Friday, April 2, 2010
Toys Café and Bakery
Address: 131 106th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA
Escape from the office Lunch break
For our first review together and to celebrate the sudden break in the rain, we fled our respective dungeons and hightailed it down to check out Toys’ new location in Bellevue Plaza (just one block northwest from their old location).
Atmosphere: Quiet and casual but bustling. Like all good Chinese restaurants, Toys Café is one of those places whose unimpressive exterior hides a true gem inside. Their new location is much less dingy thanks to a wider glass storefront that lets in more sunshine and brighter interior lights; happily, the food quality remained the same. The staff is a competent and efficient lot: we were promptly seated as soon as we walked in, given glasses of water and a pot of tea, and our orders were taken shortly afterwards. Even though the bakery isn’t stocked and running yet, the space didn’t feel unfinished and everything seemed to be running smoothly.
Food: We ordered the Beef Chow Fun and the Seafood Combo Over Pan Fried Noodles, two very basic dishes that any good restaurant shouldn’t screw up, and they didn’t disappoint! Our food was quick and hot, just the way we like it, and it certainly appeased the hungry monster residing in our bellies. The chow fun wasn’t very greasy nor was it too salty (some places put too much soy sauce in it), the noodles were perfectly cooked and the beef was very tender.
FIT: “It also had a healthy serving of bean sprouts in it, but it could’ve used a bit more beef. We like our meats.”
The pan fried noodles, aka “both sides browned” noodles, aka “twice browned noodles”, is another popular Cantonese dish, and Toys’ seafood version is very good. The seafood was fresh, although the fish was a bit “fishy”, but the prawns, squid (!!), scallops were fantastic. It also had bok choy in it, but I’d suggest they chop them up a bit for easier consumption.
FIT: “Yummy squid!!”
Lastly, the portions were just about right. Even though we stuffed our faces, we still had a little leftover enough for one more lunch.
Price: The prices are pretty average: most of their dishes range from $7 (rice dishes) to $12 (combos and seafood dishes), with the Canton Roasted Duck and Peking Duck peaking at $25-$30.
Overall Recommendation: For the speed of service, deliciousness, leftovers and decent prices, we’d definitely recommend this place for lunch or dinner. As soon as they open their bakery, we’ll bring you a new review on that. Can we say pineapple and custard buns??