Fairly new soup dumpling place in Bellevue called Dough Zone.
The menus were full of small dishes, from dumplings, buns, to noodles and congees.
I went there twice already and was able to try different dishes.
Great news that finally there was a place serving comparable soup dumpling, Xiao long bao, to Din Tai Fung‘s.
Equally thin-skinned and very juicy with tender gingery meat, the Dough Zone Xiao long bao were delicious and at a lower price point than Din Tai Fung – a bonus!
The rest of the menu items were hit and miss.
For starters, I had the spicy cucumbers and radish.
Both were tasty.
The spicy sauce was very spicy in the crunchy cucumbers and I just loved the garlic in them.
The dish was less sweet and less sesame flavor than Din Tai Fung’s and yet still good.
The radish was very savory and additive and with a harder crunch.
It reminded me of the radish that my family in Hong Kong ate with plain congee every Sunday morning.
My next favorite would be the pan-fried buns, Sheng Jian Bao.
The buns were soft and the pork filling once again were very juicy, flavored well and just fantastic.
The inconsistency came from frying.
Some of the buns on my plate got the much expected crispy bottom which was the highlight of sheng juan bao — slight burnt, harder crusty bottom gave slight caramelized flavor and added texture to the bun; but others were barely fried and completely paled.
Hopefully they could make the pan-frying process more consistent otherwise it was very much a waste on otherwise really good buns.
I had wonton soup, spicy wontons and leek pockets on one occasion.
The leek pockets were awesome!
Again very juicy; and the skin was light and was pan-fried top and bottom in just right crispiness, totally delicious.
The filling was made with aromatic leeks, mung bean noodle and eggs.
The wontons had very thin skin and smooth which was fantastic except the filling was extremely minimal.
I felt like I was only eating wrapping.
The spicy wonton sauce was good but not as good as the one at Din Tai Fung.
On another occasion, I had beef roll and it was tasty — fresh cilantro with well marinated thinly sliced cold beef in a crispy buttery pancake and a little sauce inside, the textural contrast was great and a very decent dish.
The stewed pork noodle I did not much care for.
It had a nice soy sauce flavor and noodle had great texture; I could not get over the, lack of a better term “porky” flavor of the meat.
It was the unpleasant, “gamey” meat flavor that pork generally should not have.
I also had a crepe-like dish called jianbing guozi, with egg outside and fried dough inside, and that was probably the worse dish I got there.
The wrap was chewy when I was expecting crispiness, and the fried dough inside was completely soggy.
We had a very pricey beef burger which had tender tasty beef with strong cilantro flavor but the bun was doughy and soggy — felt like I was eating a mouthful of flour and soggy from soaking up the grease from frying.
All in all, if one knew what to order, and that the restaurant was consistent in their delivery, the meal would be wonderful.