Eater Anne Wheeler wrote this week to give two thumbs up for Macky’s Dim Sum, an Issaquah newcomer. A faithful Top Gun go-er, she said she’s happy to have another worthy dim sum alternative on the Eastside. Especially one where dim sum — offered daily and at dinner — is “made in small batches so it’s always very fresh and very hot.”
What’s more, Anne writes, Macky’s serves “incredibly good BBQ duck,” and offers a twin whammy: great service and plenty of parking. Seeing as the joint’s tucked away in Gilman Village, though, she voiced concern that not enough people will find it. Which is why she encouraged me to search the place out, see what I think and, if I’d be so kind, spread the word. To which I replied: “Been there, ate that! — last weekend. P.S. Loved it!”
Shanghai soup dumplings and an $8.50 “appetizer” portion of BBQ duck at Macky’s in Issaquah.
Seek and ye shall find: Macky’s house of dim sum (formerly the Sweet Addition), in Gilman Village.
So, what’s with that name? Blame it on Issaquah resident Macky Wong. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, maybe the face will. Macky and her husband Sonny owned the Chinatown/International District dim sum favorite China Gate for 20 years before selling it in 2008.
Macky (left) and Sonny Wong, late of China Gate, flanking their daughter Karri.
Between now and then, the couple owned and operated Vegetarian Bistro in the ID (since shuttered), and here in Gilman Village they’ve partnered with Ballard boy Steve Katsandres, owner of Bad Albert’s Tap & Grill.
Steve and Sonny met “years and years ago,” Steve told me this morning. Back then, Bad Albert’s badman was a saute-cook at Schwartz Brothers Benjamin’s restaurant, and in the decades since he’s downed his share of dim sum at China Gate. “We always talked about doing something together,” says Steve, who helped design the kitchen and dining room at Macky’s. He also put his head together with Sonny to devise an East-meets-West menu.
That menu (actually, there are two, dim sum and then some) is meant to be as fluent in Cantonese as it is in the likes of salads that might entice the ladies-who-lunch, and other diners willing to go adventurous with “cheesesteak”-style sandwiches made with Mongolian beef or General Tso’s chicken. Describing his role at Macky’s going forward, Steve explains, “They’re the majority partners, I’m just helping them.”
Helping them all in the kitchen is “Mr. Fook,” late of China Gate, who cooked for the Wongs for 15 years before working the woks here where the menu remains a work in progress.
Point — and shoot. (OK, don’t mind if I do . . . )
Sui mai, shrimp and vegetable dumplings and steamed spinach dumplings.
Fried shrimp dumplings and BBQ pork hom bao (left), Shanghai-style steamed soup dumpling.
Name aside, dim sum is not the sum of Macky’s parts. Among the other specialties? A whole Kabocha squash, stuffed with curried seafood. And fresh pineapple, borne to the table before it flips its lid to show off a mix of fresh fruit and seafood, delicately fried with rice.
“Try it, you’ll like it!” says Sonny, and next time have the stuffed pumpkin!
I’m certain there will be a next time. So there, Anne. I’m with you: Long live Macky’s, now open daily (Monday-Friday 11 a.m-9:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.) See you there.