Anytime that we go for a Seattle weekend, we are obliged to visit Westfield Southcentre Mall in Tukwila. It's not that we're big shoppers and frankly, with the exchange rate where it is, there are no bargains but Southcentre Mall is a hub of Filipino activity. Of course, we don't need to go just for Jollibee anymore since we have them in Metro Vancouver now but Seafood City (a large grocery store) carries Filipino products that are hard to find in Vancouver. Also, there are a couple of bakeries and other food outlets that likewise cater to the Filipino community. So we make a stop. And while we're there, my wife can't help but get drawn into the Jollibee line (no small deal as it is inevitably an hour). Since vegan eats are scarce in this part of the mall, we had lunch at Din Tai Fung.
My first question is obviously, who would win in a fight between the Jolibee and this cute little dumpling? Din Tai Fung's claim to fame is that many of their dumplings are made on-site and you can watch through the front window.
We arrived just as they were opening on a Sunday and were seated pretty well right away as they got organized.
We started with Seaweed and Beancurd in a Vinegar Dressing. This was light and refreshing with a sesame oil accent. Everything including the beancurd was thinly sliced long pieces giving it a noodle dish feel.
There are more than just a couple of vegan choices! We tried the Vegan Spicy Wontons and really enjoyed these as well. They were filled with a mix of mushrooms, bean curd and noodles and had an interesting texture while the sauce was garlicky and not too spicy. The wrapper was remarkably delicate. We would definitely order these again.
The Vegan Shanghai Rice Cakes provided some substance to the meal and a few greens. They had a nice chew and were stir-fried with spinach, cabbage, soy and sesame. A very nice dish!
Finally, we finished with Red Bena and Mocho Xiao Long Bao. These were sweet without being overly so and made a tasty dessert. I always thought that XLB meant soup dumplings but it apparently refers to the method of enveloping filling with the twist at the top.
One of my favourite things about DTF is the fact that the vegan items stand out on the menu and even can be sorted easily online. We kind of stuck to noodles but there are several versions of Chinese greens that also looked tempting. Service was great and the room is large and very nicely appointed.
Even the ceiling is interesting! If you are in south Seattle, this is a fine place for vegan eats! Be prepared to pay the price if you get paid in Canadian dollars though. Our bill came in at $87.
Food 4 1/2 out of 5
Vegan options 4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort 4 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 3 1/2 out of 5
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