Restaurant review: Black Pearl

Monday, January 9, 2017

Black Pearl
Review and photos by Carolyn Keopanya

Who can turn a selective vegetarian into a ravenous carnivore? The same ones who can create a leftover sauté enthusiast out of my picky 10 year old food separatist - Black Pearl. With inviting dishes of brightly colored crisp vegetables, and tantalizing smells of marinated meats, Black Pearl is a wonderland for the experienced and new to Chinese cuisine.

My family and I recently visited Black Pearl for lunch. Black Pearl is a fantastic Chinese restaurant on the north side of Goodwill on 15th NE and 145th. They have an open line concept so you can watch your food being prepared while you wait. Lunch is a great time to try a variety of items there for a really great price. Each entree item comes with a choice of rice, choice of soup (their hot and sour is the best!) and either a spring roll or bbq pork.

We chose to share our entrees family style. I couldn't believe the enthusiasm that came from my kids - never witnessing such eagerness to try new foods before! My children are as selective as they come, so this can only attest to the offerings at Black Pearl.

We chose to have General Tso's Chicken, Stir-Fried Green Vegetables, 10 Ingredient Chow Mein, and a full entree size of the Mongolian Beef. My boys had a fork fight to compete for who got the last of the General Tso's - one of them being the aforementioned vegetarian.

This General Tso's is like none other I've had. Light and crispy coating, large pieces of breast meat chicken, and a sauce that is the best blend of all that the palate desires: Savory garlic and soy with just the right touch of sweetness, followed with that bit of spice the dish is known for. Nothing needed, nothing missed.

The Green Veggies was a total hit! Those picky kids I mentioned.... wouldn't leave them alone! Frosted in garlic, simply sautéd to an al dente perfection, this dish was a great accompaniment to our meat and noodle dishes without overpowering them.

The Mongolian Beef was definitely the favorite all around, eliciting the highest amount of praise from the crowd. When I asked what made the beef so tender, Chef giggled and said she bought a machine especially to cut the meat for this dish. First the beef is defatted, tendons removed, then marinated. The sauce for the final preparation is as delicate as the meat itself, tossed with green onions, and poured over crispy noodles.

The 10 Ingredient Chow Mein combined an array of meats, shrimp, and vegetables with soft noodles. This dish is available with the house homemade noodles ($1.25 up charge) which is a recipe Chef learned from her mother. Other recipes Chef Tieth-Sun Cheng brought from home are the Mu Shu pancakes and Pot Stickers.

Fresh, healthy ingredients are important to Black Pearl. They use absolutely no MSG, no nitrites, as well as no artificial colors. And they limit the amount of sugar, sodium, and corn starch in their dishes, and use only white meat chicken. So often I leave Asian restaurants feeling sluggish. This wasn't the case with Black Pearl -  I was satisfied and energized!

Chef Juei-Hsi Cheng and Chef Tieth-Sun Cheng,
"Ray" and "Marlene", owners of Black Pearl

Chef Tieth-Sun Cheng and husband Chef Juei-Hsi Cheng, who most know as Marlene and Ray, moved to Shoreline in 1987. In 1989 they opened the first Black Pearl in the Wedgwood neighborhood. Ten years later, they opened their current location here in Shoreline.

They are the kindest people and treat their customers as an extension of their family. Their restaurant is clean, and staff is courteous. Free delivery to a 3 mile radius with a $10 minimum order.

Lunch Specials $6.75-8.25 (served until 4pm)
Appetizers $1.75-7.50
Entrees $8.25-11.95
Specialty Items $13-15

14602 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155, 206-365-8989

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11-9pm
Friday, Saturday 11-9:30pm
Sunday 4-9pm
Monday Closed


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