I’ve talked about this restaurant several times on this blog without really posting pictures of what a meal here looks like. We seldom go over to Bellevue you see, because of the toll bridge that links Seattle and Bellevue :P This restaurant is in the Crossroads Mall, and they do really legit Taiwanese noodles and even better xiao long baos than Din Tai Fung.
I really like their Sheng jian bao, which are pan fried pork baos encased in mantou pastry, not the xiao long bao wrapper. They are quite generous with this too, with 5 baos in a serving. These are rather filling so it is best shared. They are also juicy and crisp on the bottom.
Chinese cruller. It’s hard to find a place with freshly fried Chinese cruller! The one here is alright, but not as tender as I would like. They have soy bean milk too, but under the soup section (which was really weird for us Singaporeans, but I guess soy bean milk is evenly divided into sweet and salty camps in Taiwan)
The Dan dan mian is quite popular among my friends, whereas I prefer the less spicy spring onion oil noodle. The noodles are very chewy (probably made in-house) and have a great bite. This rendition (as in most dan dan mians) have some of the chinese pepper that numbs your tongue, but is not really spicy. The same stuff they use in Szechuan hotpot.
We also usually order the cucumber salad in chili oil, since there’s not much in the way of vegetables at this restaurant. Everyone who comes here for the first time are amazed at how long the cucumber spiral is :P I have bought a plastic device from a streetside vendor in Peru that consists of a pick that you stick through the middle of the cucumber, with a crosswise blade that you wind down the length of the cucumber to make these long spirals. Makes things automatically fancier.
They do everything excellently and we don’t usually make reservations to eat here, so it’s a nice, convenient hole in the wall to get authentic Taiwanese food without having to jostle with the crowd at DTF. I don’t seem to have a picture of the xiao long baos but suffice to say that they are larger, contain more soup, and are encased in a thinner wrapper than DTF.