(SPOT.ph) Ever find yourself dreaming of xiao long bao in the middle of a drab work day? There's something totally magical about the whole process of the server placing a steamer basket on your table, opening the lid to allow the steam to gush out, picking up a piece with your chopstick, and poking a tiny hole with your teeth to sip the broth within before chomping on the entire dumpling whole. As far as the xiao long bao scene in Manila goes, Din Tai Fung (makers of our top fave of the said category!) remains a force to be reckoned with—and it seems they're not done making their mark. Today is a special day for ya DTF loyals, as the Taiwanese brand is opening their biggest branch to date at the SM Mall of Asia, with a special deal to boot!
Time for an XLB party as Din Tai Fung is opening their biggest branch:
Yup, xiao long bao fans, you'll want to head to SM Mall of Asia (specifically Level 1 of Entertainment Mall's South Wing) today—or whenever soonest that the craving hits. For starters, you can get a free 10-piece basket of xiao long bao if you're part of the first 177 tables to be seated today, August 8; if that's not a sign, we don't know what is.
More on that branch: it's a real special one, Spotters. It can seat up to 240 diners within its premises, which offers plenty of eye candy too. Amid its general beige and grey color scheme are art pieces, commissioned from Filipino artists Reese Lansangan and Mars Bugaoan, that breathe life into the space.
As far as food goes, Din Tai Fung hardly needs any introduction; you can, of course, catch their winning xiao long bao and other signature dishes in the new store. XLB party, anyone? You're in luck as the new branch has three private dining rooms you can book; each seats up to eight people. You also have the option to book two rooms to seat up to 16. The MOA store also has a dedicated takeaway counter if you'd like to get your DTF fix on the go.
Ready your smartphones, too: until September 7, Din Tai Fung will be doing a special takeover of the MOA Globe with a special display of their official mascot Bao Babe on the globe.
Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant that was brought to the Philippines by The Moment Group, which is also behind establishments like Manam, Ooma, 8 Cuts, and more. They offer Taiwanese dishes, with bestsellers that include the Salted Egg Yolk Prawns, Pork Chop Fried Rice, and Crispy Beef Strips.
Din Tai Fung's new branch is at L/1 South Wing, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. For more information, check out Din Tai Fung's Facebook page.
UPDATE (August 10, 10:24 a.m.): Din Tai Fung has shared that seating capacity is now at 240 as the branch's third private room is now operational. The article has been updated to reflect that development.
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this strange new world.