Wednesday 20 November 2013

Din Tai Fung (Bellevue)

After eating Din Tai Fung for the first time in Taiwan this summer at the Taipei 101, I was eager to try the one closer to home in Bellevue. Din Tai Fung started in Taiwan and many friends asked me if it was comparable to which I will have to reply no but that does not mean our meal was not delicious. You just have to try the ones in Taiwan to understand why they're so famous. The service of the Taipei 101 one was top notch because they even kindly mix the sauces for you.

It was a weekday evening but the place was completely full. We waited around 15 minutes until we were seated, during which I observed the chefs making the dumplings. They all fit into a cramped small room but the Taipei 101 location had a large open style kitchen (with windows) where each chef had much more room to make his or her food.

Chefs busy making dumplings
Xiao Long Bao: These steamed dumplings is a must have at Din Tai Fung. These came warm instead of hot but still tasted good. The skin was very thin and the pork was juicy with the soup spilling out.

Xiao Long Bao
Dan Dan noodles: This noodle was comparable to the one I had at the Taipei 101. The noodles sit in a thick peanut sauce and is addicting to eat because it is aromatic scent-wise and taste-wise. The use of sesame oil is probably what makes this bowl of noodles so good. There is only a slight spiciness to it.

Dan Dan noodles
Rice cakes with pork: This was least impressive dish. The rice cakes were stuck together or overcooked. They were over-boiled so there were little craters on the supposedly smooth rice cake surface. The dish was overly oily and only tasted like soy sauce. I wouldn't recommend this.

Rice cake with pork
Overall, the service was friendly but be prepared to wait if you're eating here during peak meal times. Most of the food offered at this out-of-Taiwan Din Tai Fung location was still good but does not deserve the best status of the Taiwan locations that won this restaurant its famous name.

Din Tai Fung (Bellevue)
Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon