Restaurant Review: Tray Kitchen, Seattle, WA

When people ask me to name my favorite restaurant in Seattle, I usually tell them that would be like choosing a favorite child.  I am one of those people who chooses where to eat based on what dish or type of dishes I am currently craving.  However, lately my answer to the favorite restaurant question has been Tray Kitchen in between the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods of Seattle.  Chef Heong Soon Park (known for Chan in Pike Place Market) got the idea for Tray Kitchen after eating at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.  State Bird earned a James Beard "Best New Restaurant" award in 2013 and holds one Michelin star.  The name of their game is "dim sum style" small plates that are brought around the restaurant on either trays or carts.  We were lucky to get a reservation at State Bird Provisions (thanks to a dear friend) when we visited San Francisco in October and loved it, so imagine how excited we were to find a new restaurant in our hometown with the same concept!  Tray Kitchen also does dim sum style small plates with pricing between $3 and $10, and many of the dishes have a Korean twist.  We first dined at Tray Kitchen last month around my birthday, and then just went again last night for another fix.  They recently started serving brunch, and we are planning to check out the brunch menu next weekend as well.  Chef Park has an active role right now in Tray Kitchen, bringing food to tables and making connections with diners.  Little gestures like that go a long way in growing a repeat customer base, so I have a feeling they will continue to be a hot spot in the Fre-lard neighborhood.  Please read on for photos and details of our first meal at Tray Kitchen around my birthday - we had a party of six and were able to try a large portion of the menu.

All of the small plates are presented on these trays (that happen to be made in Seattle) with price markers, dim sum style.  I love the spontaneity of waiting to see what delicious dishes show up at your table.

Brussel sprout salad with bacon and apple.

Soy sauce cured Alaskan king salmon, Asian pear, crème fraîche, cilantro.

Smoked trout mousse with avocado, sriracha, and shallots, served with nori potato chips.  This was a favorite of our table - everyone loved the spicy kick!

Wild mushroom farro with house made chanterelle mushroom whipped ricotta.

Fall quinoa tabouleh with butternut squash, currant, baby arugula, mint, and lemon.  I loved the addition of mint and lemon to this dish - it was so refreshing.

Maple glazed pork ribs with apple slaw.

Honey roasted carrots with fennel seeds, feta, sunflower seeds, and smoked paprika.

Mussels in green curry broth with cilantro.  The broth was so good - we got extra bread to mop it up.

Roasted bone marrow with kale, maitake mushrooms, pink peppercorn, and grilled sourdough.

K.F.C. (Koren Fried Chicken) wings, sunflower seeds, Korean chili sauce.  This is Tray Kitchen's signature dish.

Soy braised beef brisket, roasted winter vegetables, mustard greens.  This was my favorite dish of the evening!

Roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts and raisins.

Steak tartare.

Beet ganache, hazelnut brittle, house-made cinnamon ginger ice cream.

Are you hungry yet?  I sure am after typing this out and looking through all of the photos again!  If you are in the Seattle area, I definitely recommend a visit to Tray Kitchen.  If you want to learn more about this restaurant, check out the website below:


Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great weekend!

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