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Apr 23, 2002 06:29 PM

In Search of Great Chinese Food in Seattle area

  • j

Can people recommend some good to great Chinese restaurants in Seattle and the surrounding region? We like all types of Chinese food [dim sum, Islamic, hot pot, hunan, etc] except the type thats been modified for American tastes. Presently, we spend alot of time in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. We're coming to Seattle for a week and we aren't sure if we can go that long without a bean paste fix.
Also, can anyone recommend a good Asian grocery store where we can find all those essentials like fish sauce, ground bean paste and preserved duck eggs so we can whip up some congee for our friends or should we bring some with us? By the way, does Seattle have a "chinatown" or area which is more heavily populated by Chinese people? In LA, where we are, there is a large Chinese community, with lots of neat restaurants and businesses in the San Gabriel valley.
Please include addresses with any responses. Thanks!

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  1. We travel to Seattle on a regular basis ( about once a year) and always visit the Interantional District. This is much like most old-style Chinatowns(reminded me of Boston's Chinatown for some reason I haven't been to pinpoint) except a bit more diverse, Pho' places abound. Unless there's been some change most of the food is Cantonese. Uwajimaya is the market that pretty much anchors this neighborhood, though Japanese in heritage, you'll be able to find most of what you need there, including duck eggs, fish sauce, shrimp sauce, etc....the seafood (esp geoduck) always looked good. If you're staying downtown the best way to get there is via the bus tunnel...parking in downtown Seattle is a challenge, but we've found that bus fare is free within downtown.
    We usually go to Top Gun for Chinese when we're in Seattle, if not for the food, for the service, which is much like Seattle itself, friendly and kind, but not so friendly as to be obtrusive, and April/May is usually always beautiful in Seattle.
    Have Fun - enjoy a few(or more than a few) oysters....
    On a different note, we used to live in Rowland Heights, and have eaten in many places in Alhambra/Monterey Park (my wife is from PR China), you mentioned Hunan, I'm wondering if you've eaten at a good Hunan place if you could Email me that info - we travel back to LA monthly for shopping(Marukai), etc....

    Good Eating

    1 Reply
    1. re: KirkK

      Please don't try the bus tunnel for a while. It is closed for retrofitting to light rail.

    2. There's a 99 Market here now south of Seattle in Auburn. Like all of the 99's down in CA they carry more stuff than most asian markets. Ming's in Bellevue also offers very good dim sum at reasonable prices. Yea's Wok out in Newcastle has really good Taiwanese and Szechuan food. Most of what you find in the International district is Cantonese. Ho Ho's has chinese seafood and is really good especially for groups, just order off of the prix fie menu. Shanghai Garden has pretty decent hand shaven noodles and good clay pot soups. Hope you have fun.

      1. c
        Charles Drabkin

        For great hot pot and great Sichuanese food try “Sichuanese Cuisine” they have 2 locations one on 12th and Jackson and one next to Sears in Overlake. The one on the east side is a little better food and a much more extensive menu. Make sure and get the pan fried dumplings. At the Eastside location the “ants on a tree” and “Chen Do (sp) Noodles” are both noodle dishes I would recommend. Also sometimes, if you ask really nice, they will make this Mongolian Lamb dish that is sensational.

        For Dim Sum I like Top Gun and Honey Court both in the International District. For fish I would suggest either Top Gun or LA Seafood Restaurant also in the International District. Also there is a great Cantonese restaurant in the “Great Wall” shopping mall that also houses the market “99 ranch”.

        In terms of markets “99 ranch” in Renton is great. Uwajimaya and Viet Wa, are the 2 markets in the International District that I shop at. Also the fruit stands on Jackson are great places to get hard to find produce at unbelievably low prices.

        1. If you enjoy vegetarian cuisine then try the Bamboo Garden on Roy St in Queen Anne neighborhood. They
          have some truly amazing dishes excellent soups and an enourmous menu. They do psuedo meat dishes with gluten but I prefer the true vegetarian and tofu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: brazzzi

            Opinions vary on this place.
            Mine is not a good one.

          2. Sichuanese Cuisine. I heartily second the recommendation for this place. I've only been to the one on 12th & Jackson, unfortunately. Their soups, spicy beef with noodles, dry-cooked chicken and string beans, and dumplings are to die for. The Mandarin Chicken is my favorite dish, though. The prices are astoundingly low.

            Dim Sum: House of Hong caters most to American tastes. Top Gun is on the other end of the spectrum. It's a great favorite among Chinese and gets crowded fast and early. I also enjoy China Gate and Ocean City, but only when they're crowded.

            Shanghai Garden is really good and has menu items that other places don't have, like these really good, green, hand-shaven noodles.

            However, I cannot recommend Bamboo Garden on Roy St. I thought the food was VILE, and have talked to many, many people who agree with me. YMMV.