Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I must be a fan. Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, CA and Bellevue, WA

Din Tai Fung, Arcadia, CA
Arcadia, CA

Years ago, my Shanghainese friend and her boyfriend would drive to L.A. with a COUPLE of coolers in their trunk. They loved the Asian food in San Gabriel Valley and would bring back frozen food to share or ration them in the freezer until their next trip. I asked them what is the one place I have to visit when in San Gabriel Valley. They both said "Din Tai Fung" at the same time.

Din Tai Fung, Arcadia, CA

Thus, my first experience at Din Tai Fung was over 5 years ago and I like to return whenever I am close to San Gabriel Valley. A few of my friends stand by mom and pop joints for xiao long bao and I do too. But what I really enjoy about DTF is their wrapper - elastic, springy and leak-proof. When entering any of the Din Tai Fung locations there are an army of cooks kneading, rolling and wrapping the dumplings all day long.

Din Tai Fung: Shanghai Dumplings, Arcadia, CA

Eating a xiao long bao is like eating ice cream. My anticipation grows as I patiently wait for the xiao long bao to finish steaming. My chopsticks goes in for the kill and tries to gracefully pick up the dumpling and "POW" the dumpling wrapper breaks and all the luxurious liquid escapes the container.

Din Tai Fung: Pork and Salty Cabbage Noodles, Arcadia, CA
Salty Cabbage and Pork Noodles

How is the experience like eating ice cream? You know the moment you take an excited first lick and the ice cream scoop drops onto the floor? I have the same disappointing feeling when my xiao long bao pops.

Din Tai Fung - Bellevue, WA
Bellevue, WA

Din Tai Fung's wrapper is springy like a 18 year-old face and I am almost always guarantee not to experience the ice-cream-scoop-drop disappointment. The wrapper is also thin and translucent so I get more pork flavor.

Din Tai Fung: Shanghai dumplings and Spicy Beef Noodle - Bellevue, WA
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup and Soup Dumpling

So while I was in Seattle for vacation in August I decided to have Din Tai Fung for dinner in Bellevue after a long day shopping at the outlet. I did not realize I would be going into the Microsoft building to dine at DTF so it was a pretty cool experience to explore the building and rest of the neighborhood.
Din Tai Fung, Vegetable Pork Buns - Bellevue, WA
Vegetable and Pork Buns
Din Tai Fung: Taro dumpling dessert - Bellevue, WA
Taro Dumpling for Dessert

The window seat at DTF has a beautiful view and I just found out Bellevue means beautiful view. Very fitting indeed.Din Tai Fung on UrbanspoonDin Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung - Bellevue, WA


Jessica's Dinner Party said...

I love Din Tai Fung! They have one in Seoul too and I go at least once very time I'm there.

The Duo Dishes-Chrystal said...

This is a spot that gets so much praise...and that's because it should! Arcadia is the only one I've been to, but it was definitely work the drive from the SFV. It was definitely worth the 25 minute wait. It was definitely worth the overly full belly. Great choice!

Gina said...

Wow, if I ever make it that way, I'm stopping there for sure. I love how thin the steamed bun wrappers were and the graceful folds. It was so much fun hanging with you and hope to do it again soon.

Beef No Guy said...

Bellevue....did you try Koot's Japanese green tea drink shop? Very nice place. I still don't get how NorCal got shafted w/o a DTF and Bellevue got theirs before us!

Dionne Baldwin said...

I pretty much grew up in the Bellevue area and my has it grown! I think those vegetable and pork buns look so tasty and I have never tried a taro dumpling! I can appreciate the ice cream analogy. Thank you for sharing your experience!

foodhoe said...

springy like an 18 year old's face! You really have me craving dumplings and noodles now... DTF inside the Microsoft building? How fun!

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