Sunday, 24 November 2013

Lucky Tao: Dim Sum Edition

We went to Lucky Tao for dim sum just as it opened at 10am. The dim sum is only $2.99 a dish so the place was filled up quickly after 10:30am. In general the food is good for the price but don't expect service. The servers are long time workers and they are fine but the cashier lady (and probably the owner) was very rude. After waiting for my bill, I walked up to the counter to ask for my bill and she straight out ignored me. She was not on a telephone or talking to anyone else but she did not even look up to acknowledge me. That was the least pleasant part of this meal. Now onto the food.

Fried seaweed wrapped salmon and shrimp: This dish is pretty good. There is shrimp and salmon filling inside the seaweed wrap which is fried to crispiness. It comes with a side of mayo for dipping.

Fried seaweed wrapped salmon and shrimp

Fried Chinese New Year Cake: Typically Chinese new year cake are pan-fried in squares so I was surprised to see it come in this format wrapped in spring roll paper. It didn't taste worst than the typical square version but I prefer it without the wrap. I liked that there was a distinct ginger taste to the dish.

Fried Chinese new year cake
Steamed BBQ pork bun: This bun is what you would expect from a typical dim sum place. There was the usual red BBQ pork filling inside a bun.

Steamed BBQ pork bun
Pan-fried taro cake: This was the most underwhelming dish. It was dry and tasteless. It probably doesn't taste that different from eating a cooked taro directly.

Pan-fried taro cake
Overall, the inconsiderate service from the cashier lady will not deter me from eating at Lucky Tao again because the servers are actually quite prompt and the food is priced well.

Lucky Tao
Lucky Tao Chinese Seafood Restaurant 陶陶居 on Urbanspoon


Friday, 22 November 2013

Coppertank Grill: Spicy Perogy Pizza

Coppertank Grill is in a convenient location near bus stops and good for large groups in a relaxed dining setting. We arrived as a group of 20 later in the evening and was seated promptly. Interestingly, the menus between us had discrepancies. My menu did not have the pulled pork poutine while other menus had the yam fries option. So be sure to check with your friend's menu to fully see what food is offered!

Spicy Perogy Pizza: This pizza was great! It came piping hot with a thin crispy crust, layers of thinly sliced potato, topped with cheese, bacon bits, green onion, and a sizable dollop of sour cream. I really enjoyed it because it was different from the conventional pizza and the cold sour cream with the hot pizza made a great combo.

Overall, the prices are reasonable, the food I tried was good, and they have the space to take large groups.

Source: Google Maps
Coppertank Grill on Urbanspoon


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Din Tai Fung (Bellevue)

After eating Din Tai Fung for the first time in Taiwan this summer at the Taipei 101, I was eager to try the one closer to home in Bellevue. Din Tai Fung started in Taiwan and many friends asked me if it was comparable to which I will have to reply no but that does not mean our meal was not delicious. You just have to try the ones in Taiwan to understand why they're so famous. The service of the Taipei 101 one was top notch because they even kindly mix the sauces for you.

It was a weekday evening but the place was completely full. We waited around 15 minutes until we were seated, during which I observed the chefs making the dumplings. They all fit into a cramped small room but the Taipei 101 location had a large open style kitchen (with windows) where each chef had much more room to make his or her food.

Chefs busy making dumplings
Xiao Long Bao: These steamed dumplings is a must have at Din Tai Fung. These came warm instead of hot but still tasted good. The skin was very thin and the pork was juicy with the soup spilling out.

Xiao Long Bao
Dan Dan noodles: This noodle was comparable to the one I had at the Taipei 101. The noodles sit in a thick peanut sauce and is addicting to eat because it is aromatic scent-wise and taste-wise. The use of sesame oil is probably what makes this bowl of noodles so good. There is only a slight spiciness to it.

Dan Dan noodles
Rice cakes with pork: This was least impressive dish. The rice cakes were stuck together or overcooked. They were over-boiled so there were little craters on the supposedly smooth rice cake surface. The dish was overly oily and only tasted like soy sauce. I wouldn't recommend this.

Rice cake with pork
Overall, the service was friendly but be prepared to wait if you're eating here during peak meal times. Most of the food offered at this out-of-Taiwan Din Tai Fung location was still good but does not deserve the best status of the Taiwan locations that won this restaurant its famous name.

Din Tai Fung (Bellevue)
Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon


Monday, 18 November 2013

Eagles Buffet at Tulalip Resort Casino

Eagles Buffet is located inside the Tulalip Casino but minors are allowed at the buffet. We went for lunch (USD$12.95 each, click here for price list) and there were many tables seated already but it was not overly crowded in the buffet area.

The price includes one beverage, food, and coffee or tea at the end of your meal. There was a decent assortment of food with an Asian section including Mongolian type grill and more American cuisine like pizza, pasta, and grilled meat. Although assorted, the salad bar was slightly disappointing since the greens did not seem fresh with an aging cast so I avoided the raw vegetables.

On the other hand, the dessert section in the middle of the buffet area is large compared to other buffets. There were cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more than six types of gelato to choose from. The best part was the option to get your gelato in a waffle bowl!

Dessert: red velvet cupcake, blueberry cheesecake, espresso and chocolate gelato

Savoury: Pasta, scallop potatoes, salmon, pizza, baked chicken
Overall, the price is good for the food provided and service was prompt to collect dirty dishes. Half of the buffet price probably will be eaten in the dessert section, so if you have a sweet tooth you will like Eagles Buffet!

Eagles Buffet
Eagles Buffet on Urbanspoon


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Coco Hut: Hainanese Chicken Rice

Today's dining adventure took place at Coco Hut. Underneath its name, it says Singapore Restaurant but on Urbanspoon it is labeled under Malaysian cuisine. Let's not get into that debate about whether the dishes came from Malaysia or Singapore and talk about the food!

We went for lunch and there were a few other tables in the small restaurant. We ordered the Hainanese Chicken Rice (rice not photographed). Albeit I haven't had genuine Hainanese Chicken Rice in Malaysia or Singpore before, I thought that this place made it pretty good. The chicken was tender and not overcooked, plus it was completely deboned so every bite was meat.The dipping sauce included the red slightly sour chili sauce and the green onion & ginger sauce. I preferred the latter sauce better. The rice that came with the chicken was mixed with chicken stock and tasted very fragrant.

Hainanese Chicken Rice
The two skewers came as appetizers in a lunch combo with the chicken entree. We chose one pork skewer and one chicken skewer. The chicken skewer was more tender and the pork one was a bit tougher. For me, the highlight was not the skewers themselves but the peanut, lemon grass dipping sauce. I really enjoyed the sauce because it had little bits of ground up peanuts with hints of lemon grass taste.

Pork and Chicken Skewers
We ordered one more appetizer which was the roti. I personally really like roti, pancake, waffle, crepe, etc kind of doughy food because they are great comfort foods for me! This roti came warm and did not feel too oily. The curry dipping sauce complemented the roti well since the roti itself it quite tasteless.

All in all, I had a good lunch here at Coco Hut. It was clean and service was not overly friendly but efficient and brisk. The food came quickly and with the right temperature. One thing to note is that Coco Hut accepts Cash Only!

Interior of Coco Hut
Coco Hut 椰林餐廳 on Urbanspoon