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May 14, 2009 08:28 PM

Chinese food in Seattle

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. 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. 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

        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

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

          The dim sum is not bad.

          1. re: HungWeiLo

            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

              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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: sumashi

                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

            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

              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

                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

                  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. 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. 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

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

                2. 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.