Field Notes

Tyger Tyger Brings Big Sichuan Flavors to Seattle Center

The new Sichuan-inspired restaurant burns bright—and not just as a hockey hangout.

By Allecia Vermillion Photography by Amber Fouts December 10, 2020 Published in the Winter 2020 issue of Seattle Met

An ode to Sichuan, Hunan, and Yunnan flavors meets a thoughtful bar program. 

It’s wild to think think this restaurant could one day be a pregame stop before events at Key…er excuse me, Climate Pledge Arena right across the street. Because Garrett Doherty’s menu—Sichuan dishes, but also Hunan and Yunnan influences—also counts as a destination.

Tyger Tyger is a sibling of sorts to Lionhead on Capitol Hill. Doherty and his business partner, Benjamin Chew, bought the Sichuan restaurant when Jerry Traunfeld retired; here the ownership universe expands a bit to include a longtime friend and Chew’s brother and sister.

The menu began with favorite dishes from Lionhead—dan dan mian, eggplant, delicate rockfish in a searing carmine oil—but Doherty’s been busy expanding the kitchen’s reach since the restaurant opened this spring. He has particular fun with fried rice, introducing deep garlic flavors, or yellow curry topped with a fried soft-shell crab.

Release the Kraken fans (sorry) on chef Garrett Doherty’s fried rice and dan dan noodles. For now, they're available as takeout.

Meanwhile, in the darkly gleaming dining room, Chew laid in an impressive supply of baijiu and built a cocktail list that only hints at the bar’s ultimate capabilities. The wine list has just a few options, and they’re all unexpected and memorable.

For now, while the Seattle Center coliseum remains an oversize construction site, Tyger Tyger feels more enviable neighborhood restaurant than a destination for food before a hockey game. But Doherty does feel a certain kinship to our hockey team—before Lionhead he co-owned Kraken Congee in Pioneer Square.





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