Din Tai Fung
104, Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu (중구 명동2가 104번지) +82 2 771 2778
11 a.m.- 10 p.m.
It was only a matter of time before Asia’s favorite dumpling chain landed in South Korea and started breeding like juicy pork-filled rabbits.
There are now four Din Tai Fung locations in the city, all sleeker than many of their forebears in neighboring countries, but serving the same comforting purpose: bringing dim sum’s greatest hits to a wider, time-crunched public the way Starbucks brought double-vanilla lattes to the universe.
Seoul’s original Din Tai Fung in Myeong-dong remains the busiest branch of the bunch. Housed in a pseudo-Sino-dining room accented with red screens, silk lampshades, black and white photos and gleaming dark floors, it’s on the ground level across from Shinsegae Department Store.
Here, poker-faced dumpling masters roll meat and dough in the open kitchen. Never mind all the soup, noodle and rice fillers. Pork dumplings are king here.
Hybrids laced with kim chi, crab or shrimp hit the spot, too. Clearly, this is a dim sum joint seeking world domination.