Dim Sum at Ocean Restaurant on Clement
Went to Ocean for a late dim sum today with an old pal from Singapore. I think we just devoured a month's RDA of lard. Boy it was good; if not a little heavy.
Good hot steaming roast pork buns
Average rice crepes filled with mushrooms and white chives - the crepes could have been a bit more delicate, but the mushrooms (large straw ones) had great crunchy texture.
Above average shrimp and chive dumplings - large and filled with lots of crunchy shrimp.
sweet fried sesame balls - could have been better - they were on the cold side.
Steamed pork ribs with a touch of black bean sauce - very tender and slick - and fatty.
Some of the best duck breast I've had this year - roasted with crispy skin intact with a layer of fat over a thick cut of truly tender and juicy meat. Definitely a "drop everything and get it" dish.
The "booby prize" was a plate of fried intestines - there was a lot of this stuff sliced into halves - crispy on the outside and mostly fat on the inside with a tiny bit of meat and a somewhat prominent pig flavor. Let's just say that the average guys in the street may not get into this. It was somewhat bland on its own, but quite good with the pile of sweet and tangy pickled turnip under the pile of intestines (old fashioned sweet acid cutting into rich fat).
In keeping with my bad habit of eating desserts at a second place, we had Marco Polo gelato at the nearby Sweet Delite. Still as rich and as intensely flavored as ever.
re: Melanie Wong
Yes - the bones and cartilage make those ribs a little less appetizing, but it's worth the tongue and teeth twisting. Unfortunately, lard definitely has a bad rep, and for a good reason, but we did polish off those intestines with a fairly satisfied grin.
There's a bunch of dumplings on the menu too, and I suspect ours was not up to par because it was late in the afternoon at two-something. The usuals are all in place, and you can get stuff like jelly fish or tripe, even though the menu is not super vast.
We sort of decided that this was a much better deal than any of the higher end places like Ton Kiang and Yang Sing given the price difference and the absence of a wait. None of that stylish spit and polish, but good chow nevertheless.
re: Melanie Wong
I had them once at the old Jackson. Zep Wong called them "Chinese Chit'lins". As I recall, they were fried pig intestines about 1 inch long, split so they looked brown on one side, fatty on the other. Much better than regular chitlins, but still awful. I hate chitlins. And sea slugs.