We first heard about Fu Man Dumpling House from a friend a few years ago. She said she rarely orders dumplings out at restaurants since her Canadian-Chinese family makes excellent dumplings at home, but she happily makes an exception for the handmade dumplings at Fu Man Dumpling House. Upon hearing this, we trekked up Greenwood Ave to the Bitter Lake neighborhood to taste these dumplings ourselves.
Our first visit was memorable, and not just because of the food. We went for lunch one weekend, and after parking in the back and walking past a bar in the same building, we found the entrance to the restaurant. The space can fit about two dozen people, and we were quickly seated at one of the small, vinyl-covered tables. The owner, Ming Tzou, took our order of green onion pancake, hot-and-sour soup, and boiled dumplings, then walked to the table behind us to take their order. Their exchange was slightly reminiscent of the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld. Diner: “We’d like the potstickers.” Tzou: “You know this is a dumpling house, right?” Diner: “Um, yes?” Tzou: “When you’re in a dumpling house, you order dumplings.” And so they got the dumplings. (Makes you wonder why the menu offers potstickers, no?) Feeling thankful that our order was accepted without incident, our meal arrived and we enjoyed it all. The pancake was flavorful and crisp, the soup was plenty spicy, and the pork-and-vegetable dumplings were served with an intense garlic sauce. I loved the sauce, while Dawn was less a fan of its lingering aftertaste long after the meal ended. We were stuffed, and when we asked for our check, Tzou took a look at our bowls and said, “You need to finish your soup.” I smiled, thinking that he couldn’t be serious, but he took everything except the soup and left. Dawn gave me the “I can’t eat another bite” look, so I picked up my spoon and somehow managed to finish the remaining soup. Tzou returned, smiling, and said, “See? I knew you could finish it.”
Boiled Fu Man dumplings at home.
We tried to order frozen dumplings to go at the end of our first visit, but no dice: they’re made-to-order, so you have to call ahead at least a day. We picked some up recently, and love having dumplings (with little containers of garlic sauce) in the freezer, ready for a quick snack or weeknight meal.
Fu Man Dumpling House
14314 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle