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Published: Wednesday, 10/6/2010

Restaurant reviews: Wei Wei Seafood Restaurant * * * *

Wei Wei Seafood Restaurant is on Renyolds Road, near the intersection with Dorr Street. Wei Wei Seafood Restaurant is on Renyolds Road, near the intersection with Dorr Street.
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The chop suey has bright chunks of vegetables with crunch. Egg rolls, made in the kitchen, are stuffed with fresh vegetables and are lightly deep fried.

Presentation is attractive, and food is delicious in this easy-to-miss Chinese restaurant two blocks south of Dorr Street on Reynolds Road.

Wei Wei Seafood Restaurant did an admirable job with the seafood, poultry, and meat dishes I enjoyed on recent visits.

The menu, of course, shares much with other Chinese restaurants, including Mandarin, Szechuan, Hunan, and Cantonese offerings. Be sure to flip all the way to the last page for the specials.

When ordering, note whether there's a tiny red chili pepper to the left of the item you're considering: it means hot and spicy. One of my companions ordered the typically spicy General Tso's chicken ($10.95) without noting it was flagged with a red pepper. She liked the egg roll and the salad that came with a tasty, homemade, gingery dressing but couldn't take the heat of the good General's dish. With gracious apologies, the young chef/owner quickly made a cool version for her, with plenty of tender chicken.

Lunch is an especially good deal - the 26 offerings are under $6 and include egg roll and white or vegetable fried rice - served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. but only weekdays.

Seafood includes geoduck clam, dungeness crab, lobster, flounder, oyster, salmon, and shrimp. A large portion of mild steamed flounder ($12.95) was tender, generously sprinkled with slivered ginger, and served in a soy sauce jazzed with hints of cilantro and ginger. It arrived on a big fish-shaped white plate with broccoli.

Walnut shrimp ($10.95), topped with plump glazed walnuts, is a lip-smacker. A dozen large crustaceans are lightly fried and coated in a honey-citrus sauce thicker than we've had before but yummy.

An appetizer (there are 18), Cantonese chicken lettuce wrap ($5.95) served in a rowboat dish, is a meal for one or a snack for four. It's the ultimate lean wrap: Iceberg lettuce leaves enfold the minced stir-fry of chicken, shiitaki mushroom, bamboo shoot, scallion, string bean, water chestnut, and carrots with delicious hoisin sauce.

Hot and sour soup ($2.50) with tofu, shiitaki, bok choi, and scallions was moderately peppered and mildly sour.

A lover of chop suey ($8.95, choice of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or vegetable) loved the big slices of pork, good flavor, and crisp vegetables.

Moo shu is comfort food with its mush of shredded cabbage, mushroom, bamboo shoot, wood ear, egg, and scallion served with a basket of hot, thin pancakes for making a Chinese burrito. I had the shrimp ($10.95), of which there were probably two dozen. It made for good leftovers, too.

A full bar whips up stiff drinks. I sampled a nonalcoholic bubble drink ($3.95), a fruity milkshake with marble-sized balls of black tapioca floating around the bottom. Go fishing and try to suck one of these chewy, flavorless pearls up with your wide straw. I liked taro, its pale-blue color from powder derived from this ubiquitous, potato-like, purple vegetable.

Decor: Until the decorator arrives, it's plain Jane, blond wooden tables and booths, two wall-TVs. Restrooms are spartan.

Service: Friendly, but servers appear to understand more English than they actually do.

Patrons: A mix of Chinese and American.

The other menu: If you look Chinese, you'll receive a Chinese menu with authentica such as pork stomach with pickled vegetables ($10.95) and chicken feet ($9.95).

What's missing: Customers. Engage the friendly owner, and he'll ask you to please tell your friends about Wei Wei.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com



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