Soup Dumpling Explosion at Din Tai Fung
Having just come back from a long weekend at Cannon Beach, we weren't ready to get back into the hustle & bustle of daily life. So with kiddos in tow, we escaped to our suburban utopia known as Washington Square Mall. If you have managed to avoid the mall since last year's holiday rush, then you have not experienced Din Tai Fung.
The Taiwanese chain specializes in steamed dumplings, particularly the xiaolong bao or soup-filled dumplings, but also offer other specialty foods. Din Tai Fung opened its second PNW location (Seattle has the other one) in December 2018, and has kept themselves busy with patrons. It was only in the past few months that they have finally started accepting reservations.
Having eaten at DTF before, we already knew what we wanted: garlic green beans and soup dumplings! But scanning the menu more closely, we decided to also try the sweet & sour ribs, pork dumplings, and pan-fried potstickers.
Service was speedy and attentive. Drinks were refilled quickly and food came just as fast. As expected, the garlic green beans were crunchy and garlicky. Vampires beware! The sauce for the ribs was smokey sweet and made me think of thick molasses. The xiaolong bao and pork dumplings were as delish as we remembered, if not a touch gingery. There was a bit of a wait for the pan-fried potstickers, but it was worth the wait. The half dozen came upside down, with the pockets of shrimp and pork underneath and the flat, flaky crust being the first thing you see. Truthfully, I'm not too sure if I care for the flakiness of the casing since I'm more used to a slightly more al dente/tender bite. That aside, the shrimp and pork filling was flavourful.
My measure of goodness? My 6yo ate seven pieces of dumplings and good helping of green beans, without encouragement. The 3yo looked like a chipmunk, gobbling up piece after piece of what was placed in his bowl. DTF is definitely a place to check out, with food bursting with Asian flavours. Mind you, the pricing is not for the faint of heart. Most entrees cost a pretty penny, but if it's special occasion, a visit is well worth it!