Broadview favorite Little Ting’s Dumplings, one of Seattle’s finest Chinese restaurants, expanded to Bellevue (683 156th Ave. SE) over the weekend, but owner Ting Xiao Guo is upending expectations for the Eastside by holding off on dumplings for now and focusing instead on excellent clay pots. To prepare an individual order, Little Ting’s Dumplings and Clay Pot boils fresh ingredients in a clay pot with one of two corresponding broths: a rich lao tang stock that cooks 24/7 with beef and goat bones, and a spicy variety that includes a special red pepper paste.
“My brother owns a clay pot restaurant in my hometown [in Anhui Province],” Guo said. “It is kind of a street food, and after I spent some time there recently, I was inspired to learn to make it and bring it to Bellevue.”
There are eight clay pot dishes available at the Bellevue restaurant currently, with no immediate plans to add them to the menu at the original location. Red clay pots include beef with winter melon and vermicelli, fried salmon with tofu, and goat offal (heart, liver, and tripe). The rest have seafood (with shrimp, squid, chicken balls, and quail eggs), beef rolls (ground beef rolled in tofu skin), hua rou (sliced beef cooked soft), fresh goat meat, or a seductively sour vegetarian option with fried lotus root and white radish balls.
There’s no online menu for the new venue yet — in fact, the Bellevue expansion wasn’t even listed on the official website at the time of publishing, though the Facebook page makes mention of it — but there are also sides like youtiao (savory, cruller-like Chinese doughnuts) and doujiang (soy milk soup). Unfortunately, Guo doesn’t yet have the staff at the new location to serve the silky, labor-intensive dumplings — with fillings like pork and fennel, chive and scallop, and even a recurring sea urchin special — that made Little Ting’s a hit. But the dumplings will appear as soon as possible, Guo said.
Little Ting’s Dumplings and Clay Pot takes over the former Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant space in mixed-use Lake Hills Village. It joins a host of other Asian restaurants there, including Hard Wok Cafe and Shabu Shabu Kyoto Japanese Restaurant, with reports that bubble tea joint Chatime and Taiwanese dessert chain Meet Fresh are soon to follow.
Guo hopes to offer breakfast hours sometime in the future. “We miss our traditional breakfast food,” she said. But for now, Little Ting’s Dumplings and Clay Pot is open Wednesday to Monday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 8:30 p.m. for dinner.