Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review - Ting Momo - Seattle, WA

Ting Momo

The most recent opening of Tom Douglas's empire is Ting Momo, a Tibetan dumpling house.  I imagine this restaurant is a bit swankier than a traditional Tibetan dumpling house, although the ambiance is unique and warming.  

As you enter Ting Momo, you can overlook the dumpling creations.  You place your order at the counter and find a table in the small dining area and wait for someone to call your name.  You can choose from a variety of plates, each with an assortment of dumplings, or you can order ala carte. There are also daily specials prepared by Chef Dekyi.  

The service is pretty fast, after about 5-10 minutes we heard our names being called. 

Shrimp Momo Plate $9

My friend ordered the Shrimp Momo plate - a Momo is a steamed dumpling, this version is filled with shrimp, scallions, garlic, ginger and red curry.  This plate comes with four Momos.  The dumplings were good, the wrapper is thicker and chewier than chinese style dumplings.  The flavors are mild, and they go well with the sauce. 

All of the plates are served with a chickpea salad, Dekyi sauce and pickled shredded red cabbage.  The cabbage is what you would expect, nothing outstanding, just pickled cabbage.  The Chickpea salad was good, I think it had celery, apples, and bell peppers with a light dressing.

Garden Plate $10 (L to R: Eggplant Tingmo, Potato Samo, Mushroom Tingmo)

The garden plate is vegetarian and comes with one eggplant tingmo, one potato samo, and one mushroom tingmo.  A Tingmo is a soft steamed bread dumpling, similar to a chinese steamed hum bow, without the sweetness.  The eggplant tingmo is seasoned with red curry and walla walla onion. It was a little mushy from the eggplant, but it was ok. The mushroom Tingmo was better, it's stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, yellow curry and currants.  The earthy flavor of the mushrooms overpower the delicate flavor of the bamboo, but it's contrasted by the flavor from the currants.  The Potato Samo was good - Crispy fried dumpling filled with potato. It's pretty basic, but has a really interesting design.  

Azag Azog Plate $10 (L to R - Yak Momo, Pork Samo, Mushroom Tingmo)

I was hesitant to try Yak, but a dumpling isn't a huge commitment, so I decided to order the Azag Azog Plate.  The Yak Momo is a steamed dumpling filled with Golden Colarado Yak, Star Anise, Bay Leaf and Cranberry.  Hmm.. Actually, I wasn't sure if it was the pork or the yak dumpling when I tasted it.  The star anise flavor is more prevalent.  The meat was on the dry side, and to be honest, I didn't love it.  It wasn't musty or anything like that, it was just dry.  But the deep fried Pork Samo was my favorite.  This dumpling was stuffed with Carlton Farms Pork, cumin, coriander and apricot.  It was full of flavor and the earthy cumin and coriander contrasted well with the sweet and tangy apricot.  The Mushroom Tingmo is the same that comes with the Garden Plate.

Thukpa Soup $4 Cup / $6 Bowl

For an additional $3 you can add a cup of Thukpa soup to your plate.  The soup was fantastic!  Thenthuk hand pulled noodles, red pepper, and shiitake mushrooms.  The noodles are thick and firm, almost like al dente pasta... The soup base tasted like coconut milk, but I am not sure what they use?  It was really flavorful with the mushrooms being the dominant flavor.  Next time I return, I will likely just order a bowl of soup and some of the Pork Samos.  

Overall, Ting Momo was ok.  A good diversion from the types of cuisine that is available in Seattle.  The hours are horrible, they are only open Monday - Friday from 11 -  3pm, obviously catering to the Amazon workers.  I worry that the novelty of this place will wear off soon.  With the option of Brave Horse Tavern next door, I don't know if the food is good enough to have such limited hours.  I suppose it will depend on what the Amazon people think... Ting Momo isn't necessarily worth a special trip.  I would return if I was craving dumplings and I was already the area, but it's unlikely that I would even be there during the week between 11 and 3, unless it was a day off.  

Ting Momo
South Lake Union
301 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Hours: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 3:00pm

Ting Momo on Urbanspoon

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