As foretold by the flurry of social media activity around Din Tai Fung's first Bay Area location, the lines for dumplings started forming around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning in Santa Clara's Westfield Valley Fair mall. Even with 200 seats and a handsome bar in the 8,500 square-foot space, those lines are reportedly three to five hours long and don't appear to be letting up anytime soon (at the very least, though, the restaurant will text you so you can shop while you wait).
While the focus here is obviously the dumplings — especially the exemplary xiao long bao and an upgraded truffle version — the extensive menu includes a range of Taiwanese and Shanghainese specialties like shrimp and pork shao mai, Shanghai rice cakes, as well as more standard fare like fried rice and noodle soups. On the sweet side, you'll find desserts like boba tea, matcha smoothies, and red bean dumplings.
The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
While you wait (and wait), here's another look at the line — which extends all the way to the mall bathrooms — plus a shot of those XLBs waiting for you at the end:
Passing through Valley Fair today, and you can't miss this Grand Opening of Din Tai Fung. The line goes across the mall and into the restroom corridor as the restaurant officially opens today. Meanwhile 4 people are having an early lunch at California Pizza Kitchen next door, lol. #dintaifung #valleyfair #valleyfairmall #sanjose #siliconvalley #bayarea #bayareahq
And "social media coach" Lee Lonitz has been on the scene all day, dutifully livestreaming the whole event on Facebook: