Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,812 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#2431 #S1227 - Din Tai Fung, Seattle - 3/11/2014

Din Tai Fung, Seattle
In creating this blog post for the U Village instance of Din Tai Fung I've noticed that I never created an entry for the earlier Bellevue version -- no doubt overlooked because I did not go to the bar until after I'd eaten there a few dozen times. Had I written about the Bellevue location, this post could have simply referred back to that one, as it is the same serviceable bar, the same small army of cooks methodically hand-preparing dumplings behind a window, the same regrettable, busy mall location, the same long lines to get in (despite room for 230), and the same lovely, lovely food that makes it all more than worthwhile.

Shrimp and pork wontons in spicy sauce
Din Tai Fung, Seattle
The wait is mitigated by DTF's support for the NoWait app, which you can use to reserve a place in line, if you are that prepared, or if you are not, to track the number of parties ahead of you. The latter feature allows you to loll around in Barnes and Noble until you see there are just one or two groups ahead of you. Mark Davis's bar program for the local restaurants is satisfying, and while you won't typically want to brave the mall crowds just for the bar, it can occasionally payoff as a shortcut to a seat for small parties.

Foodies will need no introduction to the Taiwanese Din Tai Fung chain -- they serve what have been called "the world's greatest dumplings," the Hong Kong restaurant has a Michelin star, and the New York Times named them one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world. At last count there were only 5 Din Tai Fungs in the U.S., with 2 in the Seattle area, and a 3rd on it's way (to yet another busy mall, alas -- someone needs to convince owner David Yang Wasielewski to build one on a nice waterfront location). The first northwest DTF in Bellevue caused a minor sensation when it opened in 2010, and hopes that eventually you could get in for either lunch or dinner without waiting in line have been futile.

DTF is most famous for its "xiao long bao" soup dumplings, but for my money the best item on the menu is the shrimp and pork wontons with spicy sauce. But you can't go wrong here, so if you are going for the first time it's nice to have a large group that is happy to share many items (and don't overlook the Shanghai rice cakes with pork or the cucumber salad). It won't be a cheap meal and it probably won't be a short wait, but you'll be happy you did it.

2621 NE 46th St, Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 525-0958
Est. Dec 29, 2013 - Building constructed: 2013
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
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