Monday, January 5, 2015

Food While Traveling: Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

This gem of a dumpling house was unknown to me until this year!
I'm not sure how I didn't hear about it until now, but I'm glad I did. A few months ago, my foodie friend Arti mentioned this place to me, but since I wasn't planning a visit back to Seattle anytime soon, it didn't stick on my radar. Then, my best friend Avani (also Arti's younger sister) suggested I go since I would be in town during the holidays. I made a mental note of it and figured I would look it up when I got into Seattle. My sister, mom, and I were in University Village running errands, and I was looking at a map of the place and there it was....DIN TAI FUNG! I turned to my family and said 'Oh, Avani said we should go, it's really good!". Et voila, Tuesday night's dinner was solved!

I headed over to the restaurant to see how long the wait would be for our party. I had read on yelp that sometimes the wait times are 2-3 hours! I got to the restaurant just around 6pm and the wait was about 20-30 minutes. I don't think this wait time is normal, I think this was a Christmas miracle! The hostess took my name and cell phone number, as the restaurant has a technology set up that when your table is ready, you receive a text! She handed me a menu and told me to check in once I received said text.  

In about 24 minutes, it was our turn to experience the delicious savory goodness that are dumplings! 

I was told that Din Tai Fung was *the* place to go for soup dumplings, but unfortunately for us, those dumplings are only served on Saturdays and Sundays (and I have an inkling that is when the wait times are 2-3 hours long!). Well, don't pity us, we still had a great meal. Our first dish was the Pork XiaoLongBao. These weren't quite soup dumplings, but there was a little bit of broth inside, close enough I guess! These were fantastic, I'd recommend ordering them! 

Then came our shrimp and pork potstickers. We gobbled these up in record time.

And onto the pork buns. These pork buns are delicious (and probably considered traditional), but I still prefer David Chang's pork buns. You can't really compare the two because they are prepared differently, I know, 

Sticky Rice and Pork Shao Mai

Shrimp and pork wonton with spicy sauce

Overall: I would absolutely come back here. Basically every dumpling we ordered here hit it out of the ball park. I would skip the fried rice, and the bok choy was also just okay. I'm not usually one to wait for 2-3 hours for food (I still haven't been to Dominique Ansel!), but I would try to come back on a Saturday or Sunday to try the infamous soup dumplings. I would strategize and bring a few Kind bars for my dining party to hold over any hangry related rage while we wait! Din Tai Fung has locations in LA and also around the world - check out the website for more information!

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House
2621 NE 46th Street
Seattle, WA 98105

They do not accept reservations. The University Village location is open Monday - Friday 11am-10pm, and Sat-Sun 10am-10pm.

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