Written by on April 20, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(poppyseattle.com) – Capital Hill (north end of Broadway)


How I heard of this place: Through my friend Tahirih who tried it and deemed it her new favorite restaurant in Seattle several months back.

Type of cuisine: Thali style dinner plates, tasting menu style, possibly with an Indian flair. An exotic mix of spices, offering a sweet and savory combination of flavors, textures and a true taste-bud dining adventure.

Poppy Menu

Ambiance: Very Ikea-esque in its decor and simplicity. Sleek lines, modern. Light bamboo bar and barquette, tables and chairs.Splashes of red and orange dust the tables by way of candle holders, small vases and circles throughout the space and on menus.

Poppy Flowers

Comfortable, casual, yet very urban and welcoming. The kitchen is encased with a long window wrapped around for passerby to view the goings on. Floor to ceiling windows also surround the restaurant to let in natural light and give onlookers something to drool over as they walk by your table, your food, your thali.

Poppy Entry
What I ordered: Three of us chose this completely booked restaurant (no reservations available) for Seattle Restaurant Week and had to sit in the bar (where dinner is also served) so we had an opportunity to sample several dishes in our three-course culinary miracle for a mere $25 each. To start, we ordered the cumin-pork steamed buns, the heart of palm, avocado, blood orange and shiso salad as well as the Crater Lake blue, cherry, sage, and walnut tart. Each one tasted better than the last. The freshness of the avocado and heart of palm with the light blood orange vinaigrette and sprinkling of shiso.

Poppy Street View

The perfectly blended pork dumplings with a hint of cumin. And of course, the blend of the pungent, sweet and tartness of the blue cheese, cherry and walnut tart that was decorated with an intact fried sage leaf. For the main courses, we ordered one lavender duck leg over a bed of pomegranate red cabbage, halibut with saffron leeks, lemon thyme and chervil, and the Beecher’s flagship, apple and thyme souffle with cress and hazelnut. The duck, while one of us thought it was over cooked, had the best flavor I have ever had in duck dishes. The fish was glorious, delicate, simply flavored and beautifully presented. The small souffle came with punch, full of flavor, light and moist. The layer of textures between the soft souffle and the toasted hazelnuts, the crunch of apples amidst the sharpness of the cheese.

Poppy Dining

A beautiful marriage of flavors on each thali.The duck and souffle dishes came with the same thali sampling: stinging nettle soup, fingerling potato salad with fennel and almond, cauliflower puree with chunks of cauliflower, sesame and dill, a golden beet salad with diced spice bread and fresh mint, pickled rhubarb and onion-poppy naan. The halibut was arranged with a creamy asparagus and sage soup (insert fried sage leaf over croutons), miner’s lettuce salad with endive, grapefruit and olives, three-seed fiddleheads sauteed in butter and garlic, a swiss chard and oregano gratin, and the same pickled rhubarb and onion-poppy naan.

Poppy Bar

On a return visit, Thursday, 30 April 2015: We returned on this particular evening in celebration of the arrival of my sister, here for our baby blessing, and in support of Dine Out for Your Life.

Poppy Dining Out For Life

We started with non-alcoholic sparking grapefruit cocktails from the bar,

Poppy Beverages

and continued with an appetizer: Hot and Numbing Potato Dumplings ($14) with peanut and cilantro.

Poppy Potato Dumplings

Our four Thalis, one of each on the menu this evening, included, for me, Risotto with nettles, lovage, and maitake, smoked eggplant and lentil soup with coconut yogurt, kohlrabi, cucumber and yogurt salad, sprouting broccoli with thyme flowers, snap peas with peppermint, rhubarb pickle, nigella-poppy naan ($27).

Poppy Risotto

My sister selected the Yogurt and White Poppy Seed Organic Chicken with fried onions and raisins accompanied by fennel and pineapple soup, triple celery salad with hazelnuts, black rice with toasted garlic, coconut and yam, roasted asparagus with sage and lemon, carrot, lemon, ginger pickle, nigella-poppy naan ($27).

Poppy Chicken

My husband chose the Anderson Ranch Lamb Osso Bucco braised with malay flowers that was served alongside asparagus soup with rosemary and orange, triple celery salad with hazelnuts, herbed black eyed peas with pickled fennel seed, snap peas with peppermint, carrot, lemon, ginger pickle, nigella-poppy naan ($29).

Poppy Lamb Osso Bucco

Finally, my sister-in-law Sturgeon with leeks, ginger, country ham and chickpea mash served with red pepper, apricot and walnut soup, radish and lemon balm salad, roasted asparagus with sage and lemon, Brussels sprouts with caraway, shaved burdock, nigella-poppy naan ($29).

Poppy Sturgeon

Sadly, there was no room for dessert, but the Sweet Thali for Two ($19) was definitely tempting!

Poppy Dessert Menu

What I loved: One of our diners was most pleased with the garlic and butter sauteed fiddleheads. Another was blown away by the cauliflower mash with cheese and chunks of cauliflower. The freshness and beautifully married flavors of the appetizers blew me away. Namely, the thing that intrigued me most was the seamless and natural way that cumin was used throughout the meal in surprising ways – with the pork dumplings and the chocolate terrine.

Poppy Nettle Risotto

Why I loved it: One dining companion put it best when she said that the food was like “a little tasting menu of happiness”. Everything that I tried was better than the last thing and when I went back to the first it was even better with that second bite. Just when we thought the food could not get better, the dessert left our jaws on the floor! The staff were friendly, efficient and not at all hard on the eyes.

Poppy Sweets Menu

Cost: Perfect for a very satisfying and filling three course meal ($25). While we were not offered a happy hour menu nor a regular menu (only the fixed price), I have heard that the happy hour is reasonable and believe that the daily thalis offer more food for a higher price. Perhaps overall it would be the mid- to high range for thali dinner pricing.

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