Thursday, June 27, 2013

Din Tai Fung

Location: 700 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue Washington (Seattle Area)
Cost: Probably around $30 per person

The month and a half off between medical school and residency has come and gone, but I wanted to share about a meal I had during that time when I was out in Seattle. More or less, I took the trip to help babysit / chauffeur my little cousins around while their parents were away on business. When they got back though, we had a few days to spend together. After a little fiasco involving a kidney stone, things settled down, and we were able to go hit up one of my cousin Jeff's favorite spots, Din Tai Fung.

Logistics
This place was packed. We were told that the 5 of us would have a 2.5 hour wait. Coincidentally, there was a 2 hour showing of Star Trek at the movie theater next door which helped us fill the void. Just as the movie was ending we got the text that the table was ready. Our service was efficient and knowledgeable.

The Food
So the big thing at this place is the soup dumplings. They have this big room of what looks like underpaid laborers in some gigantic assembly line making these dumplings.

The Work Room

We started with some Pickled Cucumbers and the Spareribs. The cucumbers were one of the best dishes of the night. They were refreshing and tangy. The short ribs made you work and left you messy. They had a sweet and sour sauce that held strong against the well seasoned meat.

The Cucumbers

The Spareribs

From there we had the Braised Beef Soup and the Sauteed String Beans. The beans were crispy, but not like the deep fried crap from TGI Fridays. The soup had a strong clove scent and the beef fell apart nicely. The homemade noodles in the soup were really the standout tough.

The Braised Beef Soup

The Sauteed String Beans

For soup dumplings we got the Pork, the Shrimp, and the Veggie. In case you're unfamiliar with soup dumplings, they're basically your typical potsticker but with broth inside as well. As you might guess, the veggie were bland and more or less a waste of an excellent wonton wrapper. The Shrimp was the best thing all night with the Pork a close second.

The Pork Soup Dumplings

 The Shrimp Soup Dumplings

 The Veggie Soup Dumplings

Overall
Soup dumplings are fantastic. I'd never had them before, but I'd seen them a lot on TV. I wish I knew some better spots in Chicago to find them, and if you have any ideas please let me know. If you're in Seattle or LA (they have a location there as well), you should give Din Tai Fung a shot. I'm pretty sure everyone loves this place except for my cousin Nathan (but he'd eat Chiptole every meal if he could, so what does he know anyway?)

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. DTF is one of my favorite dim sum restaurants... in Singapore. Hope you find a good place for xiao long bao by the time I move back to Chicago.

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  2. From what I understand, when this place first opened up in Bellevue, the mexican american cooks didn't do a very good job of learning how to do things right after the Taiwan chefs were brought in to show them how. I wonder if things have improved since then? The only way to know for sure is to have someone from Vancouver Canada or Taiwan come and critique the food themselves.

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