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Where to get (tasty) roasted suckling pig?

Pronounced "yue jue". The vowel is like the first syllable of French "oeuvre" for both words.

Sep 04, 2014
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum Club -- XLB worth seeking out? [San Francisco]

Yes, sorry edited the post.

Sep 02, 2014
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum Club (Russian Hill, San Francisco)

Thanks for the heads up! I'm equally amazed there is a decent cantonese restaurant in the neighborhood...saves time driving to Koi Palace or the Richmond.

It was good enough that my parents and I went there twice in one week.

The winners we had:

1. Taro dumpling (芋角)- I can't remember when I've had such a good rendition. They were smaller than usual but four to an order. The taro was not at all heavy, but more like a delicate shell around a tasty pork filling. Usually I don't like these too much because they are too heavy and can taste of old oil but these were excellent both times.
2. Shrimp rice noodle roll (蝦腸粉)- quite good. Noodles were translucent and see through with a nice slightly chewy texture. The shrimp were large sized with a nice snap.
3. Spareribs steamed on rice noodle rolls (排骨蒸腸粉) - excellent, tender, black bean spareribs on rolled cheung fun noodles.
4. Stuffed eggplant (釀茄子) - very very good, a highlight of both trips. large pieces of chinese eggplant, split and stuffed with a mostly shrimp mousse filling. Black bean sauce actually had flavor. Not nearly as greasy as at mediocre dim sum joints.
5. Steamed cake (馬來糕) - excellent. Not too sweet, ethereal texture. Almost ate the whole thing myself
6. Shanghai soupy dumplings (小籠湯飽)- really enjoyed these, comparable to Din Tai Fung

Just ok:
7. Shrimp dumplings (蝦餃)- the filling had a nice snap and pleasing sesame oil/white pepper taste but my skin wasn't translucent and fell apart when I picked it up
8. Beef noodle roll (牛肉腸粉) - the beef filling is texturally correct but rather bland. Maybe needs more orange peel?

Overall pretty pleased with the meals. My one piece of criticism is some of the dishes leaned on the sweeter side.

It was pretty empty both times at lunch so service was excellent.

Dim Sum Club -- XLB worth seeking out? [San Francisco]

I actually had excellent XLB at Dim Sum Club. The skins were very delicate, bursting with porky soup and a texturally pleasing pork filling (it didn't have the sandy texture you sometimes get). My one criticism is they are slightly on the sweeter side than I like, more so than can be accounted for from just "xian" (鮮)

I've been to Din Tai Fung quite a number of times (worked a couple blocks from the Bellevue location and lived less than a 10 min drive from the Seattle one) and I would say it's a toss up which ones I prefer.

Sep 02, 2014
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area

Question about King Crab Season 2014

We ended up going to Empire (the one off Alexandra, not the one on #3 Road).

$21.99/lb cooked three ways: salt & pepper deep fried body, garlic steamed legs, "portugese" rice baked in shell.

All done very well. They had tanks full of them but the night we went the largest was only about 11 pounds.

Mar 12, 2014
DiggyK in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Any Seattle 'Hoods Where Lack of Parking Keeps You Away?

Actually I can personally attest that speaking Cantonese doesn't improve the service all that much...

Mar 04, 2014
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Question about King Crab Season 2014

Agree with Cal Boy on the fantastic food in Vancouver. Actually taking my folks up this coming weekend for our annual king crab feast. Any insight into how the season is shaping up is much appreciated!

Mar 03, 2014
DiggyK in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Oh Please, Pretty Please, Din Tai Fung—PLEASE Come to SF!

Curious what you think is better than DTF in Bellevue? Chinese food is mediocre at best in the Seattle area and unless you are driving to Vancouver, BC, there isn't anything close in quality.

Jan 06, 2014
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area


I also tried out 4649 last Friday after all the laudatory comments. I have to agree! Even though I'm usually more of a tonkotsu ramen person, the spicy miso ramen was excellent. I loved how the (optional) soft-boiled egg was perfectly cooked. Only slight issue is I prefer my noodles a bit firmer; next time I'll see if they can adjust that for me.

I'd rate this above both Kukai and Samurai Ramen right now.

Sep 30, 2013
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

favorite cookware store?

I didn't notice any self-branded cookware at Mora so sorry, can't help you there. The copper cookware I saw on display was mostly modern Mauviel, tinned and stainless, m150 and M250. Broad selection and excellent prices though compared to the US.

Sep 05, 2013
DiggyK in Cookware

favorite cookware store?

Have you been to Mora on rue MontMartre about a block away from E. DeHillerin? I find them much better organized, cleaner, and based on the items I was looking at, better priced. Selection wise it leans more towards baking but they do have a fantastic selection of cookware as well.

I do miss City Kitchens quite a bit. Always found something I had to have.

Sep 05, 2013
DiggyK in Cookware

Masterful Stir Fries at Ming Kee – Hurry, Closing April 15 (San Francisco)

My best guess with my poor chinese:

1. Honey pepper scallops and shrimp
5. Pineapple sweet and sour pork ribs (HK style)
7. Malay [something] pork jowl? can't read the third character
8. Roast duck and taro fried rice
9. Pan fried fuzzy melon and oyster

Apr 07, 2013
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area

Update on Fuji Bakery

I just went to Fuji in Bellevue yesterday and purchased a couple things. It's not even in the same ballpark as the previous incarnation and is now sadly not worth the trip IMHO.

Apr 03, 2013
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Skillet Diner - Seattle

It's probably not THE best restaurant in Seattle but I find it consistently good. Plus hey it's my local cheap eats so I'll be happy once it slows down a bit and it's easier to get a table.

Oct 13, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Dim Sum: Yank Sing Alternative

Not sure if you are still looking for a recommendation but apparently the people from HKL have just opened a branch in the old Lychee Garden space on Powell between Broadway and Vallejo and Green right in Chinatown. I haven't personally eaten there but have been told it's the same quality as either location on Geary.

I agree with the comments above that HKL is much better than Yank Sing. YS is not bad though although severely overpriced, and the service is always excellent.

Aug 24, 2012
DiggyK in San Francisco Bay Area

Tom Douglas restaurants?

Serious biscuit. Yum!

Try the biscuit with crispy ham hock and collard greens.

Jul 11, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Best of the bunch - Chinese Restaurants in Seattle (NOT north, east, or south)

I quite like King Noodle especially since you can customize the order pretty much however you like. Their chive, shrimp, and pork potstickers are the best I've had in a while. They are plump and extremely juicy with nicely crisped bottoms. I think something like 6 for $4. I could eat a dozen.They also make some szechuan style appetizers which we found very fresh and tasty.

663 is famous for their salt and pepper chicken wings which are really dry fried chicken wings with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy glaze. Their noodle dishes are generally good (avoid the XO sauce here) with a nice "breath of wok" sear to them. The main dishes tend to be greasy and salty.

I find that Dim Sum King is actually not bad. Especially anything that uses a glutinous rice dough (sesame balls, salt water dumpling) they do really well. Their rice noodle crepe is a pass. I would say their food is about on par with all the other mediocre dim sum in Seattle.

Jade Garden has acceptable dim sum but the place is filthy. They used to make excellent egg rolls with just shrimp and yellow chives but last time I went they started to cheap out and add cabbage.The pan fried dumpling with green chive and shrimp is always good here.

I quite like Hard Wok Cafe. I'm not much of an authority on Taiwanese food but my friends from Taiwan quite like it. They make an excellent soy egg. Their tofu and grass jelly or shaved ice desserts are especially good.

Henry's Taiwan is very inconsistent. Sometime is pretty decent, othertimes it's intolerable. Not sure what's going on.

Jul 11, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Soy Sauce in Seattle

Uwajimaya sells Ohsawa.

Uwajimaya also sells two different kinds of nama shoyu from Kikkoman Japan. they come in plastic pouches with almost now english writing on them. Super delicious stuff.

Apr 24, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Just Moved to Redmond from Boston -- Food Shopping Help Please!

+1 on Fuji Bakery. Excellent quality traditional french viennoserie and some pretty interesting japanese-french fusion offerings (mini brioche "cube" filled with red bean and raspberry....yummmmm)

Although not nearly as clean or as organized, I find I prefer the 99 Ranch down in Renton next to Ikea.

For Asian grocery stores, Uwajimaya is excellent but can be a bit expensive for essentials. Two other ones worth checking out: Jing Jing market in the same strip mall as Top Gun restaurant in Factoria and the other one (forgot the name) is in the strip mall on the southwest corner of 148th and NE 20th in Overlake. Both are less expensive than Uwajimaya and have a broader range of asian (chinese) groceries.

H-Mart in Lynnwood mentioned above is an excellent source for Korean groceries. Their meat selection is especially good. The produce is very good quality (about on par with Uwajimaya IMO) and much less expensive. It's huge so they have a lot of variety.

One other supermarket for Filipino specialties is Seafood City which is oddly enough attached to the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila. Decent meat counter (seems pretty pork oriented) and moderately priced seafood; the selection tends more towards what's cooked in Filipino cuisine.

If you make it into Seattle, Mutual Fish would be my go to choice for a fish market. Uwajimaya in the International District would be a good choice as well.

Apr 19, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Tofu mold?

I've read that you can make one by taking a disposable plastic container (eg gladware or ziploc) and drill some holes on the bottom and sides to allow for drainage. Or you could make kunigoshi (silken style) which you can let set in any closed container.

Apr 13, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Dim sum in Seattle

I completely agree with Hung Wei Lo. Growing up eating dim sum in the bay area, the places up here just cannot compare to Vancouver, Bay Area, LA. There isn't enough competition to force better quality food or service. Although Sun Sui Wah is not my favorite in Vancouver, it's still in a different league compared to places in Seattle. I'd recommend Fisherman's Terrace or Kirin in Vancouver.

That said, Jade Garden or Harbour City (across the street from Jade Garden) will do in a fix. Top Gun in Factoria would be my choice on the east side.

Apr 02, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Best time of year for king crab?


Feb 01, 2012
DiggyK in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best time of year for king crab?

Hi everyone, I'm planning on bringing my folks up to Vancouver for some king crab probably at one of the chinese dim sum palaces like Kirin, Sun Sui Wah, Fisherman's Terrace etc.. I think I remember the peak of the season is mid-March. Is that right? Does anyone remember from last year?

Also any recommendations on a venue?


Jan 31, 2012
DiggyK in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Seattle Trip.. End of April

+1 on Sushi Kappo Tamura

If you're going to be at Spinasse for dinner on the 26th there are a number of places to have a nice drink before or after, Artusi next door to Seattle makes some nice amari (italian bitter aperitif/digestif) cocktails, Tavern Law, Rock Box etc.

Also Molly Moon's for ice cream!

Jan 31, 2012
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Momofuku-style pork buns?

Not sure of a restaurant that has them but they're really easy to make at home. You can buy the buns at Uwajimaya or in pretty much any asian store (I've read that even at Momofuku they don't make them in house). The pork belly requires an overnight brine then some time in a low oven before a last minute blast of heat to crisp up the skin. The hoisin sauce is purchased and you can choose whether or not to lightly pickle the cucumbers. Here's a recipe:


600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Sep 16, 2011
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Seattle's International District

Totally agree with FoodDoog. It really depends on what you want to eat. Some of the things I like at specific places:

1. Roast pork or Soy Sauce duck at King's BBQ. I find the roast duck just ok
2. Paper wrapped cupcakes at Yummy Bakery
3. Banh mi at Saigon Deli. Specifically the bi and xiu mai kind.
4. BBQ pork buns at Duk Li (Lee?)
5. Sesame balls at Dim Sum King
6. Prawn and yellow chive egg rolls at Jade Garden
7. Salt and pepper chicken wings at 663 Bistro

For groceries, I prefer Uwajimaya for the cleanliness but Dong Hing on Jackson and Lam's on King St are not bad.

Also must mention the viennoserie at Fuji Bakery. Some of the best I've had outside of Paris and Payard (before they closed) in NYC.

600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Saigon Deli
1237 S Jackson St Ste E, Seattle, WA 98144

Jade Garden Restaurant
7th S King S, Seattle, WA 98101

Fuji Bakery
526 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

Sep 01, 2011
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2011 [Old]

Frozen butter chicken and basmati rice. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Incredibly watery sauce, very little chicken whatsoever, and sopping wet rice with zero basmati aroma or flavor. Definitely one of the weakest items I've had at TJs.

Aug 22, 2011
DiggyK in Chains

Ho fan noodles

Try some of the other asian stores closer to 12th and Jackson. Dong Hing, Hao Hao, Lam's etc. all have the same ones as Uwajimaya (but fresh and unrefrigerated) so they are much more pliable.

600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Aug 04, 2011
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Good Peking Duck in Seattle Area?

Actually peking duck and cantonese roast duck are prepared and presented differently. I guess you could make a reasonable approximation if you were to buy or make the pancakes (or split buns if you prefer) and serve it with the scallions, cucumber, and sweet bean paste/hoisin sauce. You'd probably need to reheat the cantonese roast duck to crisp up the skin as well otherwise it would be flabbier and fattier than a good peking duck.

Jun 23, 2011
DiggyK in Greater Seattle

Japanese breakfast?

I know plenty of Japanese people in Japan that still enjoy okayu and pickles for breakfast.

Apr 12, 2011
DiggyK in Greater Seattle