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Dinner at Sushi Tengu, Northgate

We came here for a quick dinner just before heading up to the Landmark Crest Cinema to catch the hobbit. They do a pretty quick dinner service, with lots of interesting things on the kaiten that we snatched off, way more plates than we thought we would.

Tengu Sushi
L said the scallop nigiri was really fresh and “crunchy”, which is how he feels sashimi should taste when it’s very fresh.

Tengu Sushi
The same can’t be said of the kani nigiri – which used frozen snow crab. I think in general if the sushi is going to be cooked people feel less of a need to source for fresh ingredients. Disappointed with this one.

Tengu Sushi
We saw the sushi chefs prepare the tenzo special roll in front of us on the other side of the kaiten, rolling up some crab meat salad and avocado slices into the rice, placing some tuna and green onion mixture on top (kind of like a tuna tartare), and then torching it. It was really good, but a little fishy due to the tuna, which I think is only semi cooked.

Tengu Sushi
I liked the potato croquette but it tasted a little plain (needs more kewpie and other seasonings). It came on such a cute plate with green dots around the rim though.

Tengu Sushi
The mini udon with assorted tempura was really silky. I think they should serve the tempura separately from the udon, most of it got soggy immediately and became sorta gross. It would also be improved if served with some tentsuyu. But I really liked the udon – which had a little less bite than the one at U:don but still had an amazing texture.

Tengu Sushi
The yaki gyoza were pretty good, although we suspect frozen. Still really nice with the gyoza dipping sauce.

Tengu Sushi
The salmon nigiri not bad, according to L. They also had different kinds of salmon,

Tengu Sushi
like this sockeye salmon nigiri which had a very different texture and flavour, leaner than typical salmon (as you can tell by the lack of fat)

Tengu Sushi
The tamago sushi was well done, quite sweet and came in a pretty generous serving. I couldn’t finish more than two because the serving was so generous.

This is a pretty decent place to come in for a quick bite! While nothing was really -mindblowing- I would say there were more hits than misses and if I were craving Japanese food I would definitely consider this spot. The sushi was also pretty inexpensive.

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Dinner at Ten Mercer, Queen Anne

This is the second last DAS restaurant we dined at in the Queen Anne area and it was the worst one.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
The best part of our dinner was Anthony’s medjool dates wrapped in pancetta – they were intensely sweet, almost like a japanese sweet potato, but also salty from the pancetta and perfect with the balsamic reduction. This was the only semi inventive dish, the rest were forgettable (or unforgettably bad, depending on how you want to look at it). I guess this is after all a bar. I have no idea how they managed to get 4 stars on Google Reviews.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
L’s arugula and grilled pear salad. I didn’t try this.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
My lobster bisque was alright, but a little too much cream and too little flavour.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
L’s osso buco in a brandy sauce was way too sweet and a little weird. When I think of osso buco I think of a slow braised hunk of meat falling off the bone, which this was not. And the sauce wasn’t deep nor did it have the “braised for hours” type of flavour.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
A had the seared tuna with udon. The udon was woefully overcooked, limp, and had lost any semblance of bite. The tuna tasted alright but wasn’t exactly mindblowing/sashimi grade type. The color was so pale it could have been injected.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
I had the Lobster risotto with really bizarre plating, an again we have these peas and carrots inside. Why? The risotto was dry, clumpy, and I could barely finish it even though they were quite generous with the lobster meat. The risotto sauce barely had any hint of lobster.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
We all had coffees with our desserts and they do a pretty good macchiato.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
The warm chocolate cake had a weird chewy/hard caramel drizzled over it and was too starchy and odd. No lava, not all that warm, not sure what the point of this was. But this was not the worst.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
The profiteroles win the prize for worst profiteroles I have ever eaten. I don’t understand – is this difficult to do? British supermarkets carry it in their dessert section for < 2 quid and all quite respectable. The choux pastry was disgusting – my failed choux pastry looks better than this and the cream/custard inside was off and they drizzled so little chocolate sauce on it. Somebody ought to show them how to make a proper profiterole.

At Ten Mercer in Queen Anne
A’s creme brulee was the only not horrible dessert I think, but I can still do a better one with Alton Brown’s exceedingly simple recipe. Stay away from this place! Don’t worry, after all these disappointing reviews I have some not too bad restaurants coming up from our spring break dining :D Haven’t been in much of a mood to post since I was busy working on a recipe book and, also, catching up on all the news about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding prime minister who passed away a week ago. The whole nation (and its overseas constituents) was in mourning for the entire week. You would be too if you had a political leader who managed to transform the landscape of a tiny fishing town into a metropolis in a mere 40 years.

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Lunch at Red Lobster, Lynnwood, WA

We came here for a celebratory meal after finals since our household supplies typically run out toward the end of the quarter and we have to make a walmart run right after submitting our last paper. I first ate at the Red Lobster in Horseheads, NY and was amazed at how good American chain restaurant food was. My taste buds have advanced significantly since my undergraduate days and I am no longer as enamored of Red Lobster, although I still have a soft spot for their amazing cheddar bay biscuits. They are, I maintain, the best accompaniment to any of the seafood in the restaurant – so soft, buttery, and cheesy. The Red Lobster restaurants in New York usually give you extra to take home in a reheatable bag, but they don’t seem to do that here.

Red Lobster, Lynnwood WA
I also really like their Caesar salad – they use a very umami filled dressing that is reminiscent of anchovies and not that sour. If you have a choice of garden or Caesar salad, always go for the Caesar salad.

Red Lobster, Lynnwood WA
This was part of the lobster fest menu (which expires April 8th if I’m not wrong) and we always ordered the lobster lovers dream – one maine lobster tail (steamed) and one rock lobster (broiled). You can taste and compare the sweetness of a cold water lobster and a warm water lobster, and it comes with a rather forgettable side of linguine with langoustine and shrimp in an alfredo sauce.

Red Lobster, Lynnwood WA
I wish they would let us substitute the pasta for something else.

Red Lobster, Lynnwood WA
The Maine lobster tail was incredibly tender and went perfectly with the drawn butter. It is already pretty briny (I think they steam it in salted water) so no additional salt is needed. In general I find most of the steamed seafood at Red Lobster pretty salty.

Red Lobster, Lynnwood WA
I also ordered the wood grilled shrimp taco special which featured some really smoky tasting shrimp in soft flour tortillas. They were delicious, but we had no space for it and doggie bagged it. It tasted amazing reheated in my toaster oven while we all got hungry playing cards late into the night.

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Lunch at Spud, Green Lake

This is a chippy near our place that does all kinds of battered seafood with house made chips and it is extremely good.

Spud, Green Lake
We have only tried the cod, but they make their own tartar sauce which is nice and chunky.

Spud, Green Lake
They don’t use newspapers but their own printed wax paper to wrap your fish and chips

Spud, Green Lake
All golden fried and lightly battered, NOT breaded. Their cod is extremely tender and delicious, and the fries are half crispy, half soft (the way I like it). They’ve got malt vinegar and refillable soft drinks. They charge you 25c for the small tartar sauce and 50c for the large. We got the large one and couldn’t finish so will probably go back to use it up. Apart from cod, they do prawns, scallops, other types of fish like halibut, perhaps dory, tilapia, etc. It seems to be pretty popular for lunch with limited seating space so most people come here for takeaway. I thought it was a little pricey (I think our 2 pc fish set was maybe around $12, but oh so worth it.) I guess I should do a comparison with other fish and chip places in the area.

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Birthday dinner at Six Seven, Edgewater Hotel

I was kinda tied up with exams for awhile but hope to be posting a little more frequently! Z brought me to Six Seven for my birthday and it has some pretty amazing seafood.

Dinner at Six Seven
One of the best views in all of Seattle – we were seated right next to the sound with a view of the sun slowly descending behind the hills.

Dinner at Six Seven
The dining room was beautiful too – I especially like the beaded curtains around the low table lights (you can’t see it in this photo). When the sun has set, they look like little showers of stars descending from a pipe to the table. A very antique/chic feel.

Dinner at Six Seven
This was my first time seeing a backlit menu! What a fantastic idea. It makes the menu a little clunky but feels so fancy.

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Egg shaped salt and pepper shakers. I liked these, but still don’t understand why all these nice places don’t provide pepper mills instead of little shaker pepper.

Dinner at Six Seven
They served us some really warm, soft bread with wodges of butter sprinkled with some exotically brown salt. Not himalayan or lava salt, so I have no idea what it is but it was delicious on their bread. It wasn’t sourdough, more like an unbuttery brioche studded with cranberries or something.

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We had the half portion of the miso glazed black cod, which I loved. You could tell even before eating it that it was going to be awesome because it flaked immediately upon depression of the fork. The charred parts are the best, but I loved the entire dish, from the bed of puree it was sitting on down to the choy sum to the crispy rice noodles. Stellar.

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The grilled scallops are also very, very good. They’re pretty humongous (this is the half portion again) and are served on cauliflower puree with chives. The pictures are awful because of the red light from the heat lamps outside on the deck which makes white balancing a real pain in the a**. I have to come back here for lunch or something to redeem these pictures.

Dinner at Six Seven
They do the BEST crab cake I have ever had. If you go here, you have to try the crab cake. It is nothing like any crab cake I have ever seen, and it’s not even breaded or anything. The texture is like a marvelously firm tofu but is solid crab and prawn. I have no idea how it even holds together! A feat of gastronomy and engineering. It paired perfectly with the deep fried renkon chip and the broth it is plated in is extremely slurpable; we mopped up every last bit of it with the bread.

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For dessert, we shared the rosemary scented panna cotta. Their desserts are all slightly creamy with some kind of herbal twist and we were torn between this and the lavender creme brulee. The panna cotta was creamy and firm, just the way I like it, and the rosemary pairing worked really well and was infused throughout the custard. I thought there was a smidge too much berry compote, but Z loved it and ate it all.

We also ordered the lobster mac and cheese and the grilled asparagus as sides but I thought they were more forgettable. We packed a box of those home because we couldn’t finish – here’s what the food should look like in good sunlight
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This is one of the most perfect meals I have had in a long time! I highly recommend dining here, especially during sunset, which is not at an unreasonable time now with daylight savings. We had to come here at 5:30pm just to catch the sunset on my birthday. They have an amazing gift shop (the Edgewater gift shop) and I thought the valet parking was pretty reasonably priced at $5 or $6. I don’t think you can find much other parking around here.

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Dine Around Seattle at Petit Toulouse, Queen Anne

The second of a series of disappointing DAS restaurants.. I’m not sure how the DAS committee is choosing restaurants but the standard of restaurants on the list seems to be dropping :/ So we were slowly going through the list based on where has the most affordable parking. We ahem park at the Metropolitan Market (we also usually buy something from there) and walk over to the Queen Anne cluster of restaurants whenever we dine there. Many things on the south end of Queen Anne N don’t seem nearly as good as the restaurants on the actually north part of Queen Anne N. Oh well.

Dinner at Toulouse Petit
Since it’s a French/New Orleans restaurant, naturally we had baguette and butter instead of sourdough.


The ‘Lyonnaise’ French onion soup was actually worse than Panera’s, if you can believe it. And I just had Panera’s for comparison that same morning. A soggy baguette slice (not even a crouton) covered in gruyere and then torched.

Dinner at Toulouse Petit
The grilled prosciutto wrapped asparagus on the other hand, was AMAZING. Definitely the best thing we had for dinner all night. Highly recommended, and it’s even better than Six Seven’s asparagus which everyone seems to be raving about on Yelp.


I had the oven roasted Duck confit which was really different from a normal duck confit in terms of its accoutrements – the duck tasted oddly of five-spice salt and the jus it was soaking it was kind of sour. Not a fan. Duck confit should be simply done, salted and slathered in duck fat and then shallow fried after roasting to crisp the skin. This was weird and also, not crispy. If they were trying to do a fusion thing, it didn’t work.


The half chicken in a marsala wine reduction was also far too sour. I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish with the sauce but they should use a better marsala wine. The taste of the maitake and shiitakes barely came through, and most of the time I was just trying to rid the chicken pieces of the sauce before eating them. Also, peas and corn scream Chinese Stir Fry. Is there no better vegetable you can use that look less like they came frozen from a packet?

Dinner at Toulouse Petit
The first overcooked lava cake. So I have beef with restaurants about lava cake. They should just call it warm chocolate cake if it’s not going to have a smooth fondant center that’s piping hot. That IS the dictionary definition of the lava cake. As soon as I cut into this cake, I had bad feelings about it (it was so hard!) I thought perhaps it was cause the oven temperature was too hot so it’d be overcooked and hard on the outside but soft on the inside. I was wrong, it was overcooked all the way through. Z said they should call it a Mt St Helen’s cake instead since y’know, is it gonna erupt? Is it not gonna erupt? Nobody knows until it does. And in this case, it didn’t. So I called the waiter over and told him the lava cake was overcooked. He said he was not sure what I meant; at this point the cake was cut open for everyone to see the massive fail that it was so I don’t understand what he doesn’t understand I think it’s pretty clear whether a lava cake is overcooked or not. There’s NO LAVA. Overdoneness is ambiguous for things like fish or like pasta; different people have different opinions of how tough they want their steak. I’m pretty sure having a soft center is universally expected if you put “lava cake” on the menu. In any case he got a refire for me and the second one was at least moist in the middle but still failed to be a lava cake. And this in Seattle where even if you don’t want to make your own lava cakes you can pretty much order them from Hot Cakes in Ballard and have them perfect. So what I found most disappointing about this whole debacle is that they put the lava cake on the DAS menu. Isn’t that menu supposed to showcase the best of your restaurant? How can you put it on the menu if you can’t even do a decent lava cake? They did take it off the check in the end after another guy from the kitchen came out and asked me how the second one was.
Here is my recipe for a foolproof lava cake.


You barely need to cut it in half. You just make a little slit in the side, like you would a soup dumpling, and the lava flows out.


Ze had the white chocolate bread and butter pudding which was equally lacklustre.

Moral: Don’t come here for the DAS menu. I’m sure they have other nice things, but not dessert, and the point of the DAS menu is that you only need spend say $5 more to add an appetizer and dessert to your main. The desserts suck, ergo, you should just order appetizers and mains and have a much larger variety of options than on the DAS menu.

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What to order at Panera Bread

This is what we get a Panera nearly every time we go:


1/2 French onion soup. Some places give more shredded gruyere than others. Even though the cheeses is not scorched it is pretty melty and the soup is pretty decent. I hear good things about the broccoli cheddar but I almost always only order this.


The Frontega chicken half sandwich. Always. I’ve deviated from this plenty of times but always circle back to this. I don’t really like their steak sandwiches cause their steak is a little tough.

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Mocha frappe. It used to be that if you ordered a drink you could get a pastry for 99c, but now you need to get either a lunch entree and a drink or a dinner entree and a drink to qualify for the 99c pastry -.-


Ham and swiss souffle. This is only available during breakfast hours, which varies from store to store. In general if you’re there at 10:30am they should still have a pretty good selection of souffles. They also have spinach and bacon and four cheese. It’s like a quiche, but instead of being baked in a buttery quiche crust it’s baked in puff pastry and it is delicious.


Free chocolate chip muffin for my birthday. Their double chocolate muffin doesn’t look that great from the outside (because of all the oxidised chocolate chips) but it has a creamy fudgey center that you can’t see just by looking at it. The fudge is right below the rich chocolate ganache frosting. Definitely worth a try.