You might ask “who goes to Seattle for xiao long bao?” — well, the answer is, “I do!” In fact, I had bookmarked Dough Zone months before my trip, so when my friends ask where we’re going for lunch, I say we are going to Seattle’s Chinatown.
We arrive early, and just as well, because within 30 minutes, the restaurant is packed. We peruse the menu and all agree that we are here for the xiao long bao, so we start there. Pork Xiao Long Bao ($11.25) comes 10 to a basket, and arrive piping hot. The skin is perfectly thin, and the pocket of soup is luscious. The only complaint I have is that the filling is not as flavorful or texturally refined as it should be, but overall, stellar!
We didn’t know that A-Choy with Sesame Dressing ($3.75) is a salad. I have never eaten A-Choy (a Taiwanese vegetable) raw before, and it is definitely an interesting experience. The sesame dressing is a blend of sweet and sour, and works well with the leaves. It would have been a nicer eating experience if chopped up a little more.
Sweet & Sour Cucumber ($3.75) is a stunning appetizer that is as tasty as it looks. The dressing consists of vinegar, sugar, garlic and a little chile. I plan to recreate this at home, one of these days.
Braised Tofu ($3.75) is a good appetizer for both vegetarians and omnivores alike. It is nicely seasoned with soy and spices.
Vegetable Steamed Dumplings ($4.75) are my favorite growing up. These are solid, with finely chopped vegetables stuffed into wrappers that are of the perfect consistency. I like to dip mine into a chile and vinegar sauce between bites.
Green Onion Pancake ($2.95) is decent. These thin triangles are dotted with scallions, and aren’t greasy whatsoever. It is unfortunate that there isn’t enough of an onion flavor for me to order it again.
Noodle with Onion Soy Sauce ($5.25) is an item I order specifically for my girlfriends as she doesn’t eat spicy foods, nor beef — I was eyeing the beef noodles. It is a simple dish which she enjoyed. In fact, I did too, but after adding a splash of spice, and incorporating the next dish into my bowl.
Spicy Beef Shank ($5.75) is a delectable dish with ma-la flavors — the numbing, tingly sensation from Sichuan peppercorns. I enjoy this tremendously. There is a non-spicy version as well for those of you who aren’t into spice.
My friends enjoy Dough Zone so much they return several days later, with a handful of others, while I was attending conference. There are several locations dotted around the Seattle area, so find the one most convenient for you.
504 5th Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98104
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