Plenty Of Clouds
If this Sichuan spot in Capitol Hill had, say, 12 different kinds of dumplings, this review wouldn’t even exist, because we’d still be posted up at the bar eating our way through each one on loop, running on no sleep and wearing the same clothes from two weeks ago. At some point, a trusted friend would probably pop in, place a hand on our shoulder, and tell us we need to water our houseplants. But luckily, there’s only one kind of dumpling at Plenty Of Clouds - and it’s perfect.
The pork filling is juicy and flavorful, the dough has a nice chew to it, and they’re tossed in a delicious chili oil. These dumplings are extremely comforting when it’s drizzling outside and your left sock is wet because you severely miscalculated the size of that puddle. Realistically, you’re probably not wandering around in the rain looking for dumplings by yourself. And that’s great, because this place is perfect for stopping in with friends or a date to share a bunch of things for dinner. After those dumplings, we especially like the grilled lamb meatballs that come with a fermented tomatillo sauce, the sesame noodles, and the mushroom rice cake stir fry, all of which come out quickly and piping hot.
photo credit: Nate Watters
We understand that venturing out into the world is not top-of-mind when Seattle’s is undergoing the weather equivalent of its angsty screamo phase. But the modern, dark space is a cozier place to brood over Chinese food than your kitchen table covered in credit card pre-approval letters you’ll never open, and they’ve already tinkered with dimmers to achieve Fantasia maestro-style moody lighting for you. Most importantly, they have $10 cocktails that are worth stepping in puddles to get to. Even if you used a Groupon for one “Mixology” class last summer, you probably can’t make a bourbon sour with tamarind foam or a pea flower champagne sparkler.
And the same goes for these dumplings. Which is why you should pop in here with some friends soon. That way, you can remind each other that you have house plants to get home to when three hours have passed and Plenty Of Clouds has officially sold out of dumplings for the night.
Strange-Flavor Cauliflower & Eggplant
This cold bowl of eggplant puree topped with spiced cauliflower is tasty and refreshing. Kick your meal off with a bowl for the table.
Sichuan Pork Dumplings
If you’re coming here for one dish and one dish only, it’s the consistently excellent dumplings. The pork is moist and the dough is perfectly cooked. If you have more self-control than us and don’t immediately drink the chili sauce at the bottom of the bowl after you finish the dumplings, hoard it at your table to pour on top of literally anything else you order. It’s that good.
Give us the dumplings, these awesome grilled lamb meatballs with tangy fermented tomatillo sauce, and a purple champagne cocktail, and leave us be for the rest of the evening. We’re set.
We really like these handmade noodles. The ground pork has a ton of flavor, the sesame dressing brings some tang to the table, and there are some Chinese greens if you wanted some health.
Spicy & Tasty Pork Belly
While this stir-fry does have a kick, the heat is manageable - so don’t be scared off if you don’t get along with spice. It’s very tasty.
Mushroom Rice Cake
You can’t really go wrong when you put chewy rice cakes, mushrooms, and tofu into a sizzling wok. This is a great vegetarian option that deserves a place on the table.