After sleeping until late morning, we headed out in search of food on the second day. There was no real doubt in my mind where I would be going. The best dumpling in the world beckoned. We headed up to the food court at the top of Westfield Central Plaza to obtain this perfect dumpling at Din Tai Fung.
Having been to the ones in Taipei before, I was amazed at the quality of the dumplings there, I would expect no less from their Sydney branches.
Operating in a food court, we had to line up and get a tick sheet to order our food.
We were given a buzzer after ordering and had to find our own seating. This was definitely different from the lavish restaurants they had back in Taipei.
After a rather short wait, our food was ready!
Without a doubt Din Tai Fung does the best dumpling in the world. I can honestly say that I have never had better dumplings anywhere else. The skin was very thin, and almost translucent when you hold it up to the light, so that you could see the steaming hot soup in it. The soup itself was meaty and gingery, and the insides were cooked just right. I found the dumpling to be very delicious indeed. The only thing I would have to say was that the skin of the dumplings from the Taipei branches had a bit more elasticity than Sydney, other than that, everything else was consistent.
I also tried the fried rice served with pork chop. The rice was fried quite perfectly in my opinion, the usual fault I pick with fried rice is that its too dry and the rice has gone hard, but it was definitely not the case in this instance. The rice was still moist and soft, despite being fried, which I appreciated greatly. I also find that it had a great rice to topping ratio too.
In terms of the pork, it was really well seasoned, and the cut wasnt fatty. I really liked the dish.
Din Tai Fung (Westfield Central Plaza)
Price Range: $10 - $20 per person
Just before dinner time, we found ourselves admiring the beautiful lights at the darling harbour, and taking in the magnificent view (whilst savouring our delicious lunch), before long it was dinner time, and we were stuck on what to have.
Noting that Hard Rock Cafe was nearby, we decided to give it a try, firstly because its quite a famous chain, and secondly I wanted something that could offer a nice contrast in flavours from lunch.
It was quite crowded that day, we waited a short while before being seated.
The menu was very extensive, and had a very large cocktail section
Unfortunately I didnt find the cutlery to be very clean though, they were a bit sticky to the touch, which put me off a bit.
I had the lemon and lime bitters, whilst my friend opted for water. I found the LLB to be a lot sweeter and not very sour or bitter compared to what I'm used to.
My friend had the twisted macaroni with chicken. He said that half of the pasta was cooked quite well, whilst half was rather undercooked. He liked the cheesiness of the dish, but found the chicken to be quite dry, as was the garlic bread.
I opted for the 6 oz Crispy Bacon Burger. Noting that Hard Rock was established by Americans (in London), I was very excited to try the burger, in hope of being blown away by it. Sadly, I was really quite disappointed. The burger itself was decent in size, but in terms of the patty, I've never had such a coarse one before. The bacon and cheese were nice, but they dripped with oil as I cut the burger up, which was quite unappealing for me. I also found the chips to be lacking in crunch and quite bland.
Hard Rock Cafe (Sydney Darling Harbour)
Price Range: $20 - $35 per person
Service: 4/10 (a waiter took sauces from our table to another, without considering to ask us whether we were even using them or not, also took a lot of effort to get a little bit of wait service)Environment: 8/10
Feeling rather unimpressed with dinner, I suggested we stroll to Chinatown to see whether we could find something to lift our spirits a bit.
As a HongKonger, I can definitely say that you can't really go too wrong when you see people queuing up for things, so seeing a significant line in Sydney (and on a weeknight, no less), convinced us that we had to try Emperor's Puff.
Selling for as low as 35c for one puff (cheaper if you buy in bulk), I was expecting something akin to Hong Kong's famous Egg Waffles.
We ended up getting 7 pieces to share. It definitely warmed us up during the cold winter. I was also pleasantly surprised to bite into them and find warm gooey custard which was very comforting.
Price Range: 35cents a piece