I’m a big fan of dim sum and in the Bellevue area, I am a frequent visitor of Top Gun Seafood Restaurant. But when I heard dim sum right in downtown Bellevue, I have to admit I was skeptical at first. If you look at the Yelp reviews for the restaurant (http://www.yelp.com/biz/jois-chinese-seafood-restaurant-bellevue-2) – it’s mixed at best – though the more recent reviews tend to be positive.
I will definitely agree with the more recent reviews as the Dim Sum is quite good and even better they do not use a lot of MSG. It is very common to go into food coma state or MSG headaches after Dim Sum – this isn’t the case for Joi’s Seafood restaurant (also known as Koi’s in some reviews and on their restaurant menus).
For Dim Sum aficionados – the sign of a great Dim Sum restaurant is the chicken feet. The skin has to be coming off the bone easily with a lot of strong spicy flavors. Joi’s chicken feet did not disappoint!
Another dish that is hard to make right and is a good sign of a good dim sum restaurant is the intestines. Steamed to perfection so that they are lightly chewy – with plenty of flavor too!
For those with more refined palettes – do not despair, there were plenty of tasty small foods!
A fun dish that I affectionately call “footballs” are pork & cilantro encased in rice / mochi outer layer that is deep fried.
Centered here is the lone remaining shrimp and chive dumpling wrapped in translucent rice dough.
The ambience and service of the restaurant is about as good as a Hong Kong dim sum restaurant can get without over paying. (please compare this to only other other dim sum restaurants, eh?!).
Another important aspect of great places for dim sum is the hot sauce. While it may look like good old fashioned rooster sauce (Sriracha sauce) but its hotter and slightly sweeter which is a serious plus!
So over all, great food, less MSG, solid service and ambience, and great hot sauce. I’ll keep on returning to this Dim Sum restaurant (until the chef changes!).