Din Tai Fung
I don't dine out in Bellevue often, but when a friend and I heard that Din Tai Fung was open, and serving soup dumplings, it went on our list of places to try! We went on a Saturday night around 8pm, and we only had to wait for about 10 minutes, so that was nice! It was fun to wait and look into the windows of the area where the dumplings were being prepared. One chef rolled perfectly round pieces of dough, and the others stuffed the dumpling with meat and weighed each one. The restaurant was bigger than I expected, modern decor, not really cozy, but I did feel as if I was transported to some "swanky" restaurant in Taiwan.
We started with the Xiao Long Bao (Juicy Pork Dumplings). Sorry, no pic, we were hungry, and I forgot! 10 small dumplings for $11. They were good, but the soup is extremely hot, so be warned. I think I was expecting a bigger soup dumpling, the kind with a straw or something sticking out of it. But these are small, and probably best eaten with a spoon.
Shanghai Rice Cakes with Chicken $9
The first thing we noticed was that the portions were small. Maybe we have just been privvy to too many restaurants in the International District. But the Shanghai Rice Cakes was really good. The rice cakes reminded me of Mochi (it actually might BE slices of Mochi). They were sauteed with chinese greens and chicken in a soy based sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, it would probably be good for sharing for 2, but kind of small for a group of 4.
String Beans $8.50 Pork Fried Noodles $9
Pork Fried Rice $8.50
The Sauteed String Beans with Garlic were good, again, a pretty small portion for the price. The beans were crispy and fresh with lots of garlic flavor. The Pork Fried Noodles were another highlight of the meal. I am not sure if they make the noodles in house, but they were fabulous! And the fried rice left a lot to be desired. It was ok, but not something I would order again.
Service was good, maybe too attentive? Our server was nice, but she came by almost too frequently, I think she creeped out one of my friends. Maybe she liked him? ha ha!
Overall, Din Tai Fung was good, but not really something I would go out of my way to return to. If we're in the area and craving Chinese food I might return. If a friend had a party there, I'd go. But I don't know if I would suggest this place to others. It's overpriced when you compare it to other, equally good, if not better, Chinese restaurants in Seattle.
Din Tai Fung
700 Bellevue Way NE #280
Bellevue, WA 98004
Monday - Friday: 11:00am-10:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am-10:00pm