Downtown Wenatchee Welcomes Steam Panda


Submitted photos. Steam Panda co-owner and Head Chef Yiying “Mark” Sun cooks up some dumplings.

On April 18, co-owners and married couple Yilin Su and Yiying “Mark” Sun had their grand opening of their new restaurant Steam Panda, a dumpling hub in the heart of downtown Wenatchee. Their menu features an entirely new variety of Chinese cuisine in the valley.

Steam Panda specializes in traditional steamed bao, made with dough that is made fresh the night prior. They also feature soup dumplings, which have a delectable tablespoon of broth that bursts in your mouth when you bite it, hearty Japanese ramen, and pan-seared dumplings for those who crave the heat.

The couple have been trying to open a restaurant for almost six years, wanting to offer a variety of Chinese dishes that stray away from the Americanized dishes Wenatchee Valley currently offers.

“We always go to Seattle to get bubble teas and bao, some soup dumplings,” Su said. “Wenatchee is growing, it is growing in diversity, and we're like ‘let's take a challenge. See how people like our real traditional Chinese food.’”

Sun has been working in the culinary business for about a decade, while his wife Su has a B.A. in business and administration from Winona State University. Together they work long hours, working all the way until midnight or sometimes as late as 4 a.m.

The first week they opened, Su and Sun were booked and busy and were trying to iron out the small mistakes they made along the way. On an average day, they sell 37 orders of dumplings.

The layout of the restaurant is unique compared to a typical restaurant layout. Customers form a line to the register before sitting down and then grab their bowls/plates/silverware to the left of the register before sitting down.

The largest wall to the left of the main dining area features cute cartoons of bao characters, along with small stickers of bubble tea. Sun states that the children are exposed to more diversity through modern cartoons and food and wants to foster more multicultural experiences.

If you want to check out Steam Panda, you can go visit them at 104 N Wenatchee Ave, or on their Instagram page @steampandawenatchee.

 

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