Cafe Flora changes much of the menu seasonally, and every few months any of the employees can put up a dish for evaluation by the management team. I offered this dumpling entree and it just went on the menu a couple of nights ago. This is my first dish on a restaurant menu, so I have to say I’m pretty excited about it!
The dumplings are made with wonton wrappers, and filled with a mixture of mustard greens, kale, and ricotta. They are served in a deeply flavored shiitake broth with sauteed slices of fresh shiitake, and garnished with parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, flaky sea salt, lemon zest, and green onions.
I got the idea for this dish because I had some leftover shiitake broth from something completely different, and I was taken with the complex umami flavor. It made me think of a classic Italian tortellini in brodo (broth). But then the specific shiitake flavor lended itself to a Chinese or Japanese interpretation.
I don’t normally care for “fusion” dishes, especially when it is done for shock value. What I hope this dish does is highlight the similarities between the cuisines (the wild mushrooms, spicy greens, pasta, and broth), and then pick up a little spin from each (the Italian cheeses and the Asian green onions).
So that’s the story! If any of you are in Seattle and get a chance to try it, I’d love to hear you feedback. It is on the dinner menu only, probably for at least a month.
p.s. on 1/3/2008 – The dumplings got a review in the Seattle newspaper.
[where: 2901 E. Madison St., Seattle, WA, 98112]