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Of Singapore and Dumplings

Singapore is great for more than one reason. And its diverse dining scene is just an added bonus.

Of Singapore and Dumplings
Credit: Charles Haynes

I recently caught up with Mumbai-based animation exec and blogger Gaurav Jain, who told me he’s still reeling from a recent business trip to Singapore. So impressed by the city was Jain—who is setting up a development office there in the near future— that he’s also now considering permanently relocating to the city that he just ‘can’t stop thinking about.’

I asked what it is about Singapore that is so appealing to him and his business, and he told me that amongst many things they ‘have a brilliant infrastructural set-up,’ and that their biggest asset is that ‘they are organized and they don’t waste the most precious asset we have—time.’ He also believes that Singapore is ‘a city moving towards a bright future,’ and of all the cities he’s visited in his lifetime, he’s not found one that ‘equals Singapore in comfort and good living.’

Meanwhile, Gaurav also pointed out that the allure of the city is just as powerful when looking at it from a cuisine perspective. Although he wasn’t able to make it into some of Singapore’s top-rated restaurants, or a high-end food festival run by Singapore Tourism, he managed to dine at Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant, that was, according to him ‘once voted one of the best in the world.’ Indeed, Din Tai Fung, famous for their dumplings, is becoming better-known throughout the world recently. The now-chain restaurant originated in Taiwan over four decades ago and is so popular it has expanded to Japan, the US, China, Korea, Australia, Singapore and more. It’s Shanghai location was recently recommended for visitors of the World Expo by the Canadian Press and a recent review by the Daily Telegraph called its soup-filled dumplings ‘incredible,’ and the restaurant well worth a visit.

Gaurav described the food as brilliant and his dining experience at Din Tai Fung as immensely enjoyable. He went on to tell me that,

Image Credit: Ronald Woan

Image Credit: Ronald Woan

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‘It was familiar yet different. The cuisine had familiar names and ingredients but the tastes are all different. They had lots of options for vegetarians. The cuisine is interesting to say the least; they specialise in Dim Sum mostly but also do lots of soups with noodles. It’s not like Chinese/Taiwanese cuisine in the West and in India which has been adapted to fit into the appetizer and entree mould. The place is spectacularly popular.’

Gaurav Jain runs Illusion Interactive, an independent animation studio in Mumbai. He has recently started writing for the Wall Street Journal’s India Chief Mentor blog, and his latest piece is here.