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

Dinesty

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Dinesty is next to Starbucks and Ebisu in Richmond, and I believe they recently opened one in Downtown on Robson. I’ve gone by this restaurant multiple times, but I don’t think I’ve actually ate here before. At last, J and I decided to grab an early dinner, and he suggested we go to Dinesty. It seems to be his favourite place to go.

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I think we got there around 5 pm, so it was quite empty. However, shortly after sitting down, the place quickly became filled. Apparently, there are usually long waits during dinner time, and it’s almost impossible to get a seat without reservations. The food here seems to be a mix of Taiwanese and Shanghainese food. Decor is simple and clean, and I like the open kitchen they have. You can see the chefs preparing your food, just like Shanghai River. Sort of a similar concept in terms of their floor plan.

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Steamed Pork Dumplings

I wanted some Steamed Pork Dumplings, or better known as Xiao Long Bao! An order came with 8 hot and steamy dumplings.  The wrappers were thin, yet held the pork, and inside, it was juicy. The soup was very delicious!

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Ma Po Tofu

J chose the Ma Po Tofu. It was a large serving, and definitely too much for two people to share. The tofu was soft and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. It would’ve been perfect with white rice, but we had ordered another rice. We ended up mixing it with our Shrimp Fried Rice, since it would be too spicy and salty to eat alone.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Lastly, I chose the Shrimp Fried Rice. It had a hint of shrimp paste flavour, and the rice was cooked so it wasn’t too moist and sticky. There were also an abundant of shrimps inside.

Overall, I enjoyed the dishes we had at Dinesty. I can see why people enjoy coming here for meals. You get a good amount of food, which is of decent quality, at a decent price. I hear that service isn’t as great once it gets really busy during peak times, so perhaps going early is the way to go here. I also like how all their menu items have pictures, so you get a sense of what you are ordering beforehand. Perfect for beginners of Chinese food!

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant 聚 on Urbanspoon