Food & Culture
This Dough Zone Is Not Like the Others
Expect a more colorful, contemporary version for the Seattle expansion
By Chelsea Lin January 9, 2017
Oh man, this is exciting.
News broke a couple of months ago that Dough Zone—the Eastside temple of dumplings—was (finally, gloriously) expanding to Seattle. They’re the first confirmed tenants of a new building on the edge of the International District at 5th Avenue S and S King Street. Keys are in hand, and construction has begun.
Well, today details are emerging on what we can expect from the fifth Dough Zone location, besides their excellent Chinese dumplings, congee and noodles. You may have noticed that the (two) Bellevue, Redmond and Issaquah locations are fairly sparsely decorated—spokesperson Vickie Ji says they’re family-style joints to match their neighborhoods. But for Dough Zone’s Seattle debut, she says they wanted to match the modern, hip vibe of successful eateries they scouted in Ballard, Capitol Hill and Fremont. They’ve hired local architect and design firm Board & Vellum, responsible for Oasis Tea Zone and Ada’s Technical Books and Café. There will be hanging decorations from the ceiling, a mural by local artist Sarah Robbins (who did this awesome painting for Cupcake Royale), and seating for about 60. (Issaquah, which just opened in October, will still be the largest.)
While Dough Zone’s celebrated xiao long bao and other steamed dumplings are made in each location’s kitchen, many of the menu items are made in a central Eastside kitchen and distributed to the five restaurants prior to service every day. Seattle’s location will be the furthest from the kitchen, which will present some added logistics.
It was briefly rumored last year that Dough Zone was considering Northgate as a potential location—which pleased me to no end, as that’s closest to my own ‘hood. I asked Ji and she says that’s part of the “goal plan” still—I’m choosing to interpret that as there’s still a chance. Ah well, at least this new spot won’t require bridge toll.
When will the new shop open? Ji is keeping tight-lipped for obvious reasons, but says they’re in no hurry—after all, Issaquah is still new, and they want to make sure all the kinks are worked out first. We’re hoping to get our hands (er, chopsticks) on those dumplings in the next few months.
In the meantime, the new Din Tai Fung in Pacific Place should be open momentarily (by momentarily, I mean in the next month or so, after a series of delays) to meet any immediate downtown soup dumpling needs.
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