Get ready to DTF anytime.
Monday marks the one-month anniversary of Taiwanese dumpling sensation Din Tai Fung’s (which I will never not call DTF) opening at Washington Square Mall. For the first month, Oregon’s first outpost was reservations only, but starting Monday, the Tigard location will be like all the other US locations: first come, first serve.
What that means is you won’t be forced to book weeks in advance to get your mitts on what’s probably the best xiao long bao (soup dumplings) in the state—but it also means you’re in for a wait.
Your best bet is to go earlier than you think, sign up, and then wander the mall with a coffee and a small snack while you wait your turn. Watch the employees make your soup dumplings through the picture window. Chill.
Once you’re seated, here’s what you should order:
Xiao Long Bao: Don’t be coy. This is what you’re here for. Ten plump little packages of porky goodness, with the signature twisted top arrive in a steaming hot basket. Let them sit for just a few minutes, then dive in, dipping them in the black garlic vinegar and biting a small hole in the thin dumpling wrapper to let it cool. Then chomp. Don’t sit on these and don’t save them for leftovers; the soup absorbs into the dough after a bit. Upgrade that’s worth it: crab. Overrated upgrade: truffle.
Sticky rice and pork Shao Mai: These cone shaped dumplings are like a mini volcano of flavor. TBH, I like them almost better than the soup dumplings. They’ve got heft, chew, flavor, style, and grace. (Just like moi!)
Wontons in spicy sauce: Pick your protein filling; I don’t care. Just make sure you get some of these dumplings, with a kinda spicy, kinda sweet vibe.
Pork chop fried rice: This is the fucking business. If I’m DTF solo, I get this and an order of soup dumplings. It’s kinda more than one person can eat, but I don’t care. DTF’s fried rice is wonderfully seasoned, yellow in color, and just the right level of greasy. Topped with a salty and juicy fried porkchop—a signature Taiwanese dish—it’s just about perfect.
Sautéed string beans with garlic: For health reasons. They’re also crunchy and totally worth tacking on.
Finally, remember that there's a LOT of hype around this new DTF. The food is very good, don’t get me wrong—but don’t go expecting the second coming of dumpling Jesus. It’s still just food. Go. Eat so much. Have fun. Just don’t hang your entire week’s worth of enjoyment on it.
Washington Square, 9724 SW Washington Square Rd, Tigard, dintaifungusa.com