On our last morning in Seattle we gathered up 8 adventureous diners and braved Hwy 520's floating bridge and new picture tolls to head to one of only 2 Din Tai Fung restaurants in the USA. Man O' Man was it worth it!
We were ready and willing for a long wait, but was told our wait would only be 5-10 minutes because we were a large group. This time having a large party was already paying off. We purposely chose 8 particular people giving us a chance to taste way more food. Unlike dim sum's roving carts, orders are placed on a order sheet (kind of like some sushi bars) and staggered by the staff. First up was the fantastic hot and sour soup - a large bowl for the whole group.
Din Tai Fung's hot and sour soup is amoung the best we've had and even though some of the group had never had it, everyone agreed it was delicious, so much so we placed a medium order to-go for later. Once the large soup was finished, the bamboo steam trays came at us in a steady flow - nice work Din Tai Fung!
We ordered one of each dumpling available, except for veggie & chicken. There were shrimp & pork dumplings, green vegetable & pork dumpling, fish dumplings, shrimp & pork shui mai, shrimp & pork "beggers' purse" dumplings and pork and shrimp wontons in a oily chili sauce. The hit of the day was the "beggers purse" dumplings with a small shrimp on top and steam pork at the base and the uniquely delicious fish dumplings (we have yet to find these at any other dumpling or dim sum restaurant).
One new item we did try was the delicious pork glutinous rice, the terrific texture and crispy pork with salty sticky rice was a perfect combo. Soy soaked sticky rice and porky goodness. This one was so good, and since it was cut into thirds, 2 more orders were placed immediately.
We also ordered two noodles dishes, both vegetarian in order to savor the flavor of the noodles and sauce. The square handcut noodles were addictive. Chewy, not filling and packed full of flavor - slurplicious! The other noodle dish was the Shanghai noodles. A completely different noodle, more like a rice cake cut into slivers, also delicious.
We ordered three vegetable dishes - bok choy, broccoli and green beans. Each simply steamed and tossed in a light garlic oil. Simple & surprisingly delicious.
So, what's for dessert? Well sweet dumplings and buns of course. To satisfy our sweet tooth we ordered taro dumplings and buns. Typically we order sweet red bean buns, but the taro was even better. Sweet creamy purplish hue inbetween steamed white dough was terrific. But the star that stole the show was the gigantic bowl of shaved ice the 10 of us perfectly portioned and shared. There's shaved ice, mochi balls, sweet red beans, mango jelly, creamy sweet taro, a hint of sweet lychee syrup, sweeten condensed milk and a mango pudding. After satisfyingly stuffining ourselves this light, sweet, palate cleansing dessert was the perfect finish.
Our epic food tour of Seattle couldn't have ended on a better note! We cruised on down to Portland happily filled and ready for another food tour soon!
Din Tai Fung Dumpling House 700 Bellevue Way NE #280 Bellevue, Washington 425.698.1095