Din Tai Fung is one of my favorite places to get XLBs in Taipei, Taiwan. It has gotten quite popular since the first time I had it in 2005 in Taipei, and now they have a couple branches in North America including one Bellevue near Seattle.
The Bellevue branch has been open for quite some time now, and I finally made it there to get some infamous XLBs.
For starters we got some very expensive cucumbers in chili sauce. These cucumber cubes were almost $5, and an item you can skip. The cucumbers lost their crisp, and they were way too salty. It was definitely a modified version of the (much cheaper) cucumber dish you’d get in Din Tai Fung, Taipei.
We got 3 different kinds of steamed dumplings including XLB, shrimp and pork, and shrimp and pork shao mai.
The Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai was a new item to me. It was XLB filly with a shrimp on top, and it looked better than it tasted. The shrimp didn’t add much flavor.
The shrimp and pork dumping was much better as it was juicy and fresh.
As for the XLB, the item that the restaurant is all about, was quite disappointing to me. For one reason, they came really late into our meal and I was quite full by the time I got to them. As the rest of the dumplings were the first to arrive at our table. They most likely forgot our order. Taste wise, it’s not nearly as magical as the ones I remembered in Taipei. It’s not nearly as magical as the ones we would find locally at Shanghai River.
For the ‘side’ dishes, we got hot and sour soup, daily vegetables, shanghai rice cakes and dan dan noodles.
My favorite was the shanghai rice cakes; pan frie d rice cake in soy sauce with spinach, and bok choy. The rice cakes had the perfect texture, and the vegetables weren’t over cooked.
For dessert we got some black sesame and taro steamed buns. Black sesame dessert is one of my favorites, and the steamed buns were pretty good here, but again, pricy for what you get.
I was quite under whelmed. I know I can’t compare it to Taiwan, but I expected it to at least remind me a bit of it. And with the price tag, there are a lot better options out there for the same kinds of food.
Din Tai Fung
700 Bellevue Way NE Ste 280
Bellevue, WA 98004