Sherman's Food Adventures: Northern Dumpling House

Northern Dumpling House

Normally, when we return from a trip, the first thing we look for is comfort food.  This usually includes some form of noodles, congee and/or dim sum.  Therefore, our first meal after disembarking the NCL Bliss in Seattle was at Northern Dumpling House in Kirkland.  This happened to be the one new place I haven't tried before and it was fairly close to Goose's house (where I ditched my car prior to the cruise and also I had to pick up my usual US purchases).  So on our way over to out hotel in Everett, we stopped by for some dumplings and noodles.

Since their signature item is in their restaurant name, we decided to get the Boiled Pork & Cabbage Dumplings as well as the Pork & Shrimp Potstickers.  Naturally, boiled dumplings are as sexy as flannel pajamas, but believe me, these were good.  We found the outside wrapper to be fairly thin and not doughy at all.  Rather, there was a nice soft elasticity that was delicate.  Inside, the pork and cabbage filling was juicy and well-seasoned.  Sporting a seared skirt, the Potstickers were a bit chunky due to their size, but the bottom was still crispy.  Somehow, the skin on these seemed thicker despite essentially being the same dumpling.  I thought the pork and cabbage was a better filling as it was juicier, possibly due to the cabbage.  With that being said, the shrimp were buttery with a snap.

Continuing on the same theme, we tried the Wonton Soup with seaweed and green onion.  Light and definitely influenced by the seaweed, there was an umaminess to the soup to accent the natural sweetness.  As for the wontons, they were delicate even though the dumpling skin was not as thin as the Cantonese-style of wonton.  Inside, the pork filling was just as moist as the boiled dumplings.  Moving away from dumplings, we got the Dan Dan Noodle which was not as spicy as the red color of the sauce would suggest.  Rather, it was more nutty and and creamy than anything else.  Also, the noodles were a bit too soft for our liking.  Despite this, I still enjoyed eating it, but it might of been the fact I was missing this type of food rather than it being good.

Totally carbing-up, we also ordered the Braised Pork Rice with tea egg and milk tea.  As you can see in the picture, there was a considerable amount of pork belly.  It was buttery soft and full of flavor from the braise.  The sauce was a bit salty, however, that was fine as there was plenty of rice on the plate as well.  We actually got a side of Tea Eggs, so this one was a bonus.  It was pretty typical with the marinade seeping into the cracked shell.  Our last dish was the Jian Beng or Pan-Fried Chinese Pancake.  We really didn't like this as it was gummy and thick.  Furthermore, it was not seared enough for a crispy texture nor aroma.  There was quite a bit of filling inside though, yet that didn't make up for the lack of execution.  With that being said about this dish, the rest of the food was pretty solid and it definitely hit the spot for a reasonable price.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Good dumplings
- Reasonably-priced

The Bad:
- Pass on the Jian Beng
- Seating isn't the best with the high-tops

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