Pork buns, soup dumplings are a steal at Yang's Dumpling House in Bellevue
Yang's Dumpling House in the Lake Hills Shopping Center in Bellevue offers good deals on pork buns and dumplings.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Yang's Dumpling HouseChinese
509 156th Ave. S.E., Bellevue (inside Lake Hills Shopping Center)
Hours: 11-a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Etc: Cash only; no obstacles to access
Lake Hills Shopping Center in north Bellevue looks like a little Chinatown International District: a Shaolin kung fu school, a reflexology parlor, a Korean supermarket and a little gem called Yang's Dumpling House.
The last is located on the edge of the complex, unassuming but easily one of the best cheap-eat deals on the Eastside.
The menu: The 14 items, good-size portions, are priced from $1.99 to $8.99. There are a couple of salads, some cold cuts like pork loins doused with hot chili oil and dumplings galore. But you see the name of this place, you know what to order, right?
What to write home about: The made-to-order pork buns (serving of eight for $6.99) are fresher than some served in the Chinatown International District. They're less doughy and less sweet, a nice ratio of pork to dough with no other fillers. Just glorious pork. Many order these steamed buns to go. But that doesn't do them justice. You should eat at least one on the spot.
Talk of soup dumplings inevitably bring up comparison to Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, the gold standard. Yang's is not as consistent, each morsel shaped a bit differently and some were soupy, a few not so much. But it's a screaming deal: 12 morsels for $6.99. The shell is chewy, not too thick, with some meaty pork filling.
What to skip: The seafood dumplings contained more pork and dough than shrimp (16 pieces for $8.99). A less-doughy version listed as "steamed dumplings" (12 pieces for $6.99) were better, though the beef filling was a bit tough. Despite the name of "steamed dumplings" for this dish, all the dumplings on the menu are steamed.
The setting: It's a typical hole-in-the wall joint, similar to those in the Chinatown ID. There's no background music, just the sound of steam rising out of bamboo steamers and the chopping of the cleaver on the counter. It's a two-man operation, neither of whom speaks English well. Your best bet is to point to the menu items.
Summing up: Eight pork buns, 40 various dumplings and an order of pork loins totaled $40.46, enough to feed four to five people. It's as good a value as you will find anywhere on the Eastside and a nice break from the usual Chinese takeout.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.