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Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

Tamarind Tree

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1036 S Jackson St Ste A
Seattle, WA 98104
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(206) 860-1404
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Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree - Seattle, WA

Reviews

( 46 )
( 32 )
( 10 )
( 7 )
( 37 )

Best

Make sure you make reservations... This place is usually crowded, so if you have kids, the wait time can go to an hour if you don't have...

Worst

Got a spinach & feta egg 'white only' omelet. They wanted to charge me a dollar more because it was egg whites only..WTF? Thank god the cook overhe...

7 couse beef 12/30/2011

One of the only places we have found in Seattle that serves 7 course beef. Food is good but not as good as places in SFO or Vietnam. Service is slow. more

HORRIBLE SERVICE 8/26/2009

I would never return to this place nor recommend this place to anyone. I've heard a lot about the restaurant so I thought I should give it a try. My fiance and I went there around dinner time but there was no wait. However, when we started to order (2 main dishes and an appetizer), the waiter asked me "Why do you eat so much"? and I thought that was a very nice thing to say to your customers. Our two main dishes (Bun Ho Hue and Bac Lieu seafood noodle) came out to be the nastiest dishes I've ever eaten in my entire life. At the end I was surprised by the price they charged for our appetizer which is Tamarind Tree Crepe. They called them "Special Dishes". It was one single crepe with a whole bunch of bean sprouts, one shrimp, and two little slices of pork. It wasn't anything special to me, yet they charge $12 dollar for that. At first I thought the server made a mistake on the price but then I check the menu and that was the price they're charging. It was my fault for not checking the price before I order, but $12 dollars for one single crepe is ridiculously stupid whereas other restaurants are only charging $7 at the most. Again, we will never return to this restaurant. We found a place that's better in food and price called GreenLeaf which located down the street. more

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Simply Awesome 5/10/2009

The food were all awesome. We ordered a bunch of dishes. Rice dish. Noodle dish. Some appertizes. All great. Definitely one of the best Vietnamese restaurants I've ever been too. more

Too expensive for family 3/25/2009

I read the Seattle Time add on March 20 about this restaurant, it says they have a dish calls Bo 7 Mon less than $20 for 2. I decided to pay a visit to see how good it is, and meaning to support the local . I got there with my family. First impression about the owner , he looks at us, and refuse to give us high chair for my son saying that he is too big for it, but he is only 3.So oh well, we try it anyway, that's why we came.The menu seems very good about variety. We order the Bo 7 Mon , but it was not less than $20 like they said on the Seattle times Newspaper. It was $33, I did say something, but it seems like the waiter didn't care much about it. The food was good, but too pricey , they also charged us18% tip because we brought party of 5. They put us in the corner of the house . Not enough room for our food. It was too crowded , I would not come back because of the price that they were saying on the News, and why did Seattle Times wrote something like that anyway? Were you suppost to eat, enjoy, pay than write, Right? Or you just take your words for it? I'm sure lots of people feel that way when they come, you don't have to take my words for it, read their site, then come, you will see what I mean . more

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Great dishes 2/9/2009

It's little hard to find this place since it's tucked away inside of a big parking lot with other stores. Great fusion Vietnamese cuisine with nice decors. Great for a fancy dinner or company/team dinner. Love their dishes anything from the standard common to exotic dishes that you can't really get anywhere else. Make reservation or be ready to wait as it gets quite busy. more

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A not quite so hidden gem 2/9/2007

I had read plenty of reviews of Tamarind Tree on Judy's Book, so there is almost no way that it could be called a hidden gem. However, it is tucked behind a random plaza in a not so neighborhoody section of the ID, and if you hadn't heard of the Tamarind Tree, there is no way that you'd stop. The food was spectacular. The service was good, but not standout, and the decor was very inviting in a modern way. I don't think I have much to add to the large body of review knowledge out there, other than: Try the guava martini - very good. more

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Don't let the "long lines" scare you 7/16/2006

I have been to TT 4 or 5 times, including the weekend around 7pm ish and never had to wait more than 10 minutes. more

Tamarind Tree is Tasty, but to skip the Lines, try Greenleaf 6/2/2006

Seattle has no shortage of Vietnamese restaurants, and while I'm not a connoisseur of Vietnamese cuisine, I have tried many of the restaurants in the international District. I will say that Tamarind Tree is one of my favorites. The cuisine is tasty, fresh and adds a little creativity to your typical menu... in addition, there are more vegetarian options than usual with extensive use of meat substitutes (not just tofu! ). Although I'm always skeptical of items such as "faux shrimp", and tend to stick with grilled tofu. The biggest allure of Tamarind Tree, in my opinion, is the atmosphere... elegant and trendy (bordering on overdone, the big fireplace and all) with vibrantly colored walls, dim lighting, fancy cocktails and a long long line out the door any weekend night. Compared your average Vietnamese restaurant (fluorescent lighting and peeling laminated menus), it fills a rather empty niche in Seattle (classy style, cheap & yummy Vietnamese cuisine). All that said, I've only been there twice and probably won't return except for lunch. The primary reason for this is that I have no patience for the long lines that inevitably crowd Tamarind Tree most evenings. Instead, my new favorite is Greenleaf (418 Eighth Ave S, just off Jackson ) -- the food is just as delicious, the owners very friendly, and I haven't yet had to wait in line for it. They definitely don't have the sophistication of decor, although it's a step up from your average hole in the wall. Think adjustable track lighting, little bamboo plants on every table, and the obligatory poppy Muzak looping over the speakers. At both restaurants, my favorite dishes are the vegetarian spring rolls (with fresh coconut meat and crispy wonton wrappers to add a crunch), and the green mango salad with grilled tofu. The only other drawback of Greenleaf is I'm not sure that they offer cocktails (at least I didn't see a menu for them last I went). For dessert, a little sticky rice and banana dumplings with coconut milk are just delicious. To impress a date, go to Tamarind Tree... for a night out with friends without waiting in line, check out Greenleaf. more

FAILED INSPECTION, SHUT DOWN BY HEALTH DEPARTMENT 4/21/2006

What's going on here. This place has been shut down by the health department because they got a whopping 123 points deducted from their health inspection!! What surprised me even more is they've been re-inspected over 8 times in the past 4 or 5 months-- something very bad is going here. WATCH OUT! See for yourself on the the King County restaurant inspection records at http://www.decadeonline.com/main.phtml?agency=skc then type in "Tamarind Tree" You be the judge- I wouldn't go there anymore. more

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Atmosphere more enamoring than the food 3/29/2006

Tamarind Tree has been enjoying its status as belle of the ball in the dancehall known as Seattle's Asian cuisine scene. When I called them Monday night, I was pretty sure they would tell me they wouldn't be able to seat us until 9pm, but the hostess who answered the phone said: 1) they don't take reservations after 5pm and 2) that they were having a slow night and I should just come on in. I noticed right away that this place is working its location and will put a hurting on the other Vietnamese restaurants in the plaza. By being located smack dab in the middle of the International District, it gains some credibility. Tom Douglas isn't in the kitchen cooking up Asian fusion, and yet, the restaurant's vibe makes you wonder if maybe he is... There's the austerely modern waterfall gushing water outside the entrance. Because it's pretty much all you see from inside the restaurant (dark and sultry with its dim lighting, cranberry and sunflower walls, grass green wall sconces, and stained concrete), you get the sense you've been transported somewhere far more glamorous than the corner unit of the Asian Plaza shopping center on the corner of 12th and Jackson. It's like no other Vietnamese restaurant I've ever been to. I was a little scared the waiters wouldn't speak Vietnamese, but when the teenage boy who seated us spoke English with a barely detectable accent, I knew his parents had done right. The waiter was similarly authentic when he asked me if we'd also want canh chua, ubiquitous at the Vietnamese dinner table, with the Vietnamese "family" meal I'd put together from the menu. Almost every table was occupied (so much for a slow night) and at least two groups were in front of us when we arrived, but we were seated almost right away. The good service kind of stopped there, though. The waiter arrived fairly promptly to take our cocktail orders, but took a lot longer bringing them to our table. He seemed a little annoyed that I felt the need to remind him, but he had already delivered three out of four of our dishes and I was beginning to wonder if he'd forgotten we ordered the drinks in the first place. After our food came, we had minimal interaction with our server. He and I had a silent exchange when it was time for more rice. I was holding an empty bowl post-scoop and he was on his way past us with dishes he'd cleared from the table behind us. I caught his eye and he nodded wordlessly. I didn't get the words out until after he was already gone. The rice came, though, so that's good. We had a similar experience when the busser came to clear our table. We said we wanted everything boxed up. I added, "The rice, too." He nodded and took away two plates. He came back awhile later with a styrofoam container in a plastic bag. I wasn't sure he'd come back with the rest of our food later. He did, but I had given it up for lost. Luckily, this service didn't land Tamarind Tree on my husband's boycott list. I think "the best mojito ever" won him over. I liked my Kumquat Crush, too, but not as much as he liked Tam's Mojito with brown sugar. Vietnamese know their way around limes and mint, I tell you. The cocktails were made by the matriarch. I smiled to myself a lot as I watched her expertly pouring drinks behind the bar. I got to be the one to order everything. I only got my husband's input on the seafood dish and we ended up ordering something I never would have considered. Even the waiter said, "Are you sure?" when I asked for the mam chung. Ground beef and anchovies topped with the yolk from a preserved egg. "Sure, why not?" It wasn't nearly as salty or fishy as we had hoped it would be. The waiter delivered the mam chung with a dish of herbs and cucumber that we assumed were accompaniment because the flavor was greatly enhanced when eaten wrapped in the basil (hung que), mint (kinh gioi), perilla (tia to), and fish herb (diep ca). The cucumbers also ameliorated the lack of moisture in the patty. I was thankful that they didn't go the lean meat route with the thit kho (braised pork belly in coconut juice) or the thit ga xao xa ot (lemongrass and chili pepper chicken). The hunks of pork in the thit kho were a little big, a bad idea because each bite really needs a balance between the lean and fatty parts to not taste either too dry or too fatty. The fat on this pork was truly succulent, melting in your mouth without seeming at all heavy. They included multiple eggs in the pretty, lidded pot that the thit kho came in. I'd never seen thit kho prepared with hard-boiled eggs that had been battered and fried. I don't know if this is some nouveau cuisine thing or just a Tamarind Tree thing, but I liked it. I was less happy with their measly pickled cabbage offering. They used regular cabbage instead of napa cabbage. The cabbage was also slivered and practically fresh, not spitting vinegar and exuding that oxidized dark green that I prefer. The lemongrass and chili chicken was good, although I detected very little lemongrass flavor on the sticky pieces of dark chicken meat. I'm used to eating lemongrass chicken with so much pounded lemongrass in it that you practically have to pick it out of your teeth, but I was happy enough with the flavor of real peppers. This dish would have been just fine had they called it thit ga xao ot, making no mention of the xa. Just like at home, our rau muong made the slightest gesture at our attempt to incorporate vegetables into the meal. I guess the canh chua soup would have had tomatoes, pineapple, bean sprouts and probably celery, but we didn't order it... The rau muong was called an inexplicable "Morning Glory Garlic" on the menu, but I didn't much care because I was just excited to see they had it at all. The stems were delightfully crunchy and the garlic in the dish occupied that perfect space between too pungent and too fried out. I love the green cooking liquid rau muong makes. If it was a juice, I'd drink it. I didn't swoon all over the place like everyone else is doing, but I am curious about their bo bay mon (seven beef courses) and would definitely like to come back to sample some more off their menu. They managed to serve solid Vietnamese fare without padding the menu prices too much, but I think I like the idea that they're aiming to be a classier Vietnamese restaurant best. more

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The best place to eat in Seattle. 3/28/2006

I am astounded again and again by the quality of the food, service, and the atmosphere at the Tamarind Tree. I am amazed by their consistency and feel that the restaurant is just as impressive as it was when they first opened. And the prices!!! You couldn't ask for a better deal. Try the seven courses of beef - it will blow your mind...Also, they've got amazing beverages (try the tamarind soda or martini) - I love this place! more

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Tamrind Tree--Cute and Cheap! 3/23/2006

If you've never been to Vietnamese town in the ID, you should explore it. Tamrind Tree is a Vietnamese Restaurant. The place is newly renovated in the past year with warm color paints and decorated with bamboos. If you're looking for a good, cheap, cute place to go on a date, this is it. You should order start with the spring rolls and the mango salad for an appetizer. For the main course, I recommend the 7-beef course. This entree serves two and it comes with 7 different dishes made with beef. The only downside with this place is service can tend to be very slow, so plan on being there for awhile, especially during lunch and dinner rush hour! For dessert, try their coconut jello dessert. It comes in a real whole coconut! more

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I'm so in love with Tamarind Tree I want to marry it 3/20/2006

My relationship with Vietnamese restaurants has been indifferent at best. Most of the time, the food can't live up to my mother's. The rest of the time, the restaurants are trying to pull out some type of fusion menu that dilutes the greatness of the meals themselves (Le Colonial, I'm talking to you). So maybe it's because I'm like a woman scorned that when I went to Tamarind Tree--the glowing reviews already seeming too good to be true--that I quickly fell in love with the restaurant. All the shortcomings of many other Vietnamese restaurants (ambience, menu, food quality) are erased at Tamarind Tree. Walking up the restaurant, I knew to expect something different, what with the outdoor patio's small waterfall. Inside, the decor was warm and intimate and designed well to hide the crowds that form outside. (Reservations are HIGHLY recommended on weekends. We managed an early Friday dinner and were seated pretty quickly, but when we left we were met with lines upon lines of people.) The tables are set pretty close together, but somehow it doesn't seem like you're seated at the same table as your neighbors even though you essentially are. Despite the crowds, our waitstaff was attentive and prompt. Our appetizers (Tamarind Tree rolls and nem nuong rolls) came extremely quickly and were quite good (I preferred the Tamarind Tree rolls). We didn't try any of the drinks, although the list was long and full of delicious-sounding concoctions. After re-reading the menu a few times (SO many dishes I've been craving), we settled on lemongrass chicken and "morning glory garlic", their name for the water spinach/ong choi I love so much. Both, to my sheer delight, were perfect. With that being my first visit--and in a small party of two--I didn't get a chance to sample much of the extensive menu. I can live with that; I know I'll be back. more

A new favorite! 3/10/2006

This place is a bit hard to find, but don't give up, it is absolutely worth turning around. We started out with Tamarind Tree rolls which were absolutely wonderful, they have great texture and they are vegetarian! I have only been here once, but am putting on my list of places to frequent. I had and lemon grass tofu over noodles, the dish was fresh, perfect and delicious. The staff is friendly, the environment is comfortable and well-designed, and I can't wait to go back! I think this is a great place to take a date! Hint: Back of the parking lot! more

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The Very BEST 12/28/2005

This place is wonderful..... The food is great... very fresh.... made to order... with some very yummy twists. It is perfect. The place is a hidden gem. Located in a strip mall you think you are going to a run down hole in the wall. Walk inside and you are in a very nice restaurant. Nice enough to take a date... your parents... or even have a work dinner. The price wont break you either. I just went last night with my friend. We both got dinner and shared an appetizer. We only spent $20.00. And were so full we both got take home for lunch the next day. I highly recommend the Tamarind Tree Rolls- The Mango salad- Any of the platters- well anything I have had on the menu has been wonderful. A very easy place to take any one.... Meat eater... veggie... vegan... they all can eat here. The only down side is that it can be busy and the wait can be 45 min + and the servers can get a little slow with so much bossiness. But that's the price I pay to go to such a popular restaurant. more

Tamarind Tree Restaurant 12/7/2005

We love this place. First of all the food is excellent. Very fresh, high quality and cooked to order. The service is good but on weekend evenings can be a little scatterbrained. Our waiter took our order (6 of us were dining) and did not write anything down. Note: this is only impressive if you don't forget anything! He forgot one of our dishes and then told me I never ordered it. My dining companions disagreed as they heard me order. That was just one incident. On other occaisions our service was great! I highly recommend it! Especially lunchtime on the weekends, when it tend's to be a bit less crowded! more

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Best Vietnamese In Town 11/23/2005

Ignore the fact that this restaurant is in a parking lot. Really. It's beautiful inside with very nice finishes. The food is amazing! This is one of the best restaurants in town, by far. Make sure you get the platters so you can wrap your own fresh rolls, the special drinks - like the kumquat martini - are awesome. Make sure you have dessert too, banana cake! more

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Authentic Vietnamese 11/4/2005

This place is spot on - as one of the other reviewers said, I haven't had Vietnamese food this good since I was in Hanoi a couple of years ago. Some Highlights: - I found the wait staff to be very attentive, but not overbearing - The food was there very quickly and well presented - The menu had a wide range of offerings, obviously not just the traditional broth noodle soups and spring rolls. - The decor was very peaceful and really takes you right out of the hustle and bustle. - Finally, the food was very tasty and not very hard on the budget. Go to this place before it's really 'discovered'!! more

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Amazing authentic Vietnamese food in sleek setting 10/6/2005

... and it's affordable, romantic, and everything on the menu is delicious. Try the Kumquat Crush cocktail - so tasty. This place is legit. Best vietnamese food we've had in Seattle (not just pho - all of it, the whole spectrum from clay pot fish to grilled pork satay skewers to cha ca noodle bowls) since we got back from vietnam, and it's very affordable. The designers of this place put a lot of thought into it too, it's attractive, comfortable, and service is great. Go - just go early, as they don't take reservations at night. more

Great International District Vietnamese Food 8/19/2005

Restaurants in the International District are hit and miss - and Tamarind Tree is a definite hit. The decor is beautiful and serene (there is even a waterfall in the outdoor seating area). The service is quick - upon sitting you are immediately provided with great tea in a beautiful tea pot. The food is great too - try the Green Mango Salad for a refreshing summer treat. It is a bit hard to find - but pull into the parking lot when you seen the sign from Jackson and drive towards the back. more
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Menu for Tamarind Tree




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Editorial

  • The Scene
    Vibrant orange walls and stone tables around a central fireplace set the comfortable-yet-stylish mood at this affordable gem hidden in the back corner of the Viet Wah strip mall...

  • 7/26/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, Yesler Terrace

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