I had heard about the hours long wait to get a table at Din Tai Fung Dumpling House’s newest location, just across the lake from Seattle in Bellevue, Washington. With locations spread across Asia Pacific, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia, the Bellevue location is only the second of the Taiwan-based chain to open in the U.S. (the first is in L.A.).

Din Tai Fung’s specialty is Xiao Long Bao, or steamed dumplings, and once you try them, you may be hard pressed to find their match.

Din Tai Fung is especially known for their Juicy Pork Dumplings. See how they’re flat on the bottom? It’s because they’re filled with soup (the juicy part). We found it’s best to eat the whole dumpling in one bite, so as not to loose that yummy soup.

We asked our waitress how they get, and keep, the soup inside. She told us it happened during the steaming process, and had to do with the special folding process. Each Juicy Pork Dumpling has exactly eighteen folds.

We also ordered the Vegetarian Dumplings. Often a veggie dumpling alternative is disappointing, but not here.

These were filled with a finely chopped mixture of leafy greens, bok choy and mushrooms. The dumpling dough is so tender, biting into one feels like an indulgence.

Part of the thrill of a visit to Din Tai Fung must be the viewing window, where you can watch the chefs hand make each dumpling.

Even though the restaurant has been open only a month, these cooks have six months experience preparing dumplings. The Taiwan training crew arrived five months before opening to start training and they’re still on site, making sure everything runs just right.

The Pork Chop Noodle Soup and the Noodles with Sesame Sauce were also good.

 

But next time, we’re planning to do as the table next to us did, and only order dumplings and more dumplings until our bellies are full.

This post is part of Wanderfood Wednesday. Check it out for more stories of food and travel!

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