Din Tai Fung is a Chinese restaurant that originated in Taiwan, but has expanded around the world. They specialize in xiao long bao (or juicy pork dumplings as they call them) and other small bun dishes.
My family visited the Bellevue, Washington location for lunch this Summer. We went during the week and it was very busy. We got there on the early side, so we didn’t have to wait, but when we were leaving there was a big line up out the door.
The juicy pork dumplings were really good. The wrapper was thick, but not too thick and they were filled with a nice burst of delicious porky juices. The meat inside was tender and flavourful.
The spicy braised beef noodle soup was a good dish. The broth had a rich beefy flavour and aromatic spices. I didn’t find it spicy and the broth flavoured reminded me of Taiwanese beef noodles.
The beef inside was falling-apart tender and the noodles were nice and chewy. I think they could have added a few more noodles to the bowl though, as the portion was small.
We ordered the sautéed string beans with garlic as an after thought, but they ended up being a favourite with everyone at the table. I’ve never had string beans as good as these before. They were salty and garlicky and had a snappy, crunch to them with no waxy texture. These are a must order if you come here.
The shrimp and pork potstickers came out all attached together by a flat, crispy, sheet of wrapper. These were very good and another must order. My idea of a good potsticker is very crispy on the bottom and juicy on the inside and these definitely fulfilled my requirements. I would recommend ordering these because they are different from ones you can get at other places.
The vegetable and pork dumplings was the one dish we unanimously agreed that we didn’t like. We were actually fighting over who had to finish these, which is unheard of in my family. The filling was very dry and it just lacked flavour. Don’t order these.
I wasn’t crazy about the shrimp and pork wonton in spicy sauce. The spicy sauce wasn’t very spicy and it had a strong star anise flavour to it and I can only handle small doses of star anise. The rest of my family really liked them though.
The Shanghai rice cakes with chicken were excellent. They make their own rice cakes in-house and they have a wonderful chewy, thick, texture. This was a simple, but satisfying dish.
I thought the pork chop fried rice was okay, but I had a previous scarring experience with a horrible pepper pork chop dish somewhere else that has turned me off the flavour, so I am a bit biased. The rest of my family enjoyed it though and I thought the fried rice had a nice texture to it.
I enjoyed our meal from Din Tai Fung, There were a few disappointing items, but most of them were very tasty. This restaurant is more upscale and modern looking than many Chinese restaurants and also a bit pricier, but I think the food is flavourful and well executed and worth the price.
Yes, for good Chinese food in Bellevue.