Dinner at Din Tai Fung (Bellevue, WA)

All the times before that we’ve dined at Din Tai Fung, we were never able to get seated at a table right away. Always there was a wait. It is that popular. Tonight was an exception. We waltzed right in after seeing Amour at Lincoln Square Cinemas (a remarkable, unsettling, superbly acted movie, by the way). Our taste buds were still remembering the excellent noodle soups we had here recently, so we could easily have ordered them again. But, in the interest of trying something different, we settled on Vegetable and Pork Wonton with Spicy Sauce and Shrimp and Pork Wonton Soup.

For an appetizer, we started with the tersely-labeled Cucumber, Kirbys sliced about 3/4″ thick, dressed with vinegar, sugar and sesame and chili oils. Refreshing and crunchy, they cleansed our palates for what followed.

pickled cucumbers
Pickled cucumbers

The shrimp and pork wontons were served in the same delicious, pure chicken broth that graced the Noodle Soup with Pickled Mustard Green & Shredded Pork last time, with no additional ingredients like vegetables, making for a spartan soup. The dumplings themselves were very flavorful.

Eight spicy wontons were served in a shallow dish over a pool of dark sauce made from chicken broth, black soy sauce, chili oil and minced green onions. What gave the sauce extra dimension was the flavor of five spice powder with notes of licorice and warm spices, which along with a dipping sauce of black vinegar and finely shredded ginger, given to everyone, made for two tasty ways to garnish the dumplings in the Chinese soup spoon. Difficult to detect without our waitress’ help were the vegetables in the wonton—Chinese cabbage (napa) and bok choi—tasty companions of the ground pork. This, as it turns out, is DTF’s most popular wonton dish, and deservedly so.

Dining at Din Tai Fung can become a pricey affair, especially if you add cocktails like we did. The lychee mojito is a killer drink. But, everything is freshly made and the dedication to quality is definitely apparent. By the time we were done with dinner, there was the typical flock of people waiting to be seated. The rumor is that the Taiwanese chain is looking to open a Seattle location, perhaps in the University Village, which can only ease the crowds here.

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Din Tai Fung
700 Bellevue Way Northeast #280
Bellevue, WA 98004

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