Friday, March 9, 2007


There's plenty of good vegetarian Chinese food in Seattle. Bamboo Garden, for instance, has been a favorite since I rolled over the I-90 bridge with my carpet bag and my cats. What sets the Vegetarian Bistro apart is the fabulous array of Dim Sum. I can't go to the International District without stopping in for some steamed hum buns.

vegetarian bistro exterior
the "grand opening" sign is gone now

Vegetarian Bistro on Urbanspoon

I am about to sing the praises of their little morsels. I don't want to give the impression that the main courses are in any way lacking. The orange chicken is fantastic, as is the szechuan beef. And remember, this is the Vegetarian Bistro, so all meats are fake. In fact, everything is vegan. (Carnivores, stop your whining, if you take it on it's own terms you'll probably like it. The fake chicken is more approachable than the fake beef. Start there.)

tea is served, everything is green

Now, on to the dim sum. There is a lot here. They've added some items since they printed the menus, so it pays to ask for help. But be careful or they'll talk you in to ordering everything.

Every time I go I leave with a new favorite thing. This time it was the fried radish cakes. They're crispy on the outside, gooey in the middle and subtly salty. There is not a very strong radish flavor at all (which I was happy about).

fried radish cakes

The radish cakes pushed the sticky rice out of the top slot. Which had pushed out the deep fried mashed potatoes (great with just a touch of soy sauce). Which had pushed out the steamed hum buns.
Who am I kidding. They're all my favorites. All perfect in their own way.

deep fried mashed potato, sticky rice,
steamed hum buns (front to back)

The hum buns are barbecue pork in a fluffy steamed bun. And it's Chinese barbecue so it's salty and sweet and deep deep red. I could live on them.

The sticky rice is also subtly seasoned. It's got a little bit pork and veg mixed in and comes wrapped in bamboo leaves. It really is sticky enough to eat with chopsticks.

inside the bamboo leaves, sticky rice!

VDS at VB rocks. Worth going out of your way for. It's been to long since you've been to the ID. Go now.

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