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Chinese food in Seattle

Java May 14, 2009 08:28 PM

We're always on the look-out for good, reasonably-priced Chinese food in Seattle. When one of our favorite places, Sichuanese Cuisine, was recently renovated, it made us very happy, especially as they haven't raised their prices.

They serve up great fresh hot food fast, from dumplings and soup, to spicy Sichuanese classics, and also do a great hot pot. Some of our favorites include their sichuanese dumplings, sichuanese steamed fish, and curry lamb. Nothing on the menu is over $10. Now that they reopened, they're in a cleaner brighter space too: 1048 S. Jackson at 12th in the ID. The only downside is that it's sometimese difficult to find parking.

What are other Chinese restaurants in Seattle that we should try? Favorite dishes?

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  1. b
    bergeo RE: Java May 15, 2009 08:34 AM

    Definitely check out Jack's Tapas on University Way in the U-District and Chiang's Gourmet on the south end of Lake City Way. Mike's Noodle House in the ID has great congee and wontons and Kau Kau BBQ (also in the ID) has probably the best roast pig and duck in town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bergeo
      black bean can RE: bergeo May 18, 2009 04:13 PM

      Jack's Basil eggplant. mmm

    2. e
      equinoise RE: Java May 15, 2009 12:00 PM

      If you like Sichuan food, there are several on the eastside that are IMO clearly better than Sichuanese Cuisine in the ID: Bamboo Garden and Szechuan Chef in Bellevue, and also Szechuan First in Kent. So many dishes to try at each, including most of the cold appetizers, handmade dan dan noodle, sichuan crab, green onion pancake, camphor wood smoked duck, swimming fire fish. At Bamboo Garden, almost anything from the "wild side" menu is worthwhile; the twice-cooked fish at Szechuan First is exceptional.

      Taiwanese on the eastside is strong at Yea's Wok and Facing East. At Yea's try the "three-cup" chicken and the clam dishes. At Facing East the only thing I haven't liked is the Taiwanese-style chow mein.

      There is an onging debate over whether Cantonese and dim sum are worthwhile. I think so, even if BC has much better. I like dim sum at Jade Garden or Seafood Harbor in the ID, and also Noble Court and Top Gun on the Eastside. I enjoy simple noodle and rice dishes from Mike's Noodle House and Homestyle HK Cafe in the ID, and seafood at Sea Garden is good too.

      12 Replies
      1. re: equinoise
        The Shepherd RE: equinoise May 15, 2009 12:15 PM

        Another place to try dum sum on the eastide is Jeem, although they were closed last week for renovations. Looks like a little hole in the wall, next to the Safeway on 24th (Overlake Neighbourhood). It stacks up pretty well against the others you mentioned. Now I'm hungry and want to leave work :)

        1. re: The Shepherd
          HungWeiLo RE: The Shepherd May 18, 2009 07:17 AM

          Just don't go to Jeem's for dinner. It was terrible...

          The dim sum is not bad.

          1. re: HungWeiLo
            FoodDee RE: HungWeiLo Jun 20, 2009 11:52 PM

            June 20 and Jeem is still "closed for renovations" There is also a notice on the door about taxes owed. Doesn't sound encouraging.

            1. re: FoodDee
              HungWeiLo RE: FoodDee Jun 22, 2009 08:33 AM

              Good riddance.

              Their dim sum can be hit and miss, so it's always Top Gun despite the long waits.

              Maybe someone else will take over Jeems and do a better job.

        2. re: equinoise
          Tom Armitage RE: equinoise May 15, 2009 02:19 PM

          As usual, a good post, equinoise. My problem with dim sum in Seattle is that I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, and the dim sum in Seattle pales by comparison to the best dim sum restaurants in Monterey Park and elsewhere in the San Gabriel Valley. Those that you list are, I agree, some of the best in the Seattle area, but, as they say, “You can’t go back to the farm after you’ve seen Paris.” I second bergeo’s recommendation of Chaing’s Gourmet on Lake City Way. Although the service can at times be frustratingly inattentive and slow, the food is worth it. The ownership is Taiwanese, and the kitchen prepares good, authentic, and unusual Taiwanese, Shanghaiese, and Szechuan dishes. Last night, for example, I enjoyed the shredded pork and squid with dried bean curd and yellow leeks at Chaing’s.

          Another problem in adjusting to the Seattle food scene after Los Angeles is the absence of many Chinese regional cuisines, such as Hunan, Fujian, Shandong, and Zhejiang cuisines. At least I haven’t discovered any restaurants serving food from these regions. If they exist, and are any good, I would love to learn about them.

          1. re: Tom Armitage
            christy319 RE: Tom Armitage May 18, 2009 05:32 PM

            What do you like at Chiang's? My 2 visits there were very unremarkable, and we got a lot of dishes. The Szechuan stuff was mediocre compared to Bamboo Garden or 7 Stars.

            1. re: christy319
              sumashi RE: christy319 Jun 21, 2009 11:27 PM

              which bamboo garden are you referring to? i looked up bamboo garden, seattle in googlemaps and found about 5 different ones...

              1. re: sumashi
                HungWeiLo RE: sumashi Jun 22, 2009 08:32 AM

                The only Bamboo Garden that ever gets discussed on this board is the one on 2nd in Bellevue. Next to the building that houses Seastar.

          2. re: equinoise
            Scott O RE: equinoise May 17, 2009 05:16 PM

            For dim sum, strongly suggest you try Harbor City in the ID. Theirs is flavorful, consistent & quality, and the restaurant is family-run and service-oriented. Not a huge variety but what they make they make well. Great value.

            1. re: equinoise
              HungWeiLo RE: equinoise May 18, 2009 07:16 AM

              There's a place that just started doing dim sum next to Mi La Cay on Rainier called Red House. They're almost up there in quality as Jade Garden (who I think have suffered in quality in recent months), but without the ridiculous crowds.

              1. re: HungWeiLo
                Lauren RE: HungWeiLo May 18, 2009 03:06 PM

                I haven't heard of Mi La Cay - I'll have to give it a try, thanks!

                Have you tried Tea Garden or New World Seafood for dim sum? Both are better than Jade Garden, imo.

                1. re: Lauren
                  HungWeiLo RE: Lauren May 18, 2009 05:56 PM

                  It's Red House that has the dim sum. I was using Mi La Cay as a reference because it stands out at the corner of Rainier and Dearborn.

                  Tea Garden has pretty OK dim sum, although I've ranted a couple times in the past about the long wait for food at certain hours - they only have one kitchen steamer for a large banquet room of several hundred diners.

            2. b
              BallardFoodie RE: Java May 15, 2009 02:03 PM

              I really like the Hing Loon - try the szechuan eggplant with meat (pork). Many other good things, too. Probably our most go to place in the ID.

              We also try and hit the Sea Garden with some regularity.

              1. s
                staffstuff RE: Java May 15, 2009 03:38 PM

                I've consistently been pleased w. the food, service, parking and decor at Uptown China on Queen Anne and it's 'sister' restaurant, China Village near Univ. Village. I've also enjoyed the food at Chiang's Gourmet but find it a little 'sloppy' compared to the formers.

                1 Reply
                1. re: staffstuff
                  bbqer RE: staffstuff May 16, 2009 08:52 AM

                  Staffstuff, can you expand on what you mean by "sloppy" for Chiang's Gourmet?

                2. p
                  pusherman RE: Java May 17, 2009 04:48 PM

                  Hey Java (or anyone else knowledgable)-

                  When did the Sichuan Cuisine reno take place? I used to LOOOOOVE this place, and go like every week, but the last few times I went, not only had the food quality gone downhill, the place had become so gross I couldn't even handle it for take out -- like, bugs visible on the wall gross. Yuck! So I haven't been back in a while, but would love to reacquaint myself with the place.

                  BTW, pre-decline, their eggplant with pork is one of the top ten dishes in all of Seattle, IMHO.

                  1. s
                    Scott O RE: Java May 17, 2009 05:17 PM

                    Sorry, I first posted as a reply to another reply w/o meaning to.

                    For dim sum, strongly suggest you try Harbor City in the ID. Flavorful, consistent & quality, and the restaurant is family-run and service-oriented. Not a huge variety but what they make they make well. Great value.

                    1. w
                      wallyz RE: Java May 17, 2009 09:59 PM

                      For those north, Beijing Garden on Rucker in Everett is a hidden Gem. The Chef/Owner trained at a Hotel outside Beijing, and while it is American Chinese Cuisine, its done really, really well.

                      Lunch specials are insanely cheap($6) and good.

                      1. t
                        TownSpa RE: Java May 19, 2009 11:47 PM

                        They don't get a lot of mention, but I love Szichuan Bistro in Greenwood - Greenwood & 85th. Awesome hand shaven noodle dishes and plenty of spice.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: TownSpa
                          FlossyG RE: TownSpa Jun 13, 2009 10:50 AM

                          My current favorite for dim sum is the New Hong Kong Restaurant in the ID on Jackson. The owner who rang us up after this wonderful meal was very enthusiastic about his food and had passion in his voice. We were very sad that we had no more room for their bbq pork, which is remarkable. They had a unique special of clams in a spicy chili sauce which was which was worth the trip by themselves.

                          1. re: FlossyG
                            Ellen RE: FlossyG Jun 21, 2009 04:38 PM

                            You all must be local. Can you please let me in on what the ID is? And how it relates to downtown. I would love any really good Chinese recs within a walk or reasonable cab ride of Pike Place. TIA.

                            1. re: Ellen
                              mrnelso RE: Ellen Jun 21, 2009 07:29 PM

                              The I.D. is the "International District." The name began its tenure, in the seventies, as I recall, as a political revision from "Chinatown" (this is Seattle, after all), but eventually, the chamber of commerce came around and installed new banners, featuring "Chinatown" (welcome back) and now Little Saigon. Chinatown is at the southernmost stop of the (free) bus tunnel, and Little Saigon is a few blocks East, under the freeway (12th and Jackson). From Pike Place, walk East to Macy's and find the bus tunnel Southbound. I'll suggest Green leaf, but a look around this board will reveal many more favorites for great Asian food.

                        2. c
                          christy319 RE: Java Jun 21, 2009 10:35 PM

                          Has anyone tried Northwest Tofu, the place in the ID that was reviewed as the Bargain Bite in Friday's Times?

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