How to get a table at the famous worldwide Din Tai Fung dumpling chain

Do you ever arrive back home from a trip and discover that you’ve missed some of the must-do activities that your friends are asking you about? That sinking feeling is FOMO: the Fear of Missing Out. London is the HQ of FOMO, because it’s filled with people who refuse to miss out and will beat you to it. The restaurant that has been creating FOMO all over the world now has a London branch. Neil Simpson tells us how to get a coveted seat at the table…

This Taiwanese dumpling chain caused a huge stir when it opened in 2018, with people waiting up to five hours for a table. Founded in the ’70s, there are now more than 150 branches (thanks to its top-notch xiao long bao), but none in Europe until now.

Din Tai Fung doesn’t take bookings, hence the queue. I arrived at 6.30pm on a Wednesday and a member of staff took my phone number, then I received a text message with a link to WalkIn. This regularly updated website counts down the time until your table is ready. After 80 minutes, I received another message saying my table was ready and would be held for 10 minutes.

So, I got a table and didn’t have to wait outside, but it forces you to stay nearby. Luckily, a second London site is due to open in Centre Point in 2019.

5-6 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, WC2E 8PS
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Fancy a drink whilst you wait for your dumplings? Check out Idris Elba’s cocktail bar The Parrot


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