Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lunch #61: Duk Li Dim Sum

Duk Li Dim Sum The MSG150 crew got a late start today but still left the office eight lunchers strong. Our target today was a backtrack to the newly opened Dim Sum restaurant that now occupies the space abandoned by Sandie's. Duk Li Dim Sum has done a make-over of the spot complete with bright new awning, huge window menus, and updated interior layout. Rob bailed at the door citing a lack of veggie options and Wayne joined him for moral, meat-hating support. The rest of us entered and grabbed a large table just inside the opened door.

Duk Li Dim Sum, Seattle
Address: 664 S Weller St, Seattle, WA, 98104
Cuisine: Chinese: Dim Sum
Average rating: 3.3 chopsticks
Lunch date: 7/17/2008 @ 12:50:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 0 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 5 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 40 minutes
Chopstix quality: Cheap Plastic
Do they use MSG?: No
Where is the owner/chef from?: Canton
Number of tables: 8
Number of occupied tables: 7 (87%)
Number of business lunch tables: 1 (14%)
Number of "local" tables: 5 (71%)
Healthcode Score: N/A
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
Duk Li Dim Sum

Family Style Dishes

  • Steamed Shrimp Dumpling - $2.00
  • Steamed Pork Dumpling - $2.00
  • 2 x Steamed Shui Mai - $2.00 ($4.00)
  • Steamed Spareribs - $2.00
  • Steamed Chicken Feet - $2.00
  • Bake Green Onion Bun - $0.60
  • Bake BBQ Pork Bun - $0.60
  • Crispy Beef Pie - $1.00
  • Deep Fried Dumpling - $0.60
  • Shrimp Rice Roll - $2.25
  • Beef Rice Roll - $2.25
  • Cilantro Rice Roll - $2.25
  • 6 x Egg Custard Tarts - $0.60 ($3.60)
  • Malaysia Cake - $1.80
  • 3 x Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf - $2.00 ($6.00)

Luncher: Adam

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

Oh wow... I thought we were done with Dim Sum. We hadn't been to dim sum in a while, so I was kind of looking forward to this place. My vegetarianism is out for the day, and dim sum is in.

I love the way that Dim Sum works here. You write down your order on a sheet, turn it in to the server, and a few minutes later food starts arriving at the table. There aren't pushy servers practically throwing food on your table. This is a laid-back, no-stress version of dim sum. I would actually think this would make a great 2nd or 3rd dim sum experience, because you get to learn more about what you're ordering before it's shoved upon you.

The food was delicious and pretty fresh (some of the other people got some shu mai that was a little too fresh). This place had some great dessert options... more than at other places.

I like this place, and I like how it operates. Hit it up.

Luncher: Emmett

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 2 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

Okay, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. This place is small, awkward, and strange. The table we were seated at was literally blocking the front door. Needless to say, there's not enough room for the dim sum carts to make it to the table. No matter, we're brave, we can roll with it.

Geary took charge and ordered a bunch of stuff. We got a smattering of things, including some starchy, savory bread things that we're certain we didn't order. The Cilantro Rice Rolls were tasty, as were the spare ribs. Everything else was unremarkable. I was halfway done with a Shu Mai when Geary pointed out that the inside was completely raw. Having had food poisoning multiple times, I contemplated going supermodel for a moment. Fortunately the food stayed down and the next day I was healthy.

On that note, I just can't see myself coming back here. Go to Jade Garden.

Luncher: Geary

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

Duk Li is tiny in comparison to the other Dim Sum joints in the area. It only has eight tables and no carts. You are given a checklist paper menu like in some sushi restaurants. Many of the patrons order up Dim Sum to go from the counter at the back of the restaurant. If you are unfamiliar with Dim Sum it is a bit trickier to order from a menu than the usual cart pointing routine. Since this is our tenth Dim Sum restaurant we figured most of the items out.

We ordered a wide selection of our favorites and a couple of things we weren't quite sure about. Ben the Intern is new to Dim Sum, so we thew in some Chicken Feet to get him initiated. The Shrimp Dumplings and Shui Mai showed up first, followed quickly by Pork Spareribs, Chicken Feet and Pork Dumplings. The dumplings were all good, but the Chicken Feet really stood out. They had a rich, spicy flavor that I don't recall them having had at the other couple of places I have tried them. The Bake Green Onion Bun was also a winner. The bun was not just sweet -- it also had a pungent rice wine flavor that turned me from a bun skeptic to a bun lover. I <3 Bake Green Onion Bun. All of the Rice Rolls were excellent as was the Sticky Rice (which was not on the menu). We finished up our meal with Egg Custard Tarts and Malaysia (puffy) Cake. The tarts were large and fresh the cake was puffy.

Luncher: Michael

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Michael's Review

This was a fun place for Dim Sum. It seemed less formal than any of the other places we've been to. It's smaller and they don't roll carts full of food to you. The whole experience seemed faster and easier than usual. Also the final bill was very cheap. And really isn't that what we are all looking for in a good lunch place?

Overall the food was good but maybe not great. About what you would expect from most of the local places. The egg tart was fresh and mostly warm, so bonus points there. The most interesting thing on the menu was the cake. I'm not sure what it was called, just that it was big and fluffy and full of holes. Reminded me a bit of a pound cake, but far less dense. I have no idea what it really was but I'd happily go back for more. Big fluffy cake. Fluffy Cake Big? Whatever. Is it lunch time yet?

Luncher: Joey

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Joey's Review

I think the new owners of Duk Li paid some attention to the potential downfalls of Sandie’s going out of business. Sandie’s had absolutely no curb appeal. It was one of those restaurants that you and your friends easily skip over when you’re in Chinatown, or don’t even notice for that matter. Duk Li had a decent logo… well, I don’t really remember it much, but it caught my eye. Also, the first thing I noticed stepping into Duk Li was that they had left the door wide open. The door frame also seemed to be wider (A LOT wider), but it could’ve just been the illusion from being left open. The windows were clean and uncovered of tacky window treatments. This brought a lot of natural light in, and fresh air since the door was open. Our table was right in front of the front door, and I joked that it felt almost as if we were eating outside, which was a nice change from the dark and isolated dim sum restaurants we’re used to (Four Seas, China Gate, etc.).

The food itself was average. Their cha shu bao (bbq pork bun) was really good though. Small, but good. I could taste a lot of alcohol in it (cooking wine probably), which I liked… gave it more of a Hawaiian sweet bread flavor, I thought. The chicken feet were a lot more flavorful than other places (in a good way). The temperature of the food was warm. The tea was pretty strong. It was a good, satisfying dim sum experience overall. I’ll probably be coming back to take my friends.

Luncher: Ben the Intern

Lunch: Family Style - $6.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Ben the Intern's Review

I'd like to go on the record and say that I have never eaten at a Dim Sum joint before Duk Li, and I loved it. Digging right in, the table got what seemed to be one of everything, including chicken feet, which while very tasty were an interesting experience. With a good variety of flavors and spices, almost every bite I took I found entertaining. I'd recommend checking the food a bit before chowing down -- one of the dumpling dishes was a bit undercooked, though not outrageously as Emmett seemed to be doing fine after eating his. Make sure to try the bread-like desserts, each of them in the running for the next big thing to dunk in coffee. At the end of the meal I was very full and for the amount of food I ate so was my wallet. This is a very solid 3/5 chopsticks.

Duk Li Dim Sum Photos

Duk Li Dim Sum
Duk Li Dim Sum

Huge Window Menu
Huge Window Menu

Counter
Counter

Table near the door
Table near the door

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

Shui Mai
Shui Mai

Pork Dumplings, Chicken Feet, Spareribs
Pork Dumplings, Chicken Feet, Spareribs

Pork Bun & Green Onion Bun (partially eaten)
Pork Bun & Green Onion Bun (partially eaten)

Shrimp Rice Roll (partially eaten)
Shrimp Rice Roll (partially eaten)

Beef Rice Roll (mostly eaten)
Beef Rice Roll (mostly eaten)

Egg Custard Tart (nibbled)
Egg Custard Tart (nibbled)

Malaysia Cake
Malaysia Cake

Only $32.50!!!
Only $32.50!!!

3 comments:

Kathy Casey said...

I'm sold. I will try this place soon! Thanks for the review and great pictures!

Anonymous said...

I would dine-in and take-out at Duk Li Dim Sum. This restaurant emphasizes on the customary selection of steamed and baked tapas-like Hong Kong specialties. The prices are so right for the 2009 budgeted pockets. Open for business from 7 AM to 7 PM. Closed on Tuesday. Since the items are of somewhat small portion, please eat and leave so that other customers could be seated after you.

Anonymous said...

If I were you, I'd definitely not go back to this place again. The food may be reasonable but the attitude of the workers there are horrible. And when one confronts them (in a reasonable tone) about their attitude, they will just point you to a sign on the wall which says something about them having the right to not serve certain people. They also use the excuse of language barrier and busy peak periods. Honestly, I do not know why they did this, probably because I did not know that they don't accept debit/credit cards and so I left after I ordered my food to withdraw some money. Maybe me leaving the table created trouble for them. In any case, this unreasonable attitude is intolerable, I feel. They also gave me the wrong change and when I told them to give me the right change, they pretended they did not understand my mandarin and claimed that I was cheating money from them.

In conclusion, I would rather not go back, it's not like there are no other dim sum places in Seattle.