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Category archives: Asian

Indian Versus

Eastside’s Indian food scene has been exploding by the minute.

Established restaurants such as Mayuri, competing with vegetarian restaurants such as Udupi and Bombay House, and new places such as Chaat House and Chick and Fish, choices are endless!

Recently we ventured out to two other Indian restaurants in town.

First up, Oh! India for a late buffet lunch.

They have locations, one inside Crossroad Mall’s food court, and the other one right outside the Mall as the full restaurant.

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We considered coming here because we actually ordered a shrimp curry and fish curry from them one night for dinner and found them quite delicious.

It came with regular rice which was good, and tamarind rice which was very salty.

Well, we thought we could give them a chance for lunch as well.

The variety for the buffet was fairly good.

Naan was unfortunately very greasy, and some of the papadam was soggy.

Their dosa had no filling.

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Oh! India’s chicken kabob had high cumin flavor and was very good; curry was not bad either; butter chicken was very sweet.

Their chai was very astringent, and Lipton-like black tea flavor.

We got a hint to leave when they turned off the light on us as a signal; I would prefer them actually talk to us rather than having this feeling of passive-aggressiveness.

Needless to say, our experience was so-so, and food was not as good as our selective take-outs.

Second restaurant we tried was Moghul Palace, came highly recommended by our friends.

My friend really love their meatballs with masala sauce, tomato-ey and garlicky, with very tender meat, they were really good.

Baighan bharta was delicious, and I love the brown spices and spiciness in the Jalfrazie — we opted for fish and the fish was tender and tasty.

Chili masala was glorious with wonderful aromatics.

Since dinner was very good, I had to go try their lunch buffet, but was a little disappointed mainly due to the small selections.

Perhaps I was there too late, but there was only meatballs, Tandoori chicken, mango chicken curry, with some salads, rice, a chickpeas curry and a stir fry vegetables.

I was spoiled by Udupi with Chais, dosas, papadams, and all kinds of breads, and Bombay House would also have Chai and soup; and Kanishka has a really good spread of food — so Mogul’s buffet just felt a little small.

Nonetheless, food was great still, and I will be returning to Moghul.

I am afraid I cannot say the same sentiment go for Oh! India when there are other much better Indian options to fill my tummy!

Moghul Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Naka

It was really sad to see that Le Zinc closed its door in Capitol Hill.

As just a patron to restaurants, I was very surprised: a place with great food, great service and atmosphere, and the experience of sister restaurant Maximillien, how could it close down?

My friend who lives in Capitol Hill managed to shed some light.

He mentioned that the restaurant scene in Capitol Hill is very competitive.

For us, 95% of the time we go to eat at Capitol Hill is on the weekends; and apparently many of these seemingly business-blooming restaruants can be empty on the weekdays.

Business is tough.

As the old goes out, new comes in; I was super excited to learn about the opening of Naka at Le Zinc’s old spot; particularly, it is the first Japanese restaurant in Seattle solely for Kaiseki – traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

I love the simplicity of the menu: tasting menu for $75; Naka, 10-course, Kaiseki for $120 or Chef Kaiseki, 15-course, for $170.

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The rest of the dinner is in the hands of chef Shota Nakajima, who has apprenticed under a Michelin star chef in Japan.

I was impressed with my Naka Kaiseki: freshly seasonal, with balance of textures and flavors, and each dish showcased the different culinary techniques of the chef, adhering to the philosophy of Kaiseki.

Not fully traditional, Nakajima-san’s kaiseki has elements of western food as well. Continue reading →

Guilt Trip

Pork in Indian Food?  What???

I remembered our trip to India a while back, and initially found it interesting that restaurants serve only chicken, goat and lamb along with seafood.

Then, it dawned on us that the no beef and no pork policy was for the majority Hindu, and largest minority Muslim population in India.

Most Indian restaurants in the States also follows that rule — except Guilt Trip in Redmond, striking out as the rule-breaker.

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We went for lunch at off hours, so it was quite quiet.

The menu is full of interesting dishes to try, and they have a chai bar and a lassi bar, which I will be back for.

At the Chai bar, they offer the Kashmiri chai which has no milk, and 4 kinds of chais with different spice combinations.

The Lassi bar is even more adventurous, with flavors such as apple pie, saffron almond, tamarind date and mango chili.

The prominent pork in the restaurant comes in the form of bacon.

There was a blue cheese bacon naan, and bacon butter chicken, which we ordered.

Continue reading →

Huong Binh

One of my top International District restaurants is Huong Binh.

Ten plus years ago, my Vietnamese friend brought me there for their famous grilled meat.

Ten plus years later, I still believe they have the best grilled pork and pork balls.

Located in Ding How shopping center, there was no way one would miss Huong Binh with the most colorful display of snacks, candies, cookies and to-go food outside the restaurant.

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I still remembered when all those display used to be around the cashier inside the restaurant; they piled so high that it was difficult to find the cashier.

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Continue reading →

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663

The Chinese food scene in Seattle has been slowly improving.

Remembering the times in early 90s when I first moved to this area, I was visiting Vancouver, B.C. every month to get decent Chinese food.

Now, we have Din Tai FungFacing East, and Little Sheep that I believe are on par with what Vancouver has to offer, and Jade Garden and Top Gun, albeit not the best, but decent.

When it comes to Chinese barbeque, in the 90s, I was a frequent customer of King’s Barbeque; again, not the best, but edible, and most of their barbeque products were better than Kau Kau’s at the time.

I remembered their roast duck was great, but no one at the time was able to make good barbeque pork; my supply were from barbeque shops in Richmond, B.C.

Until several years back, our friend told us about then the new 663 Bistro.

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Continue reading →