Tag Archives: Westfield Food Court

Din Tai Fung, Westfield Sydney

I was always happy to traipse to the other side of town to get to DTF at World Square, after all these are the best Xiao Long Bao in town. The World Square restaurant was such a raging success that the DTF headquarters in Taiwan thought they’d try a Down Under experiment – a little ‘express’ version in a food court with a smaller menu, that even offered takeaway (There is also one at Star City). Right in the centre of town in the Westfield food court, this means I can just go more often and get my favourites. The best thing to do is go with a couple of friends then you can order a handful of dishes to try and still eat quite cheaply.

The queue is generally huge but the crowd of XLB worker bees churn them out quickly and there is never a long wait. Tick what you want on your order form and hand it over, or order with the cashier. When your buzzer goes off, grab your tray and find a table. Easy!

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Ah the XLBs. One of the things Din Tai Fung rests its cap on is consistency – and these are consistently good. The dumpling dough is super fine, and the hot soup explodes when you bite in.

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Shrimp and pork jiao ze – a close second.

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I also hardly ever go past their green beans and mince pork.

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And for a bit of spice, shrimp and pork wonton noodle with spicy sauce.

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A great and quick relatively cheap eat!

Din Tai Fung, Westfield, Level 5, Pitt St, open 7 days

Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

Ippudo Sydney

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I must confess I’d never heard of the Ippudo chain before it opened at Westfield. For my fellow Ippudo ignorami, apparently the first one opened in Japan in 1985 in a place called Fukuoka – use your imagination on the pronunciation – and Australia is foreign country number six to get one. But their PR machine is obviously well oiled, because very quickly everyone seemed to have heard about it and the queues were longer than long.

I’ve never been a big ramen eater, on the handful of occasions I’ve just found it too salty or too watery with no flavour, but they say (who is they exactly I’m not sure) this is meant to be the ramen to eat if you are going to try it.

Health warning: you may have a nightmare that evening of people chanting Irrashaimase repeatedly at you. I’m impressed that the staff can still do it with gusto after about the 70th time.

My friend and I hadn’t caught up for a while and wanted to chat, and I liked the fact that the staff weren’t pushy with us and hurrying us up to order. Everyone was friendly and welcoming.

So on the menu

The pork buns. These were quite a generous size and just plain yum. Succulent pork with a nice tang to the sauce – an absolute bargain at $4 a pop. A lot of people have compared these to Momofuku, I think they are different but both delicious, with the latter being more a slow braise.

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Gyoza – I’m used to big, fat, plump, juicy gyoza. So these small slightly crunchy ones weren’t really my style. Don’t rush to order these.

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Bakuretsu Tofu – tofu with minced pork, and noodles served in a sizzling stone pot, and yes it really was sizzling when it was delivered to the table. This was a winner, the spice of the broth and the slight crunch of the noodles – great combination.

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Shiormaru Motojai – their original tonkotsu broth with thin noodles, pork loin, and black mushrooms. The ‘egginess’ of the noodles, the ‘porkiness’ of the broth – delicious. No wonder I didn’t like ramen before, I just hadn’t been eating any good ones.

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The food was $39 for the two of us, and we were well sated. There is a reasonable wine selection by the glass at $10 a pop. This isn’t fine dining or anything salubrious, but its great for a casual meal at a very reasonable price point.

In the words of Arnold – “I’ll be back”.

Ippudo, Westfield Sydney Level 5, ph (02) 8078 7020

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Ippudo on Urbanspoon