Despite a longstanding no reservations policy at its other locations, diners at Din Tai Fung's brand-new Santa Clara location will now need to schedule their dining in advance. Those insanely long lines at the opening meant some guests had to be turned away. So, to make sure everyone gets a fair shot at truffled xiao long bao, all tables in the Valley Fair Mall location will be reservation-only starting today Monday, May 16th.
The restaurant will keep the bar seating available for walk-ins, solo diners and smaller parties, but advises hungry dumpling seekers to "expect substantial waits for these seats." Reservations can be made via the restaurant's website or its SeatMe page on Yelp, but only up to a 30 days in advance at this point. And those slots appear to be filling up quick: a hasty search of lunchtime reservations for two only turned up a 3pm slot a month away on June 13th.
According to a rep from Din Tai Fung, the reservations system is a temporary solution, so get one while you can, because there's still a chance you could see dumpling lines snaking through the Valley Fair mall again in the near future.