When it comes to restaurants, I’m not typically the waiting type; but at some places like Din Tai Fung, the wait is part of the experience. Having been open in Bellevue for three plus years, it’s pretty amazing that the dinner wait still stands at an hour or two (depending on what time you go and the size of your party). By now, the waiting game is simply something you know you have to do if you’re craving the perfect dumpling or noodle. I have yet to visit the new University District location, but the Bellevue Din Tai Fung is perfectly situated near downtown’s shopping and dining district. So, the wait is more than manageable. There’s even a movie theater upstairs of the restaurant if you’re looking for a welcome distraction.
Juicy Pork Dumplings are their claim to fame in my opinion. I liked the Pork more than the Pork and Crab variety, which is what David preferred.
Braised Beef Soup is a Taiwanese specialty, and I’ve mentioned it many times before on Laze. Din Tai Fung’s noodles are thinner than I would have preferred, but the “Q” level (a Taiwanese term for “chewiness”) was perfect; think of al dente spaghetti. Their broth is among the top I’ve had across experiences in both Seattle and Taiwan – it’s rich in flavor, but thin enough to sip like tea; in a word, simple.
And we couldn’t miss out on a chance to enjoy shaved ice. Their version includes pudding, red bean, lychee and mango jelly, rice balls and tapioca. I prefer a more Taiwanese version (with Taro, more beans, peanuts, condensed milk, etc.), but shaved ice is hard to find in Seattle, so I take what I can get :)