Monday, February 25, 2008

Lunch #30: China Gate

ClosedChina Gate is no longer in business. It has been replaced by Gom Hong.
China Gate Another dim sum... this is awesome. We walked in, and instantly recognized the man seating us-- he also sat us when we went to Vegetarian Bistro. He's actually the owner of China Gate but the owner of Vegetarian Bistro is a friend, and they help each other out when needed. (Sorry for the blurry pictures today. Primary MSG150 camera was a no-show today.)
China Gate, Seattle
Address: 516 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Cuisine: Chinese: Dim Sum
Average rating: 3.6 chopsticks
Lunch date: 2/25/2008 @ 12:05:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 0 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 0 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 45 minutes
Chopstix quality: Cheap Plastic
Do they use MSG?: The server didn't understand my question... and I gave up. My Body is screaming "Yes... they used MSG."
Where is the owner/chef from?: Hong Kong
Number of tables: 29
Number of occupied tables: 5 (17%)
Number of business lunch tables: 1 (20%)
Number of "local" tables: 4 (80%)
Healthcode Score: 0
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
China Gate

Family Style Dishes

  • Hum Bow
  • BBQ Pork Turn-over
  • 3 x Sticky Rice
  • 3 x Shu Mai
  • Shrimp Ball
  • Pork Spareribs
  • 2 x Sesame Ball with Shrimp and Veggies
  • Green Beans with Pork bits
  • Vegetable and Shrimp Steamed Dumpling
  • Fried Bean Curd
  • Taro Root
  • Pork and Mushroom Football
  • Beef Spare Ribs
  • Fried Rock Fish
  • Fried Shrimp Ball with Seaweed

Luncher: Emmett

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

China Gate is all that separates us from our our Mt. Everest - the Uwajimaya Food Court. The outside is pretty groovy looking, and they have karaoke every night - seems like a recipe for something good.

We were seated immediately. As I walked through, the spacious interior was medium full - a good sign for a restaurant this size. And the clientele definitely originated from the Far East. I think they were blinded as I walked in, cause they gave me a quick glare and returned to their food. Our friendly server had previously served us at Vegetarian Bistro. Service was quick, and the Dim Sum staples soon covered our table.

I snagged some lotus sticky rice first, which was dang tasty, and went through some Sui Mai, Shrimp Balls, Shrimp Dumplings, some crab and shrimp thing. They brought out some beef short ribs in a sweet tangy sauce, and some rock fish deep fried, which was delicious. It was all pretty tasty, a little better than House of Hong, but not quite Jade Garden. On the flip side, they use a ridiculous amount of MSG. I can feel it in my brain.

I'll be back for Karaoke.

Luncher: Adam

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

I was scared this was going to be another low-traffic old-food Dim Sum place. Luckily there were more people and fresher food than I expected.

We ordered a ton of food. And after we ordered all that food, the owner came over and cooked us some special food (I'm pretty sure he figured out we were reviewing the place). The dim sum was pretty standard. The only really outstanding dish we had was the Rock Fish (which was one of the specials that the owner brought out). It was lightly fried and served with red peppers and jalapenos. The spice was perfect and the breading flaky and not overdone. The shu mai was good... but it's always good.

The other special dish that the owner made for us, the beef spare ribs, were a little too sweet for my taste. One diner in our group called it "meat candy." The owner also described another dish that he makes, with a sauce based on coffee grounds. It sounded interesting... and I hope to remember it next time around.

This place is a Sunday morning favorite. So that is a really fun time to go.

Standard Dim Sum. Good food.

Luncher: Geary

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 2 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

It's two days later as I'm writing this and I'm just recovering from the massive dose of MSG that we were hit with on Monday. China Gate has a cool, fortress like exterior and like some of the other large Dim Sum joints they are clearly trying to make up for average food with flash and color. The inside is much more subdued and has a bit of a cafeteria feel. Dim Sum needs a crowd to work well and there were only five other tables seated when we arrived. Not a good sign.

We were seated quickly and loaded up on most of the non-chicken feet options. The Dim Sum cart ladies seemed pushier than other places. Luckily we arrived early enough to get mostly hot dishes, but as the lunch progressed, it was clear that the few carts that made the rounds (or sat parked in the corner) were no longer being reloaded with fresh, hot dishes. There was nothing really stand out. The sticky rice was tasty, but about half the portion of Jade Garden. The green beans had good flavor but were over cooked and not even comparable to Veggie Bistro. The dumpling dough was dense and chewy. The shrimp in most dishes was fishier than I like. The owner was very friendly and when asked for recommendations he prepared two special dishes for us. I suspect one of these was the MSG bomb that destroyed me for the rest of the day. I can take MSG in reasonable doses, but after China Gate I had ringing in my ears and was slimy with sweat for the rest of the day and I wasn't able to fall asleep until 4 am. Three chopsticks minus one for excessive MSG and no sleep equals two chopsticks.

Luncher: Jeff

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Jeff's Review

I really liked China Gate. The staff was friendly, plenty of seating, plenty of food, and lots of options. If we weren’t comparing to other lunch stops, I’d probably rate China Gate as 5 Chopsticks.

Like Jade Garden, this really is first rate Dim Sum. And, as usual, I eat way too much at these stops. My only gripe with China Gate was price. We ordered about the same amount per person as we had at Jade Garden. However, at Jade Garden we got out for ~$9.00. At China Gate it was $13.00 per person before tax.

I’d happily go back to China Gate… but with Jade Garden only a block, I’d just as soon go there and save my $5.00.

Luncher: Jared

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Jared's Review

Very good food. I also liked the fact that they gave us water right at the start.

Luncher: Al

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Al's Review

> House of Hong and < Jade Garden

Luncher: Erica

Lunch: Family style - $13.00
Rating: 5 Chopsticks

Erica's Review

Candied meat (yes, I was the diner referred to by Adam), sesame adorned hot dumplings, and scary looking Alaskan King Crabs in the aquarium as you enter. I just can't ask for more.

China Gate Photos

China Gate Restaurant
China Gate Restaurant

BBQ Pork Turn-over
BBQ Pork Turn-over

Shu Mai
Shu Mai

Fried Shrimp Ball with Seaweed
Fried Shrimp Ball with Seaweed

Sesame Shrimp & Vegetable Ball
Sesame Shrimp & Vegetable Ball

Green Beans
Green Beans

Fried Bean Curd
Fried Bean Curd

Beef and Mushroom Football
Beef and Mushroom Football

Taro Root Puff Ball
Taro Root Puff Ball


Anonymous said...

Wow! That Xylish web accessory is Hyper Cool!

Anonymous said...

Having fun reading your reviews.

Sounds like you need to ask for no MSG in Chinese or have it written down on paper in Chinese characters.