BY KIKI YEUNG
On a Thursday night, a few friends and I stopped by Qube for dinner. Walking into Qube, you feel chic. The green lights and walls, accented by the orange centerpiece (which is supposed to look like fire), makes you feel like you are somewhere outside of Seattle. With all the new Asian restaurants focusing on innovative design, cool ambiance and creative menus such as Tamarind Tree, Green Leaf, Wann, Umi Sake House, Made in Kitchen and Boka, Qube is no exception. Contributing to our scene of Northwest and Asian cuisine, Qube is a great addition to our town.
From the open space in the front of the restaurant to the cushion bench on the side, Qube puts great efforts in creating an elegant and exciting flair to the overall feel of the place. The long, communal pearl-colored granite table across the center of the restaurant adds fun to your dining experience. Fluorescent lights gleaming through the table with beautiful orchids in little glass bowls show how the owner, Fu Shen Chang, pays attention to every detail — from the menu, to the service, to his guests’ visual experience.
The restaurant was so lively with its bright balancing colors and eager guests, I barely noticed that there was no background music playing at the time. My favorite part of the place is the lounge, a few steps down past the main dining room. Comfy cushioned couches are in the corner, with big glass windows and bathroom tile floors (I love the floor! It’s a special kind of bathroom tile — from the view from the dining room, it looks like carpet.) The bar is beautifully chic with glass shelves and bartenders waiting to serve you one of their beautiful concoctions.
So, when am I going to talk about the food? The owner, Fu Shen, introduced to me by my friend Angel, wanted to combine flavors from six major Asian countries: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, China and Korea. Pan-Asian infused with a touch of French cuisine. He thought, “Since working at Typhoon and other Asian restaurants, I had a vision to combine different flavors of the East and spice it up with the West.” An immigrant from Taiwan who came to America when he was 12, Fu Shen worked at his parents’ restaurant before becoming manager of Typhoon Restaurant. It is a great accomplishment to have this one-of-a-kind restaurant in Seattle.
Once you are seated, the server brings you a beautiful plate of “naan” bread with sesame seed and mango butter dip, one of the highlights of the meal. Two of my friends had the cod and the kobe flank steak. The cod was very tasty, flaky and melts in your mouth. For $34, the kobe flank steak was tender and flavorful, though the pieces cut a little too thin. The extra long green beans were placed interestingly but were not very flavorful.
The distinctive Qube sets: 3 Ingredients x 3 Ways x 3 Courses = 9 Presentations. This is the Qube tasting menu, where you get three kinds of appetizers, main dishes and desserts. The small plates were decorated with small, pretty portions of prawns prepared in three different styles (my favorite of the selection was the prawns in red curry — they were huge and flavorful), Korean “bulgogi” skewer, little braised duck leg crepe, wild salmon tartar, cold-smoked salmon sushi rolls, and other little foods of the sort.
By the time I was done with the second dish, I thought there was more to come! Instead, I got the three-flavor chocolate mouse: white, milk and dark chocolate. The crÀme brul»e trio was great — Thai basil-perfumed dark chocolate, caramelized banana, and Madagascar vanilla. We had the chocolate cake with Asian pear; I loved the pear by itself, but eating it with the non-chocolate flavored flourless cake brought out the sourness in the pear.
I would go back to Qube for drinks and appetizers, the cool ambiance and warm attentive service, but it comes with a significant price tag. If you are looking for an adventurous dining experience, try Qube.
Qube Restaurant: 1901 Second Ave., Seattle (on Second and Stewart Street), (206) 770-5888, www.quberestaurant.com.