Yang’s Dumpling House UPDATED
I know food porn is probably overused but I have to share one of the most memorable meals I have eaten in a long time…and it happened by accident. I was actually on my way to eat at the famous Won Ton Cafe in Lake Hills area of Bellevue (moving to NE 20th in Bellevue by end of the month!) when I saw this little 5 table spec of a restaurant in the same strip mall. Yang’s Dumpling House. You need to know this name as it is sure to take you out of your “Panda Express/Cathay Inn” experiences and give you some authentic Mandarin food. Yep, Mandarin…not just Chinese. You see, REAL Chinese food is regional and more and more radically ethnic Chinese restaurants are popping up not just for their people who now live in the US, but also for us who have been here and are just now learning about the fiercely ethnic food that massive continent has to offer.
When I went in (mid afternoon), there was no one else in there but Yang. I asked him to tell me about his menu and he mumbled to me something about not being able to speak English very well so I pointed to his menu and tried to ask him what he would recommend to me. Everything was less than $7. We settled in on the Pork Noodle Soup (simply named for us of shall-we-say of Western European descent) and the pork steamed buns. There was only another 8 or so items on the menu…a couple more soup options, a handful of dumplings and a few more buns.
Out came the most beautiful site my eyes have seen since the Cambodian episode of No Reservations. Large chunks of fatty pork, fresh broccoli, succulent broth, and buckwheat yakisoba noodles. I added some Siracha and away I went…pure heaven. It is clear that the poor in most countries eat WAY BETTER than we do here…this simple dish is probably eaten more often in Northern China then we eat cold cereal. It was simply unbelievable.
|Knife, Dowl, Flour – what else is there?|
The meal was simply perfect. I was already thrilled and was ready to tell everyone I know about it…when he shows me, from across his counter, the 12 inch wooden dowl he said he has carried through 8 states. You see, this dowl is like a rolling pin and he hand makes EACH of these buns right there. The man is an artist, a craftsman, and somehow a poet all in one. One knife, one pot of flour, and his wooden dowl.
Go there. Eat there. I can’t wait to see and here that he has people lined up around the corner to eat lunch or dinner. Yang is my new friend and I hope EVERYONE goes to visit.
|Probably my new best friend|
How to get there: Lake Hills Shopping Center on corner of 156th and Lake Hills Connector in Bellevue. On corner of strip mall running north (perpendicular) to the Korean Market.