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January 19, 2006

Comments

Matt

It's "Santosa". That is one of my favorite places in the area. The dimsum is the best value I've seen yet on the Eastside. Also, the bakery is really great.

Janis

Good news on Santosa, thanks for the feedback, Matt. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. I've often noticed the pretty bakery items in the glass case as I drive by (and my seatbelt tightens around my waist and thighs just from looking ;-)
J

Anita Rowland

Location is 107 Lake Street, I found after googling for Sentosa not Santosa.

I'm all for value-priced dimsum so I'll have to try it!

Ryan

Santosa is excellent! My new favorite Chinese restaurant in the Seattle area and their Dim Sum is wonderful. Tried a few different tea cookies from their bakery which were good, not tried their deserts.

Vickie Sanders

The dim sum is good here and authentic. It's nice that it's so close! We had dinner here when it first opened and I wasn't too impressed however....too salty. FYI another great place for dim sum is Jeem in Bellevue. The owner is the former executive chef of Wild Ginger. It's near Damons bar/Safeway on 24th & 148th.

dim sum

Posting this at another blog. Thought you might be interested.

List of Chinese restaurants (that I can remember) in the greater Seattle area that serve dim sum.... except the first two, and the last bit from the Vancouver, BC area (the rest are in no particular order). Personally, I prefer Jade Garden and Imperial Garden. If I'm in the area I may dine at Jeem or Sentosa, otherwise I skip them.

---

Seven Stars Pepper
1207 S. Jackson St, Seattle, WA - (206) 568-6446

Yeas Wok
6969 Coal Creek Pkwy SE, Newcastle, WA 98059-3136 - (425) 644-5546

-----

Jade Garden Restaurant
424 7th Ave S, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 622-8181

Imperial Garden Seafood Rstrnt
18230 E Valley Hwy # 116, Kent, 98032 - (425) 656-0999

Joy Palace
6030 M L King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98118-3142 - (206) 723-4066

Jeem Asian Restaurant
14850 NE 24th St, Redmond, 98052 - (425) 883-8858

Top Gun Seafood Restaurant
12450 SE 38th St, Bellevue, 98006 - (425) 641-3386

Noble Court Restaurant
1644 140th Ave NE, Bellevue, 98005 - (425) 641-6011

Ming Place Chinese Seafood Restaurant
13200 Northup Way, Bellevue, WA 98005-2042 - (425) 378-8009

New Kowloon Seafood Restaurant
900 S Jackson St, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 223-7999

Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant
9400 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, 98118 - (206) 723-1718

Hong's Garden
64 Rainier Ave S, Renton, 98055 - (425) 228-6332

Honey Court Seafood Restaurant
516 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 292-8828

Ocean City Restaurant Ltd
609 S Weller St, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 623-2333

China Gate
516 7th Ave S, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 624-1730

Four Seas Restaurant
714 S King St, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 682-4900

Purple Dot Cafe
515 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 622-0288

House of Hong Restaurant
409 8th Ave S, Seattle, 98104 - (206) 622-7997

Jumbo Chinese
4208 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, 98118 - (206) 760-9200

Sentosa
107 Lake St, Kirkland, 98033 - (425) 822-9082

Dim Sum House
4860 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, 98108 - (206) 725-1867

Sea Garden
509 7th Av S Seattle, WA 98104-2905 - (206) 623-2100

Sea Garden
200 106th Av NE Bellevue, WA 98004-5725 - (425) 450-8833

Sun Ya Seafood Restaurant
605 7th Av South Seattle, WA 98104-2907 - (206) 623-1670

--------

Floata Seafood Restaurant
4380 No. 3 Road #1425, Richmond, BC V6X 3V7, Canada - (604) 270-1860

Floata Seafood Restaurants
180 Keefer Street #400, Vancouver, BC V6A 4E9, Canada - (604) 602-0368

Kirin Seafood Restaurant
7900 Westminster Highway #200, Richmond, BC V6X 1A5, Canada - (604) 303-8833

Kamei Royale Japanese Restaurant
1030 W Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 2Y3, Canada - (604) 687-8588

Kamei Royale On Broadway
601 Broadway West, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4C2, Canada - (604) 876-3388

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant (Richmond)
4940 No. 3 Road #102, Richmond, BC V6X 3A5, Canada - (604) 273-8208

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
3888 Main, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P1, Canada - (604) 872-8822

Pink Pearl Chinese Seafood Restaurant
1132 Hastings Street East, Vancouver, BC V6A 1S2, Canada - (604) 253-4316

Shiang Garden Restaurant
4540 No. 3 Road #2200, Richmond, BC V6X 2C2 - (604) 273-8858

Janis

I picked up a mango white cake here to bring to a dinner party the other night. I've got to say, it was really light. So light I couldn't even taste anything. What a waste of calories- the rest of the guests agreed (despite the impressive box it comes in). And this is what the person behind the counter recommended as a favorite.
You guys all raved about the dim sum, so maybe that's a better bet than dessert.
Janis

ms.proust

I just double-checked myself by looking up the restaurant's listing on DexOnline & indeed it is Sentosa. Poor penmanship indeed if it keeps you from eating there! Better talk to their publicist.

My husband & I ate there in the beginning of January & had an un-even experience (my apologies to you glowing reviewers.) It was at the end of the lunch hour, so the cart service was slowing down & perhaps that's why the selection seemed limited compared to other places I've dined. If I was a Kirkland local, I'd more than likely give them a second shot on a Sunday morning.

My biggest beef was with the lack of authenticity, especially when it came to providing accoutrements with the dishes. No soy sauce? No chile sauce? Maybe *dim sum* can correct me (thanks for the great post on my blog which you referred to in your comment here) but this is standard fare at every dim sum joint I've patronized. Steamed shrimp dumplings need salt, need ginger or green onion slivers to let their flavors marry, conquer & divide, leaving me with a craving for such savoury feasting. I find this true with most Asian dining--salt & sweet are a divine match that maximizes each element in this style of cooking.

I think Sentosa has promise as long as customers demand the real deal & even after 2 pm. It's sort of like a robata sushi bar at that point... How long has that dish been circling around???

If you'd like to view my review, here's the link & scroll towards the bottom of the page: http://madeleine.typepad.com/

rh

With a name like Sentosa, I swear this place has got to be Singaporean. The food & the decor is very typical of a upper-class Singaporean dimsum restaurant. All the dishes have a touch of exotic spiciness. Ms. proust above should note that upper class chinese restaurants do not put soy sauce and chilli sauce on the tables. The food is assumed to be cooked to perfection and no further sauces are necessary. Seattle dim sum places have ruined this expectation for the rest of us.

ms.proust

Hey rh,

I agree about the nasty crudded up bottles of Kikkoman we often find here, accompanied by an equally crusty crock of chile paste. And when it comes to adding sauce to your sushi, I absolutely concur that this is a true insult to the chef.

What I'm talking about is naked har gao... Dim sum should in most cases have a sister sauce that *accentuates* the flavors of each dish, not drowns them. I've been given little dishes of fiery mustard, xo sauce (chili oil with seafood) & gingery concoctions at different dim sum halls. In some places, the server will actually dress your dish for you with teapots of sauce right at the cart.

I've never been to Singapore, so I can't dispute the similarities, but here's an article on dining in Hong Kong dim sum that seems to agree with the sauce issue:
http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/05-04/food-in-hong-kong-hong-kong.html

ms.proust

Hey rh,

I agree about the nasty crudded up bottles of Kikkoman we often find here, accompanied by an equally crusty crock of chile paste. And when it comes to adding sauce to your sushi, I absolutely concur that this is a true insult to the chef.

What I'm talking about is naked har gao... Dim sum should in most cases have a sister sauce that *accentuates* the flavors of each dish, not drowns them. I've been given little dishes of fiery mustard, xo sauce (chili oil with seafood)& gingery concoctions at different dim sum halls. In some places, the server which actually dress your dish for you with teapots of sauce right at the cart.

I've never been to Singapore, so I can't dispute the similarities, but here's an article on dining on Hong Kong dim sum that seems to agree with the sauce issue:
http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/05-04/food-in-hong-kong-hong-kong.html

Mimi

Thursday March 16h 2006 I made a reservation for the next day for a group of 15 persons to Santosa for Dim Sum (around 12:15- 12:30). 3 of us arrived sooner and realized that there was no set up for the group. There was already a table set up for 12 peoples but the manager did'nt want to add a table that the group will be all together. When the others arrived we try again to convince her and she was arguing and rude. Finally she agreed but only if we moved the table,the glasses and plates ourselves. It doesn't look to me as a nice behavior from a businesswoman. She should have apologized and just agreed to our request. It was really no big deal!

So the service was pretty bad and when we paid the bill she said she should add a gratuity. We reply that we already put 20% tip on the bill for "the trouble" she encountered even though it took "US"few minutes to set up an additional table and the restaurant was not full (so it didn't cause any disturbance to her employees). We should have let nothing as a tip because we didn't receive the service that we deserved. Anyway it was the first time for 13 of us going there and it was also the last. Usually we're going at Jeem in Bellevue. Great place, great service and excellent food! We are part of a group of 40 people and we go/try different restaurants around and made our recommendations following our experiences. This one was a very bad one! Some people don't have "la bosse des affaires" When you are in business you should'nt forget that your most important asset is the customer.

What's the saying? "The customer is always right" - and "one unhappy customer and hundreds will know about it"? It never pays to be disrespectful, mean, rude and cheap in business.

And you know what? Usually when the restaurant can not suit us we go somewhere else. But this time we were short on time and we couldn't do it. Too bad!

At least we enjoyed to be together!

Mimi


Faye Ku

In regards to the cake comment by Janis, I just wanted to remind everyone that true Chinese/SE Asian cakes are lighter and much less sweet than American cakes. That's a special cultural feature which is appreciated by those who seek out these cakes precisely for their lightness, but disparaged by those who were not expecting the difference. Please be aware that is a deliberate choice to please a special clientele, and not just "bad taste".

I am not offering a review of the quality of their cakes, just a comment of basic cultural differences, since I have not tried them myself.

Mike

Come on... Are we really that high maintenance here? It's in English, and it's in cursive.. It's says SENTOSA. Besides that, just go in and try the food. If you don't like it, then tell us.

[quote]
Poor penmanship indeed if it keeps you from eating there! Better talk to their publicist.
[\quote]

Wow.. Are you sure it's poor penmanship (because I don't think anyone would be that stupid to post a sign on their facade that ineligible), or are you solely confused on what type of restaurant it is? What about Mixtura? What about Thin Pan? What about Cactus?

If you are reluctant to try it, why don't you guys just freakin' walk up to the restaurant and look at the menu? It takes less time than to stop and take a picture, that's for sure.

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