Din Tai Fung (Bellevue) – revisit

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It’s been over 3 years since I last visited Din Tai Fung located at the Lincoln Square in Seattle (Bellevue). Back when it first opened, the restaurant was bustling with long waits, and when S and I visited for lunch on Christmas Eve, it was quite the same. The wait wasn’t half as long though. You can watch the chefs prepare the dumplings and buns through the glass window while you wait. Their waiting system now offers a text to alert you that your table is ready, which is quite convenient. The restaurant is famous all over Asia, but it’s interesting to note that at this location, there are barely any Chinese employees. I guess they cater to the Caucasian population here.

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Juicy Pork Dumplings

After a 20 minute wait, we placed our orders and first up were the Juicy Pork Dumplings. One order comes with 10 dumplings. I liked how the dumpling skin was very thin, but I found that the soup inside cooled down really quickly. I would have preferred it to be still sizzling hot. Nevertheless, they were pretty good or above average.

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Rice & Pork Shao Mai

I suggested we order the Rice & Pork Shao Mai, which is essentially sticky glutinous rice with pork stuffed in the dumpling skin to appear like a shao mai. These were very sticky and rather filling. Not bad. Again, they one order came with 10.

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Chicken Fried Noodles

Lastly, we ordered the Chicken Fried Noodles. A mix of chicken and vegetables along with the thick Shanghai noodles. I liked how the noodles had a good chewy texture to it and the dish wasn’t too oily or salty.

Pros:
– Good quality food at decent prices
– Ambiance is much nicer than your typical Chinese restaurant

Cons:
– Always a queue for a table
– Service was rather slow for us

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4
Parking: 4
Overall: 4

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon

BK Chicken Tenders

Last meal in the states was fast food and we decided to go to Burger King just before we got back to the other side of the border. And if you’ve been to the states, you would know how ridiculously cheap and large the portions of fast food are! 20 pieces of Chicken Tenders were just $4.99! They don’t have these in Canada at Burger King, however. It’s basically the same thing as McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, but they do taste a little different. The crispiness is a little different, but I actually prefer the Burger King Chicken Tenders! Give it a try when you go down to the states!

Din Tai Fung at Bellevue, Seattle

Located at Lincoln Square

In Process of Making Red Bean Dumplings

Pork Buns

 A Glimpse of the Menu

Braised Beef Noodle Soup

Steamed Pork Dumplings

Pork and Glutinous Rice Shaomai

Steamed Mashed Bed Bean Buns

Steamed Mashed Red Bean Buns

Steamed Mashed Taro Buns

Steamed Mashed Taro Buns

Went for some shopping in the states a few weeks ago and was excited to hear that Din Tai Fung was opened near where I was staying! It’s famous throughout Asia, from Tapei, Hong Kong to even Japan, for their dumplings! So knowing that it was close to our hotel, we had to go give it a try. It’s located in Bellevue, Seattle in the Lincoln Square, next to Bellevue Square Shopping Centre, which on Friday night, is terrible to find parking! Took us at least half an hour to find parking…almost felt like it was Boxing Day. First thing I saw when I got to the entrance were a bunch of cooks behind a glass window rolling out flour and   forming buns. They worked as a team and was almost like an assembly line, passing each part to the next team member. After a wait for about 40 minutes, we were finally brought to our seats. And I have to say, we were already eating really late, almost 9:00pm, but this restaurant has non-stop traffic. And to my surprise, I can say half the customers there were non-Asian. More to my surprise were that many of the servers were Caucasian and even the Asian servers spoke English. Quite contrary to our Asian restaurants back in Richmond, where some servers might even have trouble speaking English. I guess there is such a large crowd of Caucasian customers, that they must hire people with fluent English. The dumplings were typical I guess, but I really enjoyed the Pork and Glutinous Rice Shaomais. And I’m a huge fan of red bean paste, so I had to try  the Red Bean Buns. They were made with such fresh red bean that you could taste the bean. Same with the taro! Tasted real good! When we left, there were still people waiting for seats. What a busy restaurant, but I have to say, it’s worth the wait!

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon