai Fung specials. 

What do we need to know about Din Tai Fung's new restaurant?

If you somehow managed to miss the queues around the block when Din Tai Fung opened its first London restaurant in 2018, then here's what you need to know about the Taiwanese global phenomenon.

Since the 1970s it's been famous for its xiao long bao - or steamed soup dumplings. These are always made in house, with 18 regulation folds, and it's this standardisation that's made DTF such a force to be reckoned with as you always know what you're getting when you dine there.

Where is it?

You'll find it up on the fourth floor of Selfridges on Oxford Street. There are two ways to get to it - either up the escalators through the store from the Duke Street entrance, or there's a special lift that you can access inside the entrance to the Brasserie of Light.

din tai fung selfridges london reviewThe lift goes directly up to the fourth-floor restaurants, allowing this part of the store to be open to diners outside store hours, as late as 11pm.

din tai fung selfridges london reviewIt's a huge room - taking up all of what used to be a food court here on the southeast corner of the building.

How do you get a table?

It's a mix of walk-ins and reservations - and you'd be well advised to try and get a reservation at least in the early weeks while everyone wants to check it out. If you happen to be in the store shopping and decide you fancy trying it, you just put your name down at the desk and they'll tell you what time to come back. While you wait, you'll probably have time to get those Off White trainers you can't afford but need to have.

What's that we heard about robots?

You heard right. There are two gently gliding around the restaurant, helping waiters deliver to customers and take away dishes back to the kitchen. They roll up to specific areas in the restaurant, laden with food and the waiters in that area give them out to the correct tables. 

Sadly, the robots are not up to interaction yet, so there's no collaring one to fetch you another basket of dumplings from the kitchen.

What's on the menu?

The menu is HUGE. There are pages and pages of options covering dumplings, noodle and rice dishes and more.

Here's just some of what we tried on a preview visit:

din tai fung selfridges london reviewObviously, we had to have the xiao long bao which are good as we remembered. The pork dumplings are probably the must-try but the new vegan mushroom and truffle ones are really good too.

din tai fung selfridges london reviewHoney and vinegar short ribs - nubbly sticky ribs of joy (with the sauteed string beans with minced pork and dried shrimp in the background).

din tai fung selfridges london reviewCrispy golden prawn pancake - maybe one of our favourite things to order here, after the xiao long bao.

In addition to the must-have xiao long bao, there are also a few new dishes that are exclusive to Selfridges, including a steamed chicken and truffle soup as well as...

din tai fung selfridges london reviewChicken and vegetable wontons in spicy sauce - another of the new dishes.

Room for dessert?

There's really one thing you want to order here and that's the salted egg yolk custard lava buns.

din tai fung selfridges london reviewWe'd missed out on these when we went to the original DTF in Covent Garden as they weren't on at the time. They don't disappoint. Tear these open to get at the molten custard goodness within.

What about drinks?

With an all-new selection of cocktails and mocktails on offer, you might fancy something strong to start.

din tai fung selfridges london reviewThe 1909 drink is exclusive to Din Tai Fung at Selfridges. It's made with sesame fat-washed Angel's Envy Bourbon and their own Old Fashioned mix.

Overall thoughts

Legendary dumplings and robot waiters - how could this new Din Tai Fung be anything but a roaring success? It's the perfect type of food for shoppers too; we can easily see ourselves popping in for a plate of xiao long bao and a pot of Oolong whenever Oxford Street gets to be too much.

@hotdinners Your first look inside the new Din Tai Fung restaurant at @selfridges - which even has robot waiters! #londonfood #londonrestaurants #londonlife ♬ High School - Nicki Minaj


More about Din Tai Fung at Selfridges

Where is it? 4th Floor, 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB

When does it open? 31 January 2022

How to book: Yu can book online but they also take walk-ins.

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @dintaifunguk


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