By: Jacklyn Tran
March 25, 2016

Plate of Nations returns for its sixth year in which fourteen locally and independently owned restaurants offer special menus to enjoy for lunch or dinner. This annual event in Rainier Valley runs March 25 through April 10, and serves as an answer to the lack of diversity in other Seattle dining events. You’ll find multicourse lunch and dinner meals designed for sharing among two or more people, costing $15 and $25, respectively. Most of all you’ll discover globally diverse menus that are a celebration of culture. Here’s what to expect.

One of the longest running Plate of Nations participants, Olympic Express provides a fusion of Halal and Asian cuisine, in particular Cham, Vietnamese, and Thai. From beef sambusas to crispy, fried egg rolls to Thai chicken stew, and Mongolian beef, they actually have it all.

While newcomer Jazera, brings dishes like grilled King fish and chicken shawarma, Somali spaghetti rich in spices like coriander and cumin, and spiced basmati rice wafting with aromas hinting of cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, tomatoes, and garlic.

Huarachitos provides roasted corn soup and slowly braised short ribs with papas bravas, and avocado egg rolls with cilantro-honey chili sauce for dipping. Lastly, end the night devouring a delicious Kahlua bread pudding drizzled with agave caramel. (We dare you not to inhale it.)

Popular for delicious dim sum, Joy Palace’s extensive dinner menu is equally a draw. Sizzling rice soup is a specialty that combines texture with flavor and warm comfort, followed by stirfried mixed vegetables with cod, must-have honey garlic pork spareribs, drunk chicken, and the staple steam rice to accommodate the tasty family-style meal.

First time participant Hoang Lan, offers more than just their headlining dish Bún Bò Huế, a spicy Vietnamese beef rice noodle soup. Mì Quảng, a part soup, part salad dish, combines turmeric noodles in an aromatic broth, topped with pork spare ribs, shrimp, pork ball, quail eggs, and crisp vegetables. Sprinkled on top are crushed peanuts and crumbles of black sesame crackers that make for a balance of textures. Just remember, cash only, folks.

Falafal, dolmas, and sambusas—oh my! Bananas Grill’s offerings of Halal Mediterranean and Somali cuisine that is fresh and made in house, is reason enough to check them out. Their beef and lamb gyro, grilled salt and pepper lemon fish, will have you swooning for more.

Find more details about the other participating restaurants and tasty Plate of Nations menus at their event website.