As my husband walked into the kitchen for breakfast, he hummed a familiar tune, made popular by Steve Martin. “Da da da … the boy king…” Yup — it was from one of Steve’s funky skits on Saturday Night Live, King Tut.
My husband enjoys it when I include him as a partner on dining excursions, but his enthusiasm for Egyptian cuisine was over the top. I’d seen the King Tut Mediterranean restaurant as we checked out to other locations in the same tiny strip mall at 4520 200th St. S.W., close to the Lynnwood Transit Center.
“Why have we not been to this one before now?” he asked. “This is amazing food.”
So amazing that the next morning at breakfast, he grilled me about details in a 90-minute program we’d watched the previous evening on PBS. Why? He’d stuck his nose in his phone the entire time he “watched” the program, surreptitiously scanning the menu from King Tut to plan his order on his visit.
A good deal of the ambiance is created by the décor that accentuates the Egyptian heritage; even photos of Egyptian celebs fill one of the walls. Server Joun Lemay, whose family owns the restaurant, is a delight. Joun talks up the dishes, explaining why one should order the smoked rice instead of the regular rice pilaf, and so forth.
Joun shares information about the specials in a way that you know… better order that one. In my case it was the lamb shank. My husband chose a falafel sandwich. But let’s start with the condiments that are on the table.
House-made hot sauce and garlic vinaigrette are displayed in decorative decanters on each table. Red hue indicated red peppers, I detected seeds in the rich sauce too, but other items, secret spices, give the condiment a kick.
The garlicky vinaigrette is made of olive oil, lots of chopped garlic and a puree of garlic suspended in vinegar. All that garlic would seem to be over the top but the balance in their recipe is perfect.
I started my meal with a cup of Egyptian tea, served in King Tut motif cup and saucer, accompanied by fresh mint leaves.
For our appetizer we chose tomiya — a white garlicky cream- colored sauce, fluffy with yogurt and topped with more of those spices. Served with fresh warm pita triangles, we scraped the last of it into our mouths as the Greek salad arrived.
Our server was very good-natured about “why Greek salad in an Egyptian restaurant?” He had smile, and a great attitude about every question posed from the packed booths at the restaurant.
Our main entrees arrived. Husband swears he’s never eaten a more delicious falafel sandwich; high praise from a man who’s lunched downtown in the International district for the last 20 years. The sandwich arrived to table wrapped in foil to hold moisture until the moment we chose to eat. Falafel balls are bite-sized. Crisp fresh veggies, creamy dressing, it was good to the very last bite.
Happy to follow the suggestion of our server, I chose one of the special — lamb shanks. Lean and tender, the meat fell off the bone onto the pile of long grain rice, steamed with little shreds of colorful carrots, saffron and more of the mystery seasoning — and plated with salad and tzatziki sauce.
Egyptian coffee served at the table next to us prompted us to add the beverage to our dessert courses. Coffee is delivered to table in tiny gold pots, poured into demitasse-size cups. It was strong, spicy sweet with cinnamon, and I sipped slowly, savoring the rich liquor.
Baklava choices included both pistachio and walnut. Voluminous pastry topped the dense honey and nut layer on the bottom.
Omaly, an item on the dessert menu, intrigued — the description said “bread pudding.” This is like no bread pudding I’ve ever been served. Presented in a good-size bowl, layers of baklava floated in warm milk, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Rich buttery pastry absorbed milk, but still held its shape and texture. We devoured the last spoonfuls as Joun came by the table to deliver boxes for our food to go home, and our check.
This is a small restaurant and on a lazy Sunday afternoon, diners filled the tables. Patrons stopped to pick up their takeout orders. Food came out of the kitchen promptly and in spite of the crowd, Joun delivered dishes to tables in timely fashion. The kitchen staff produced fresh and delicious food to everyone’s satisfaction.
Husband hummed “… funky Tut…” as he strode to the garage. I’m sure we’ll dine at King Tut again soon.
Pagliacci celebrates a quarter century
Twenty-five years ago, Pagliacci began delivering pizza in Seattle. What a wonderful ride it has been. They are celebrating the quarter century of success by offering two 11-inch pizzas and a small salad delivered to your door for just $25! The deal lasts for — you guessed it — 25 days, running from Aug. 22 through Sept. 15. Lots of change has occurred in the last 25 years. Here is a quiz to test your memory:
Want the answers? Email me at [email protected]
Review upcoming: Asian bistro in Lynnwood
Look for reviews in future columns on U Lin Asian Bistro www.ulinasianbistro.com Chinese cuisine located at the northern edge of Lynnwood. Don’t be confused by references to Mill Creek… it’s very close, only one location– 1120 164th St. S.W. in Lynnwood.
Spud seeking interns
Spud Fish and Chips knows that many students are required to complete high school senior projects or business papers for their community college. Internships can help to fulfill class projects or volunteer hours.
At both Juanita (in Kirkland) and Edmonds locations, Spud would like to engage interns in developing a training guide for their stores. Other opportunities would include an individual who’d like to manage social media for the stores and another to help with accident prevention.
A qualified candidate will be in high school or pursuing their college degree and willing to work up to five hours a week, until the goal is met. Compensation is available per project or by the hour depending on the need of the candidate.
This role is available immediately and can last up to 12 months. Training and mentorship will be provided from management who have had many years on promotions and marketing at a leading technology firm. Depending on the need of the intern, they can verify the experience for classroom credit if needed, give volunteer hours or pay per project completion.
Please contact [email protected] to apply or for more details.
Finally — an update from Top Pot
A post last week on Twitter made my heart go Pitter Pat! “Look for our new Top Pot Edmonds café in late 2017!”
Two more Thai restaurants
Thai By Day — Restaurant News has learned that is the the name of the new restaurant soon to occupy the space at 182 Sunset Ave., in Salish Crossing complex. (Former Jade Garden location.)
Amati Thai is the name on permits posted on the otherwise paper covered windows at the former North China spot in Westgate center.
Happy end of the summer!
— Kathy Passage
A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the local food and restaurant scene.