Din Tai Fung
While Stefan and I were spending a week in Seattle a restaurant kept making the top of people’s lists of places we had to try…Din Tai Fung. Yes, pronounced exactly like it sounds..it took me a second to move my “southern accent” out of the way to relay the location to my Uber driver but alas the shabby-chic Prius Prince responded with, “Oh my gosh. You’re going to LOVE it!”
Little did I know, I was soon going to be so obsessed with this restaurant the words Din Tai Fung would roll off my tongue with such ease you’d think I was a native Taiwanese. (Taiwan is where DTF originated..) So can you guess what type of food Din Tai Fung specializes in?! “XiaoLongBao” also known as steamed dumplings!
Steamed Dumplings, Y’all!
I mean, I get hype about a good steamed dumpling anywhere I go but I had never been to a Din Tai Fung so my hype level wasn’t near what I know it should be now that I’m an official DTF groupie. To put it in perspective, DTF’s Hong Kong location was awarded a Michelin Star…these are Michelin Star level dumplings y’all! That doesn’t just happen every day?! (If you’re not familiar with Michelin Stars – they’re basically the Gold Medals of the restaurant world..aka big ass deal..) Not to mention Din Tai Fung was awarded ONE OF THE TOP TEN RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD by The New York Times in 1993..aka DTF has been crushing the dumpling game since I was the ripe age of 3. – Hell yes, DTF. Do you! And if you happen to want to open your next location in Nashville, Tennessee..you just let me know. We’ll get that worked out REAL QUICK.
Hype Level: 1000
Okay, so now we all understand hype level should be at 1000. To further the hype, DTF feeds the craze BEFORE you even enter the restaurant. As you’re walking up to these gates of heaven, you see masked men and women standing at tables. Not masked as in grim reaper type mask, but as in surgical masks. See pictures below…
What is going on?!
As much as this looks like a scene from Season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil, no they are not weighing out cocaine. They are making dumplings TO ORDER. As in the lucky patrons of DTF gaze through the many options of dumplings and these masked men and women make your order right then and there.
Just stop. What a brilliant, interesting and intriguing concept. I could have watched these chefs make dumplings all night. (Which could very easily be the case if you don’t get to DTF at an early hour..talk about a line out the door!) Luckily Stef and I got to this hot spot right in time to walk straight up to the bar and find 2 seats. The bartenders at the Seattle location where super friendly and very helpful. They told us 4 small plates/entrees would probably be plenty for just the two of us and I just politely laughed..not at the bartender but at the thought of what he would think of us when we crushed double that amount of food. Which is exactly what we did..8 of the best small plates I’ve ever eaten. Here were a few of our favorites…
Blog 3 Photo 6 – Noodles with Sesame Sauce and Peanuts
Blog 3 Photo 7 – Shrimp and Pork Wantons with Spicy Sauce
Needless to say, I’m now a ride of die Din Tai Fung goer for life. If only the nearest location wasn’t 2000 miles away… I guess I’ll just be over here dreaming of dumplings until I can find my way back!
Wishing y’all lots of love and mouthwatering dreams,