Water’s Table – Lakefront Dining

 

Inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s bountiful seafood, Water’s Table, located in Renton’s new Hyatt Regency, offers Asian-inspired fare served with gorgeous Lake Washington views. Open since mid-summer 2017, they source quality ingredients locally when possible and take pride in serving dishes in a relaxed environment. The restaurant is located just off the hotel lobby, with a very airy and open feel. It’s centered around a large bar, with a wall of windows giving diners an unobstructed view of the lake. Very Northwest chic.

Since the menu changes seasonally, we had the opportunity to dine during the winter season, which featured hearty dishes such as whole roasted fish, shoyu duck, and ribeye. While not extensive, the menu captures the essence of the PNW, with a bit of Asian flare. We started with the following cocktails while we decided on dinner:

#lakelife (Woodinville Bourbon, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Orange & Aromatic Bitters)
#lakelife is Water’s Table’s play on a classic Manhattan, with a chili liqueur finish. If you’re as serious about Manhattans as we are, you’ll definitely detect a difference between this bourbon version and a typical whiskey one.

Rosé Holiday (Crater Lake Vodka, Pana Pomegranate Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, Lemon Juice, Sparkling Rosé, Rosemary Sprig)
Tart and refreshing with some light bubbles thanks to the sparkling rosé. You can smell the rosemary as you drink.

Photos by: foodolish.com

Cocktails soon gave way to the Charred Octopus (chili oil, soybean, carrot butter), dungeness crab cake (kimchi slaw, lemon aioli, crispy shallot), and local Kusshi oysters (nuoc cham, lemon). We found the charred octopus incredibly tender and a side of tare (suggested by our server) really elevated the flavor profile and paired nicely with the peppery octopus.  The dish was visually appealing, but the carrot butter didn’t really lend much to the dish. We think the idea was to add a little sweetness through the carrot, but the tare was a much better accompaniment. The dungeness crab cake was serious business. We’re usually wary of ordering crab cakes, as they’re usually packed with breadcrumbs or other fillers, but this one was solid crab through and through, with just enough to bind the large lumps of crab together. The flavor was fairly mild, while the kimchi slaw, crispy shallot, and lemon aioli added just enough crunch and acid. The kusshi oysters were nothing to write home about. Though the salt bed presentation was lovely, the temperature was warm and the nuoc cham was too sweet.

The Ling Cod (kasu, Chinese sausage, purple cauliflower, Japanese pumpkin, rice) arrived crowned with ikura. The portion size was extremely generous and the miso marinated fish was incredibly moist. The saltiness of the ikura also balanced out the sweetness of the miso and pumpkin. While the ling cod hit all the right notes for us, the Shoyu Duck (glazed breast, confit, cabbage, market apple, shoyu-cranberry gastrique) really missed the mark. The key to perfect duck is to render all the fat, leaving a nice, crispy skin, and this is where the shoyu duck’s main downfall was. The fat wasn’t rendered properly, thus, leaving a layer of fat attached to the breast. The skin was soggy, and overall, we felt it lacked flavor and spice. We had a really tough time with this dish and basically gave up on it after a few bites. The gastrique and cabbage/apple combination just couldn’t save this duck. Luckily, redemption came in the form of a 30 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye (mushroom salad, fingerling potatoes, long green beans, mushroom demi glace). Holy moly, this was the biggest tomahawk ribeye we’ve encountered since starting this blog. The medium-rare ribeye arrived with a nice sear, fingerling potatoes, long green beans, and a cold wood ear mushroom salad. The ribeye was juicy, beefy, and such a behemoth that it could easily feed two hungry adults. We found the mushroom demi-glace a bit sweet, but other than that, the steak itself was great.

We couldn’t leave without dessert, but of the three we tried, only one was executed well.

Jasmine Tea Panna Cotta (poached Asian pear)
The texture of this panna cotta was completely off due to excess gelatin, which left a layer of film on top. Panna cotta should be just firm enough to hold together and still have some jiggle. We also got a bit of refrigerator taste and suspected it had been sitting there a while.

Strawberry-Lychee Cheesecake (candied ginger crust)
While the cheesecake was light, the crust was a bit too thick and dry. The crust was almost bready, and not crumbly, like it should be. The ratio of crust to cheesecake was off, but we definitely fell for the candied ginger flavor.

Vietnamese Coffee Tart (chocolate tart shell)
Of the three, this was the best. The shell was delicate and held the chocolate filling well. but we didn’t really get much Vietnamese coffee flavor here, just chocolate.

Overall, we found the ambiance enjoyable and the service amazing, but the food was hit or miss. The concept is great and the Southport area has been long overdue for a restaurant like this, but the execution could be cleaner. Come here for the prime lakefront views during the summer, or to enjoy a drink with friends at the central bar.

Water’s Table | 1053 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056 | Open 7 days a week

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