Teapot Vegetarian House (Seattle)

Updated 12/10/2008 – Take a look at a Stumptown Vegan’s most recent visit to Teapot here.

Date: June 6, 2007
Times Visited: 1

Like many vegans and vegetarians, I get really, even super, excited to eat at new restaurants when traveling. When inquiring on where to eat in Seattle, Teapot Vegetarian House seemed to be at the tip of everyone’s tongue. Yet, many people hadn’t eaten there themselves – it was simply ‘the’ place everyone else talks about. My partner and I dined at Bamboo Garden on our first visit to Seattle, and it was time to check out out Teapot on my recent work excursion. First off, we went to Teapot after taking the train from Portland, and walking from King Station to the restaurant itself. By the time we got there, we were famished – and I couldn’t have chosen a more satisfying experience for myself.

The atmosphere was calming and somewhat romantic, especially when the table of teenage girls left. We started with the eye-pleasing and stomach-teasing bobo platter. For one, having something like that served to me just made me feel special. Secondly, the fire is started once the platter comes to your table, and you get to roast the seitan skewers yourself. The platter also included sugar cane drumsticks, spring rolls, tofu rolls, wontons and three dipping sauces. We both realized the seitan skewers were by far the tastiest part, especially dipped in the buttery peanut sauce. Our collective least favorite were the tofu rolls, fried and containing nori. The drumsticks were extremely ‘chickeny’ and chewy, and required the sweet dipping sauce for consumption. I honestly liked the dipping sauces better than the entire platter, they were that good. I’m glad that I now know which appetizer to order individually next.

The entree options were certainly overwhelming, with over 45 main courses. Note that although there are photos of a few on the menu, some things may be different, such as the addition of vegetables. In the mood for noodles, I chose the Vietnamese Crispy Wide Noodles. When I read ‘crispy fried noodles’ I pictured just that, and that’s came – but not in a way I even realized could happen. The large noodles were seemingly lightly battered and fried, and were exactly what I didn’t know I was in the mood for! The sauce in the dish was right on: slightly sweet and garlickly. The vegetables were fresh and included lotus root,which I enjoyed for a first time. (JD)

I didn’t like what I ordered (Mandarin Crispy Tofu). However, I can easily see how it’s the house favorite. The appearance and the texture were both very good, but the taste seemed unbalanced. I needed something sweet in the sauce to counter the spice, which I even ordered “mild”.

I would definitely go back without a second thought. The service was fantastic, as well as the atmosphere. I believe I just ordered the wrong dish for me. (TS)

Unfortunately, Teapot was out of their signature, acclaimed tofu cheese cake, which I’ve heard happens frequently. We went with the Gula Malacca, wanting to try something new. Although the dish was missing the soy whipped creme as described on the menu, it was lovely. It was light yet decadent, and the perfect amount to share. There was just enough coconut sorbet to mingle with the other flavors of mocha, peanut and the tapioca pearls. I was sure throughout the meal to leave a bit of room for the cheesecake, and this subbed nicely.

Both of us haven’t been as satisfied with vegan asian food since our last meal at Grasshopper in Massachusetts. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely cherish Vege Thai and adore Bay Leaf, but they’re not on the same level. Basically, if I lived in Seattle, I’d be here once a month. (JD)

Bobo platter
seattle june 07 006

Dipping sauces – Sweet, Peanut Sauce and Sesame.
seattle june 07 004

Mandarin Crispy Tofu with brown rice
seattle june 07 007

Vietnamese Crispy Wide Noodles
seattle june 07 009

Gula Malacca
seattle june 07 011

Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Location: 345 15th Ave. E. Seattle, WA 98112
Daily – 11AM – 10:30PM

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10 responses to “Teapot Vegetarian House (Seattle)

  1. OOoohhhhhh….. Teapot is my absolute favorite restaurant in the entire world (Not that I’ve seen that MUCH of the world).

    I don’t get there NEARLY often enough, and I live 45 min. from there!!

  2. My fiancée and I went to the Teapot Restaurant in the Redmond/Bellevue area on December 15, 2007. This is the restaurant where we lost our engagement ring. The staff and the owner did not show any signs of sympathy and the owner shrugged off this traumatic incident by stating “this is not your home; you should not put your things anywhere you like.” We called the police and the officer came and reported the incident. But since there was no evidence of a crime having been committed, there is nothing the officer could do. Other than the restaurant’s reluctance to offer any kind of assistance to us, there are also other areas the restaurant should consider for improvement:

    The restaurant’s atmosphere was nice. It’s very quiet and not a lot of customers, just the two of us and two other set of couples in the restaurant. It was so quiet that we could hear the wait staff talking amongst themselves in Chinese to each other, as clearly as if they were yelling.

    The service could have been better. We came in, they acknowledged us, seated us; all this without any smile. They took our order. Another older lady delivered the food to us, but her facial expression seemed angry and annoyed. While we were eating, we noticed that the wait staff were staring at us and whispering. My fiancée and I thought this was very weird.

    The food needs major improvement. All the dishes we ordered tasted either like a bowl of soy sauce or a bowl of salt. The Mongolian beef and broccoli has a fibrous texture not unlike carrots, and some tasted like rubber. The sauces tasted the same in all dishes… soy sauce! The color of the hot and sour soup was a dark black color and the taste… you guessed it: like soy sauce! The tofu and mushroom dish was a bowl of thick gelatinous gravy that tasted like a bowl of salt! Teapot is overpriced for this kind of food and service. For two people, our bill came out to be almost $50.00, which included a cup of hot and sour soup, the tofu and mushroom appetizer, the Mongolian beef entrée, and a bowl of shanghai noodles. I can drink soy sauce and eat salt at home for less than $1.00, but I don’t think I will.

    Needless to say, this is the most expensive soy sauce and salt my fiancée and I ever ate. It cost us our engagement ring. We will never go back again!

  3. Hi, Tofu Mom!

    I have to wonder if Jin and fiancée were wearing hula hoops or swastikas or something in their ears to warrant this experience, as it doesn’t mirror any I’ve had at either Teapot location.

  4. Going through the archives working on my article about you guys. Just had to comment that Teapot is my favorite restaurant EVER. I used to live only 7 minutes walking distance from Teapot and sometimes regret leaving Seattle for that reason alone. :)

    The tofu cheesecakes are definitely the best thing on the menu, though. The green tea cheesecake goes down in my memory as the single best dessert I’ve ever had in my life (vegan or non-vegan). And the mango cheesecake I had last time was a worthy competitor. I have good cheesecake karma when it comes to Teapot. I always seem to find it on the menu.

    I find it odd that somebody had such a poor experience there, but I have met other vegans who don’t like Teapot at all. It confuses me, because I find their food to be uniformly excellent.

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  6. I used to eat at Teapot in Seattle all the time when I commuted. In the last year, I’ve been to the Redmond location twice. Both times the food was absolutely horrible. The dishes I ordered were so bland I didn’t bother finishing them. I ordered gula malacca to go, a dessert I’ve ordered countless times. When I opened it up to eat it, I saw that it was just tapioca pearls in a thin coconut/ty sauce. All the other good stuff was missing. I will never visit the Redmond location again. And I will echo what Jim said about the older woman, who is actually the owner, having an unfriendly demeanor.

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