At Vostok Dumpling House, steaming pillowy delights are on offer.
Nothing compares to biting into a perfectly made dumpling, from its doughy texture to a steamy center stuffed with meats, vegetables and other blissful creations.
Lately, local food enthusiasts have been caught up in the Chinese soup dumpling (xiao long bao) rage, but there’s an eastern European eatery staking its claim on these pillowy delights.
On a recent Saturday night, Vostok Dumpling House in the Harvard Market on Capitol Hill had folks lined up out the door awaiting a taste of the “Pelmeni” dumplings filled with in-house ground pork or chicken. They also have a vegetarian-type called “Vareniki” that is loaded with potatoes and cheddar cheese.
Vostok Dumpling House
1401 Broadway, Seattle; 206-687-7865 or vostokdh.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday -Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday
Etc: credit cards; no obstacles to access; beer and wine; parking lot
The made-from-scratch dumplings are juicy, flavorful and heartier than their counterparts in Asia.
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The menu: The chalkboard menu has easy instructions to guide newbies through the ordering process.
Choose a dumpling of pork Pelmeni ($5.20 for 10 dumplings and $9.65 for 18); chicken Pelmeni ($5.50 and $9.80); or the Vareniki ($4.50 and $8.85).
Then pick a variety of sauces including butter; traditional (butter, vinegar and black pepper); garlic herb; sour cream; thyme; dill sauce; and the spicy “KGB.” The Vareniki is served with butter and caramelized onions unless otherwise specified.
What to write home about: While the dumplings are the main show, we enjoyed the side dishes, especially the Russian fries made with seven deep-fried Varenikis topped with sour cream, bacon and scallions, and resembled bite-sized baked potatoes. The vegan Borscht was served piping hot, and filled with beets, carrots and onions.
The setting: Three tables, plus two bar-style tables and stools fill the cramped, dimly lit red-walled dining area adorned with cool retro Soviet-Bloc artwork. There is also outside seating on the large patio.
Summing up: Chicken Pelmeni ($9.80); pork Pelmeni ($9.65); Markovaka ($3.50); red cabbage salad ($3.50); Russian fries ($3.50); sauerkraut Piroshky ($3.50); and two sodas ($1.25 each) totaled $49.75, tax and tip included.