99% Food, 1% Skin

Reunion Bake Brew Bite

Stumbled onto Reunion Bake Brew Bite on the web while searching for new places to go to, and I was there in a heart beat!

Reason being they offer a small selection of Malaysian food.

Their menu is eclectic — there are Malaysian dishes such as nasi lamak, beef rending, laksa and Heinan chicken; then there are BBQ smoke meats.


On the side, there are waffles with different topping, sandwiches, bake items in the case, and a huge line-up of coffee drinks.

To my surprise, lots of ingredients in the store are organic, including the chicken and the milk.

I had to have the nasi lamak with chicken.

The rice was good — soft, flavorful with spicy peanuts, crisp shrimp chips and little dried fish, and a side of hard-boiled egg.

Chicken was very tender, albeit too salty.

Laksa was a little disappointing, coconuty spicy soup with nice mix of 2 kinds of noodles (rice and egg), topped with boiled egg, egg tofu and seafood.

Now, to be fair, this laksa was about the same as what I can get in the Seattle area such as Malay Satay Hut or Teapot vegetarian.

I was just having such a high hope that it would be like the laksa I had in Malaysia, and this wasn’t it.

It was not bad, perhaps my expectation was unreal here.

There was a pot of self-serve plain chicken soup that came with any lunch set, and that was good.

Nice, subtle, soothing flavors of just chicken and ginger, it was awesome!

Even though there were many other dishes I wanted try, I was saving space for waffle with kaya.

Kaya is the quintessential Malaysian spread made of coconut and pandang plant: sweet, coconuty and with a brilliant green color that cannot be missed.

The kaya was good; the waffle was ok and not very fluffy.

Lastly, down to the coffee offering.

I had the wonderful RS&T espresso ice cubes which was totally superb, and the theatrics of it was very fun.


Four to five cubes of espresso ice cubes in a cup, and warm steamed milk was poured into the cup, slowly melting the espresso ice cubes.

The coffee flavor was roasty but not overpowering, allowing the floral and fruity characters to come out.

I was amazed even with the amount of milk, the coffee characters were still very bold.

The warm milk imparted sweetness and creaminess, it was a wonderful drink to savor.

My friend had the nitro latte, and it was definitely an interesting experience!

Cold latte with great espresso flavor and small fizzy bubbles on the palate, the drinks present itself as acidic.

Reunion also offers many single origin coffees in their “slow bar” where the coffee is hand-brewed; and I have not even tried the Malaysian hand-pulled teh Tarik (milk tea) or kopi Tarik (coffee with milk) yet.

Food is good not wow, but then there is no wow Malaysian food around either; drinks alone are worth the trip.

Reunion Bake Brew Bite Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Ting’s Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings made to the press?

I had multiple people asking me recently whether I have been to Little Ting’s Dumplings , because they all read the article from Seattle Times.

It was rumored that Canadians come down to Little Ting’s to have dumplings.

So, off we go in the car to North Seattle.

On the busy street of Greenwood Ave., Little Ting’s Dumplings sits in a small, 2-unit, unassuming building.

Based on the looks, it used to be a sushi restaurant.

We went on a Wednesday for lunch, and the place was full with one last table open just for us.

Two people behind the counter were engaged in making dumplings with utmost focus.

We sat down and ordered pork and pickled vegetable dumplings, beef and onion pot stickers, baby shrimp and chives pan-fried buns, spicy beef tendon, hand-made noodle in spicy sauce and a side of milk tea.


While waiting for food, perfect time to check out condiments.

Black vinegar, home-made chunky spicy sauce and a super garlicky soy sauce — awesome!

First came the spicy beef tendon.

It was superb!

Even though it had plenty of pepper seeds visually, it was quite misleading the dish was not very spicy hot at all.

The beef tendon was cold, crunchy and full of flavors of garlic and soy; sweet, pungent, and just simply addictive, one of the best tendons I had in a while.

Next came the baby shrimp and chives pan-fried buns.

From the English part of the menu, I was expecting small fresh shrimps inside the dumplings; but the Chinese menu said that it was “shrimp skin” in the buns.

“Shrimp skins” are super small shrimps that are dried, and used in Chinese cooking, and those were in Little Ting’s pan-fried buns.

The flavors were fresh, mild with a hint of seafood.

What I didn’t expect was the buns were not the Shanghainese pan-fried buns I was used to (such as the ones in Dough Zone, with a fluffier flour dough), but was basically a thicker dumpling skin, then pan-fried.

Still crisp bottoms with chewy skin, pretty good.

Next came the pork and pickled vegetable dumplings.

These dumplings were boiled in water: pork was tender and the pickled vegetables were salty and with slight sourness as expected in Chinese pickled vegetables.

The dumpling skin was the thick type, which was more Northern Chinese style than the thin skin Cantonese style, and with good chew and clean simple flour flavor.

Multiple surprises came from the beef and onion pot stickers.

One, I was expecting them to be in different shapes than the boiled dumplings, which was what I was accustomed to (usually dumplings are rounder, and the pot stickers are longer shape, sometimes even different types of wrapping).

At little Tings’, the nomenclature was only for the method of cooking: same dumplings but pan-fried is pot sticker, and boiled are dumpling.

Another surprise was the filling.

The beef was strong sweet soy-flavored stewed beef; I was used to dumplings with mild and slightly marinated beef.

They were delicious, and certainly no sauce required.

Lastly, the hand-made noodle with spicy sauce was also not very spicy at all, but more greasy.

Again, the English menu only said that the noodles were hand-made and came with spicy sauce, but did not say anything about the grease part.

A peak in the Chinese on the menu, one will find that the dish was all about the grease.

In fact, traditionally, it was a lard-tossed noodle.

Flavors were good, and the noodle texture was excellent: right amount of thickness, right amount of chew.

I did find eating the noodle as its was lacking a little in flavor dimension, but when I added the house-made garlic soy sauce to it, they were really good!

One note on the milk tea, it was made with fresh milk, but far too little tea.

What was in there was a nice Jasmine tea with light floral flavors, not too sweet and creamy — probably would not order that again.

They also sell flavor variations of the milk tea by adding jam (strawberry and peach).

Little Ting’s offers some griddle-cooked dishes that looked interesting.

Alas, we had no more space in the stomach; in fact, we had so much left over, the food was returning home with us.

Verdict: Little Ting’s has good Northern style dumplings, and I am glad that we have a shop like Little Ting’s in Seattle.

If I was Canadian, I would not drive down just for the dumplings.

In fact, I live only 16 miles from the restaurant, and I am not sure I want to battle the traffic to the westside for them.

I will, however, buy their frozen dumplings, and enjoy them at home!

Little Ting's Dumplings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Salted Sea

The hunt of good seafood never ends in Seattle.

This time, we travelled to Columbia City to try Salted Sea.

We went on a Thursday evening, and it was pretty quiet in the restaurant.

The menu was not big; and with a party of six, we ordered many of the small dishes to share and enjoy the variety Salted Sea had to offer.

Crab cakes were the best with sweet, soft lumps of crabs, and a decently dried crisp crust.

Fish and chips was ok, the coating on the fish was light, but we did not love its flavor.

The octopus had mix review from our table.

I got a meaty chunk and it was excellent — soft, nicely grilled with a little charred flavor.

However, the smaller pieces that other folks in my party had was completely burnt and tough.

The side salad was amazing with smaller pieces of soft octopus meat, crunchy fennel and apple, refreshing and delightful.

L: fried oysters R: grilled octopus

Fried oysters were good: sweet, fresh, with a flavorful cornmeal crust.

The ceviche was a little weird with serving of toasts.

It was extremely sour with very little fish.

Seafood stew was fairly good with generous portion of black cod, mussels and clams.

It had shiso and green onion flavors, interesting combination, and seafood was cooked perfectly.

Clams in sambal broth was addictive with salty Chinese sausage, the spiciness of sambal, and lots of garlic.

We got brussels sprouts for fiber allotment, and they were undercooked, but with decent flavor of red peppers.

The meal was good but not wow; it is a little hard to justify driving a long way for it.
Salted Sea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pioneer Square Eats and Drinks

Many good eats in Pioneer Square and too little stomach space!

Recent trip brought me to Kraken Congee.

I heard about their creativity and their take on the Chinese congee when they were a pop-up, but was never able to make it; so I was extremely glad that they have a brick and mortar store now.

On a lunch date, I had their duck confit congee, Bang Bang shrimp pinch bun and sticky fish sauce chicken wings.

I was stunned by the congee!

Extremely creamy and smooth, it was better than some of the Chinese restaurants around.


The duck confit was very tender and flavored with five-spice, it was beautifully presented with a dash of red beet soaked mustard seeds, soy sauce egg yolk, boy choy and pork crackling.

Lots of flavors in a bowl and I loved the color, the presentation and the flavors — although I admit the flavors were foreign at first.

I had to get used to strong flavors being put on the congee, rather than mild flavors from ingredients cooked in the congee.

The Bang Bang shrimp bun was delicious.


Soft buns with slightly crispy fried shrimps tossed in mayonnaise and hot sauce, with fish eggs, chives and cucumbers.

Many texture and a cohesive flavor, I only wish there was more fillings in the buns.

Sticky fish sauce chicken wings, however, was a disappointment.

I had such high hopes from the other dishes, and was really hoping that the wings would be good enough to replace the long drive to Pok Pok in Portland.

Alas, that was not the case.

The wings were soggy, and came with a sweet honey. slight fish sauce flavor sauce.

Nothing stood out, and in fact the sogginess of the wings was quite undesirable.

Overall it was a good meal, and I am curious enough to return for other dishes such as crab fat congee, their simple chicken congee and kare kare beef noodles.

Another beautiful spot for meals is Girin.

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Decorated beautifully, Girin made Korean restaurant upscale.

We had the Gochujang wings, and they were nicely fried with good spiciness and flavors, the sauce was runnier than I expected, and the wings were tiny.


Kalbi was tender and marinated through and through, and the accompanying miso paste was bold and strong.


The side kimchi was crunchy and garlicky, and the salad had a flavorful toasty sesame dressing with fresh lettuce, delicious fried onion and not too much crab.

Side soup had a rich broth with firm tofu and mushrooms.

Food was good with beautiful presentation, but it was not that much better than Stone Korean.

Lastly, Elm Coffee Roasters.

Loved the modern white/wood, minimalist décor with the backdrop of red bricks – signature of many buildings in Pioneer Square area.


Elm Coffee Roasters roasts their own coffee on site.

I had the decaf mocha, and it had single origin chocolate in it.


It was caramelly, roasty and dark, quite acidic and completely unsweet.

The latte had unique flavor as well.

It had a grainy character, almost chestnut-like smoky milk flavor.

While I appreciate the freshness and the stand-out flavors, the coffee was more acidic than my liking.

Kraken Congee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eating Out in Edmonds

Asian food in Edmonds?

Personally, I don’t correlate the two together but the tie exists!

I was surprise to find these good eats, and they definitely got me as a customer!

First stop, Wonton Noodle House.

I was told that the chefs were trained in Hong Kong.

The place is reminiscent of Mike’s Noddle in International District with similar food offering.

The wontons and dumplings were awesome!

Thin skin, crunchy shrimp and meat, with extremely bouncy, thin, egg noodle that was free of alkaline flavor.

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Congee was smooth, and the pork and thousand year old egg was flavorful.

I was thoroughly happy with the soy sauce fried rice crepe, the rice crepes were very fresh and soft, with a mild soy sauce flavor and crunchy bean sprouts plus sesame seeds.


Something very simple yet very delicious.

Next was dessert.

My friend told us about Black Ball.


Turns out Black Ball is a chain Chinese dessert stores originally from Taiwan.

Their famous dessert is the grass jelly – which I had to return to try.

I had the highly recommended matcha pudding and matcha shaved ice with red beans and rice balls.

We were there at a cold night, so hot dessert of red bean soup was also on my list with added yam and sweet potato balls to fight the chilliness in the air.


Red bean soup was very good – big red beans, soft, and not too sweet.

But I was disappointed with the yam and sweet potato balls.

They were soggy and mushy, nothing like the ones I had in Taiwan.

The matcha shaved ice and pudding was very good.


Perfect matcha flavor, perfect sweetness, with multi layer of texture – crunchy ice crystals from shaved ice, firm jelly texture from the pudding, thick red bean and chewy rice balls.

Aside from Chinese food, we also found an Indonesian grocery store that serves food, Waroeng Jajanan.

Grocery side had small offering of mostly instant noodles, spices and dry goods.



The food side had a small menu.

We had the fried chicken, noodle, coconut rice, yellow rice with beef, and satay.

My favorite was the coconut rice.

Fragrant with ginger, almost cardamom like flavors, moist and comforting.

The chicken was fried super well – the chicken skin literally melt in the mouth; but the meat itself was under marinated.


The satay was not as good as Malay Satay Hut’s, and still with good flavor; vermicelli noodle was soft with nice flavor, mixed with bean sprouts, and served with a side of boil egg and rice cake, and plenty of spicy peanut sauce.


Yellow rice was fantastically gingery and full of flavors.


However, the beef was very dry and tough even though it had very good curry like flavor.

Peanuts on the side was spot on, spicy and delicious, along with the perfectly fried shrimp chips.

Noodle was soft, simple and spicy.


With crunchy bean sprouts, hard boil egg and lots of peanut sauce.

These foods are going to get me up north more often!

Wonton Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato