The Grouchy Chef in Mukilteo: A mean deal of 3-course gourmet meals
The Grouchy Chef in Mukilteo offers three-course gourmet meals that include soup, salad and an entree plus choice of starch. The swordfish and roasted duck breast are recommended.
Seattle Times (assistant sports editor
The Grouchy ChefEclectic
4433 Russell Road, No. 113, Mukilteo
Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; dinner 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
Etc: Cash only; reservations required; parking in lot; no obstacles to access.
No substitutions. No frills. No custom orders.
The rules are simple — and written on top of every page of the menu. And don't forget them or you will see why chef Takayuki Masumoto named his restaurant in Mukilteo the Grouchy Chef.
Other rules to remember are: Bring cash, make a reservation and don't tip.
Although these rules may seem odd, they are there for a reason since Masumoto is a one-man show. He cooks the food (delicious three-course deals), greets the guests, serves the meals and even buses the tables. With nobody to help, you have to be structured to survive.
The menu: The chef's gourmet meals start off with the soup of the day, and a choice of salad (dinner or Caesar) for the second course. For the main course, you choose an entree and a starch. Entrees include New York strip steak, leg of lamb, ahi tuna, wild salmon, shrimp, rosemary chicken and others. Starches consist of risotto cake, cheese spaetzle, roasted potatoes and shrimp-mashed potatoes. Each meal ranges from $14-$18, depending on the entree.
What to write home about: The seared swordfish ($14) comes with a rich quatre epice sauce. The roasted duck breast ($18) was tender and juicy.
Make sure you save room for dessert, too, and try the mocha ice cream and crème caramel (flan covered in caramel) at $2.50 each.
The setting: The Grouchy Chef has changed locations in the past year. It's now in what looks like a warehouse from the outside. You can miss it if you're not paying attention.
Once you get inside, you're greeted by soft Japanese music and candlelit tables. The chef seats you. When you've decided on what you'd like to eat, head up to the counter to place your order. Then sit back and enjoy the food.
Summing up: Two meals and two desserts came out to just over $41 after tax — nothing for us or our wallets to feel grouchy about.
Jon Fisch: 206-464-8326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information in this article, originally published Oct. 28, was corrected Nov. 1. A previous version of this article listed an incorrect address. The Grouchy Chef is located at 4433 Russell Road, No. 113, Mukilteo, not 433 Russell Road.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.