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Originally published Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Happy Hour: Wild Ginger in Bellevue

Wild Ginger in Bellevue offers pub grub with an expert pan-Asian twist.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Happy Hour |

Been to Wild Ginger's happy hour in Bellevue lately?

No, not the truncated appetizer menu Wild Ginger passed off as happy hour, listed at full price — almost. That fooled nobody.

This happy hour: its signature "Fragrant Duck," satays and bar bites with pan-Asian twist for $2-$4. Rolled out just last week at its Bellevue branch.

Maybe coincidence. Maybe not. But its new discounted bar menu came after Wild Ginger's fellow tenant John Howie Steakhouse started drawing large crowds to its lounge, even recently adding a night happy hour.

Wild Ginger may have been late to this happy-hour game, but it won't take long to get noticed.

Pub grub done with Wild Ginger's touch: A trio of sliders filled with its signature juicy duck meat, the crispy skin brimming with star anise and cinnamon, sandwiched between pillowy bao buns, with some Sichuan peppercorn salt and plum sauce.

There are satays, lots of them, a reminder that Wild Ginger elevated this cart fare long before Asian street food became trendy. Traditional street food often gets drenched in secret sauce or is charred to mask inferior meat. No smoke and mirrors here. Fresh seafood and premium cuts of meat on a stick.

The bland pot stickers, though? You can get them better in any Chinatown, U.S.A.

And those $4 candy cocktails that go by names such as pomegranate cosmo and mandarin orange drop: Don't go there. Go here: $3 beer or $5 wine by the glass.

Wild Ginger, 11020 N.E. Sixth St., Suite 90, at The Bravern (Bellevue) offers happy hour from 3-6 p.m. daily; and a "late night" happy hour from 9-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 10-midnight Fridays and Saturdays. (Note that the happy hour is only in the Bellevue location.) Bar food $2-$4, half-off on beer and cocktails, $5 wine (425-495-8889 or

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or

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