I'm not sure when Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 first came on my radar, but I do remember being madly excited about my first visit in 2009. The Shanghai branch didn't disappoint and I briefly commented on my blog that I wish they'd open a restaurant in London.
A year later, I wrote a blog post featuring a list of Chinese restaurant chains that I'd like to see in London. One of those chains was Din Tai Fung, and shortly afterwards I started a campaign to bring them to London. Whilst the campaign was admittedly tongue-in-cheek, I was deadly serious in my intentions.
In 2011, I visited Hong Kong and took the opportunity to go to Din Tai Fung, not once but twice. And through my blog I made another clarion call for people to love bomb Din Tai Fung's website. However, I sensed that I wasn't getting much joy from this. I then had the idea of mailing a letter to Din Tai Fung HQ in January 2012. I still haven't received a reply, which in part is why I've decided to create this blog-cum-petition to further the campaign.
At this point, some of you are probably thinking: why should I support the campaign? Well, hopefully I've managed to convince you about the quality of the food. Moreover, despite the burgeoning diversity of Chinese cuisine in London, the style of food as served by Din Tai Fung is rare in the capital. By that I mean, Shanghai-style food isn't that widely available, and while you can get xiao long bao, the quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Some of you may also be pondering: but it's a bloody chain restaurant. Yes, it is, but while many chains adopt an 'as good as it has to be' mentality, Din Tai Fung takes quality control very seriously. For example, they terminated their franchise agreement in Shenzhen in southern China because the franchisee wasn't up to scratch. And in my opinion, it's a very select chain. After all, Din Tai Fung's 68 restaurants in 11 countries isn't the quite the same as, say, TGI Fridays, which has over 1,000 restaurants in 61 countries.
Anyway, I hope I've convinced you to back my campaign, and to sign the petition.
About Din Tai Fung
The Food of Din Tai Fung
Fans of Din Tai Fung