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Dec 12, 2008 02:42 PM

Fu Man Dumpling House SEA review from me

Last night, my SO and I tried this little joint up on 143rd and Greenwood and wow, what a treat. We started off with what they call their “appetizer” which comes free with every meal. It was a little pile of marinated carrot, cuke, and bean sprouts, and we dispensed with it in short order. Then we had a dozen of their boiled dumplings ($7), which you can dip in a red clil sauce or their house garlc sauce, oh so delicious, and oh so garlicky. The dumplings have ground pork and either scallions or leeks in them. Oh yeah.

Next we had soup. I got the won ton and my SO had hot and sour, both $1.50 for a small cup. Best wonton soup I have ever had, with a gorgeous handmade noodle stuffed with meat in a delicate broth. SOt said his hot/sour was really nice too. They also do a large bowl of either and some other soups for $4.50 or around $7 for the big family style bowl.

Then they brought us BBQ fried rice ($7) that looked pretty meh, but we ate every last bite, so it must not have been too bad. Last we had the leek “pancake” (2 for $6.50) which is a crispy folded pancake stuffed with leeks and other things. Also very very tasty.

Total bill was $26 and our bellies were full. Everything was light and well-prepared, and not at all greasy.

They are only open until 9 and last call for orders is 8:30. It looks like a good place to get take-out, though it might take a little while, I’d call ahead or plan on running errands for a little bit while they make your food.

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  1. Their food is good, but not great, imo. And I was extremely disappointed that the Dumpling house only serves one (maybe plus a vegetarian?) type of dumpling. I think you can get them fried or boiled, but where's the variety of fillings? I was expecting a jioazi feast on several different types, but no dice. Disappointing.

    5 Replies
    1. re: akq

      I've found Fu Man to be reliable and satisfying--those "leek pancakes" are especially tasty. Lack of variety in fillings is, I'm afraid, an unpersuasive basis for criticizing a dumpling restaurant. A dumpling restaurant is simply where one eats dumplings; nowhere do the rules specify 31 flavors. I've eaten an awful lot of dumplings in locales where they are a staple food, and the most memorable ones have probably come from places that only sold one kind, or, in a pinch, one meat and one veg. Fu Man is a straight-up place foodwise, and nice people to boot.

      1. re: Barry Foy

        Yeah, I found those boiled guys so good they might be "crave-worthy" as in "I must go have Fu Man dumplings now. Sure, a big selection would be great, but what Fu Man do, they do well.

        We were only able to eat one of the leek pancakes. I had the otehr one for a late lunch and was really surprised at how well it reheated.

        And yes the people there were REALLY nice but not at all overbearing. I will be back, and soon.

        1. re: Barry Foy

          If the one filling were excellent, I'd make an exception, but in this case, imo, it's not. My family loves jioazi, but for a dinner of them, we'd always have several different types of fillings, both when we make them at home or when we go out. Most of the great jioazi joints and carts I've been to, both here and abroad, do have multiple types of fillings. This place bills itself as a dumpling house, which led me to believe that I could make a dinner from the dumplings alone (without the addition of a pancake, noodles, etc.) but since there is only one filling, or one filling plus veggie (still not sure about that), it would be, imo, a pretty boring dinner.

          1. re: akq

            Is there a dumpling house in the greater Seattle area that you recommend?

            1. re: maybelle

              I unfortunately, have yet to find one in Washington (which is why I was so excited, and then so disappointed about the Fu Man Dumpling House). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

      2. On the suggestions/reviews from here for Fu Man I dined there & was utterly disappointed in their tasted essentially low quality.

        10 Replies
        1. re: staffstuff

          Aside from the fact they don't have many varieties of was the wrapper and the filling? Did anyone try the veggie ones?

          1. re: karen2006

            not much flavor....overcooked....not very tasty fillings...basically as I said above...low quality food.

            1. re: staffstuff

              Why not just head east on 145th to Lake City Way, where just north of the McDonald's on the corner is Yu Shan? Their dumplings (fried or boiled) are well filled and tasty. Their version of hum bow (fluffy steamed dumpling) is called "House little pork buns with broth" and has plenty of filling, more than most hum bow I've had. The scallion pancakes are also excellent.

              Prices are very reasonable. The lunch or dinner combo prices are ridiculously low, and one takeout order may serve two people

              1. re: RandyB

                When you say hum bow, do you mean xiaolongbow? I believe hum bow usually doesn't have broth. But thanks for the suggestion!

                1. re: karen2006

                  From Nancy Leson's Seattle Times article:

                  "Fluffy housemade hom bao — steamed buns embracing juicy meatballs, described here as "House Little Pork Buns with Broth" ($5.95 for six). Wow."

                  I'm not sure I really know the difference. At Yu Shan the meat is a large ball, juicy but not exactly what I'd call a soup. It's also not just bits of meat in the steamed bun.

                  I guess you'll have to go there and report back to all of us. I can't do it right now, as I'm in Paris with no idea when or if my flight will get me back to Seattle or if I'll be able to get home from the airport.

                  1. re: RandyB

                    I will have to try it when I get back from Shanghai. Maybe I'll a better perspective on what the difference are.

                    Paris isn't too shabby either...although I"m not sure where to find good chinese dumplings. Stick to the duck and macaroons!

                    1. re: karen2006

                      Karen2006, if I can say this without sounding mean-spirited, I'll warn you that the bits of Seattle Chinese food likely to make a strong impression on you after you've been to Shanghai will be few and far between. Make the most of your visit!

                      1. re: Barry Foy

                        None taken! I grew up in the bay area and was sorely disappointed by the chinese options when I first moved up here. Now when I truly can't stand it we make the trip up to BC.

                        1. re: Barry Foy

                          On the other hand, there are also bad Chinese restaurants in Shanghai...

                        2. re: karen2006

                          The one place I found in Paris is a large place in Belleville in the 11th arrondissement. It's called the New Nioullaville. I"m told it's like a big Hong Kong restaurant, but I can't say personally.

                          I've only been there at night, so the dumplings are by specific order, not on carts. My typical test is the Lo Bak Ko, or fried turnip or radish cakes. In any case, theirs were excellent. So was their wonton soup.