Being self advertised as “Asian Fusion… with a twist! Comfort Food… for the masses!” couldn’t be more fitting at Cheeky Cafe. I first got wind of this spot from a good friend that recommended coming here. Located in the Central District of Seattle, off 17th and Jackson, Cheeky Cafe is one of several commercial spaces located on the ground floor of an apartment building. With views of CenturyLink Field and the Puget Sound from it’s front entrance, Cheeky has almost a “fishbowl” feeling with the windows that surround the dining floor. The interior has a very warm and inviting feel with flowers and little chicks accenting throughout, and a wall displaying the art and coloring skills of children who’ve visited. Looking around, you get a real sense of family and comfort – with a collection of family photos and a rack full of board games!
These wings came out hot, crispy and full of flavor. The chicken was fried perfectly with a crunchy golden skin on the outside and moist juicy meat inside. Ladled atop the wings, was their version of a sweet chili sauce. For me, the sweetness was a little overpowering, but there was still a subtle spice that left my taste buds satisfied.
Cherry opted for the fried rice to go with her wings, which came as a very generous serving. There were thick pieces of sausage throughout and the red onions were nice in providing a subtle sharp flavor to the extremely savory sausages. For anyone not familiar, Porgtuguese sausage has a bolder and smokier flavor that also carries a little spice. Chinese sausage is traditionally more dense and a thinner than sausage you’d find in your local grocery store. It also carries a much richer and fattier flavor.
The spaghetti noodles were perfectly al dente and I thought they did a good job with their carbonara (which is an egg based sauce cooked in rendered down bacon or pancetta.) It was creamy, savory and blended all the ingredients together nicely. The bacon carried that wonderful savory/salty flavor and wasn’t overcooked. I was also able to get hints of garlic which made the dish that much more pleasant. This was my first time having carbonara outside my home cooked version. However, my friend Pert, has plenty ‘o carbnoara – even in Italy during his backpack through Europe…. and in his opinion, the carbonara at Cheeky Cafe is the best he’s had!
From a Kalua Pork Sandwich and Spicy Mac (mac n’ cheese with kim chi) to Okonomiyaki and Pork Adobo, there’s no mistaking the Asian influences at Cheeky. But even more apparent, is the plethora of comfort foods on the menu like Brian’s Bacon Meatloaf, Cheeky Nachos, and Fish and Chips. Aside from all that, there’s even more on the menu for me to try next time.