Din Tai Fung & The Pungent Sound

Din Tai Fung has a lot of hype every where it opens shop.  They have evolved from the little shop in Taipei’s Da’an District to an semi-upscale Taiwanese restaurant.  They tend to open up shop in more affluent areas like Whole Foods.

I’ve visited multiple Din Tai Fung locations around the world. I’ve been to original one in the Da’an District, Zhongshan District, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Sydney and Burbank locations.  The stand out location has been the Da’an District no matter what location I’ve visited.  As my palate evolves, I can distinguished the subtle difference at each location.  The hardest thing a restaurant chain can achieve is consistency and there are only two restaurant chains that achieve it — In N Out and Santouka.

Din Tai Fung Seattle
The decor

With every Din Tai Fung, it’s always packed except the non-Da’an District ones in Taiwan.  Din Tai Fung seems to be a fad outside of Taiwan and it speaks to volumes to how locals seem to overlook their city’s treasures.   I am guilty of overlooking my city’s treasures.  I live less than 5 miles away from the beach but it’s never in my day’s agenda even on the weekends.  Anyway, this location disappoints like the other locations except the Hong Kong one.  I’ve had dumplings in Seoul, New York, and practically every city I’ve visited.  Din Tai Fung usually disappoints.  Trust me.  It appears they don’t give the extra care in the preparation as the original location.

Now, the food. I went with the essentials:

  1. Spicy Won Tons – The Spicy Won Tons seemed undercooked and more firm than usual. The spiciness is consistent with other locations and providing a little kick and flavor.  The pork fillings within the wontons seemed a bit underwhelming in flavor.  The texture of the pork didn’t dissolve right away with the first bite.

    Din Tai Fung Seattle
    Spicy Wontons
  2. Pork & Shrimp XLB – The Xiao Long Baos were relatively compared to other locations.  The only thing missing was the temperature of the soup.  It tasted warm versus piping hot.  I didn’t have to be careful about burning my tongue as I bit into the Xiao Long Baos.  The number of creases on the wrap and the flavors of the pork were fairly consistent.

    Din Tai Fung Seattle
    Xiao Long Baos

Overall, I’ve been to the original location and every location other than the original is sub par.  It’s still fairly decent and I would pick Din Tai Fung over a lot of restaurants for a meal. However, the Seattle location doesn’t live up to the original like the ones who came before and after it.

Check out our other Seattle articles here.

  • 6/10
    Service - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Presentation - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Flavors - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 6.5/10
    Ambiance - 6.5/10
6.3/10

Summary

I’ve been to the original location and every location other than the original is sub par.  It’s still fairly decent and I would pick DTF over a lot of restaurants for a meal. However, the Seattle location doesn’t live up to the original like the ones who came before and after it.

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