Bo-Ying Fu and her parents have proven that the path of an immigrant doesn’t mean leaving home behind. The three family members have opened their own restaurant, Dao Tai House, on 12th Ave, bringing the flavorful cuisine of Northeast China to the heart of Capitol Hill.
“Let’s not make Americanized Chinese food. Let’s make it like home,” Fu and her parents decided before they opened the restaurant. “The Chinese food here is okay but it’s all very concentrated in the International District. Capitol Hill is well known for its food and we kind of just went for it.”
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Fu’s parents migrated to the United States when she was four years old, and she followed four years later to rejoin her family in Las Vegas where she grew up. Her father has been a chef for more than 35 years, working everywhere from “super small to-go restaurants” to Caesar’s Palace. During that time, Fu said, her father never had the chance to cook food like back home.
“He’s never really cooked our own stuff. We’ve always wanted to start our own thing,” she said. “Northeast Chinese food is very flavor heavy, South Chinese food really appreciates natural flavor. We have a lot of flavor blending from surrounding areas.”
Fu moved to Seattle for her job and has been working at Microsoft for more than two years. She convinced her parents to move to Seattle and open a restaurant together. Now, while her parents taking care of the restaurant day-to-day, Fu manages the more logistical aspects of the business, like the payroll and human resources.
“It’s pretty hard working in the restaurant business,” Fu said. “My parents have all these skills but it’s hard being in a country where they don’t use your native language, even though they’ve been in America for many years.”
Dao Tai House is located in the space formerly occupied by Octo Sushi, an izakaya-style Japanese that closed earlier this year. The owners of Dao Tai House purchased the restaurant in June and Dao Tai opened in August. Since then, Fu said, business has only been getting better.
“My parents, when they moved to America, they sacrificed a lot to get me here,” Fu said. “My parents gave so much for me. I don’t have much to complain about. It’s all worth it. To get me to where I am, to get me to go to college, the whole entire thing. This is the least I can do.”
Dao Tai House is located at 1621 12th Ave next to Velocity Dance. More information can be found at daotaihouse.com.