We tried this restaurant last weekend at the recommendation of a family friend. It's in a odd spot, which has me concerned about its future, near the Skate King in Bellevue. I think there's also a Cash and Carry in the same complex and a Dunn Lumber across the street, but not much else to bring you to the area. Needless to say, parking was a breeze.
Anyway, all dumplings are hand/home made. Even the skins. They are served Northern Chinese style boiled. There were I think 4 varieties to choose from. We had a cilantro heavy one (my husband loves cilantro) and a basic pork dumpling. No msg. Both were good, although the skins weren't super thin and the dipping sauce was overwhelming. They just felt home made, which in my mind is a good thing.
We also had stir fried string beans, minus the "hot" because of a child in our party. We tend to have string beans as a staple out at chinese restaurants. These are on par with Cafe Ori. Garlic heavy, but also with some bamboo shoots and other spices to make it complex. Maybe a bit of black bean?
Another staple for us is chicken wings. These were also very good. Perfectly pan fried with good flavor of garlic and peppers. My son (who loves chicken nuggets but rarely anything off the bone) devoured them.
Lastly, we had a bowl of the ma-la (hot) beef noodles. I am a big fan of the beef noodles at Facing East. This was the grown up version of that. The noodles are house made. The ma-la was a bit much (it was a warm day too), I probably should have started with the regular beef noodles for a good comparison, but they were delicious and we polished it off.
The meal wasn't inexpensive (for Chinese) but we didn't walk away feeling like we'd over paid either. It reminded me of when your favorite aunt comes to visit and cooks what she knows are your favorites. Or is that just a childhood thing for me?
Anyway, the place was pretty empty, and I'd like to be able to return for a later date, so maybe go and give it a shot? Options people, options. Let me know what you think. I'll be going back to try the other beef noodles...
14339 NE 20th St Ste I, Bellevue, WA 98007