Dim Sum at East Ocean (Alameda)
Just had dim sum this morning at East Ocean. Good deal and good eats. Food was fresh and hot outta the steamer. Made it there around 11 and the place was full, but no wait list. 2 of us had eight plates for $23 before tips!
Ordered up ha gow (shrimp dumpling 3pc.), siu mai (pork dumpling 4pc), seun jok geurn (bean curd roll in sauce), gow choi gow (shrimp and chives dumpling), ha churng fun (shrimp crepe), that deep fried shrimp and water chestnut dumpling (maybe baked? 3pc), siu long bao (shanghai dumpling 3pc) and pai gwut (short ribs in black bean sauce).
Ha gow was fresh and had a spring to it. Skin is thicker than I usually like, but holds together well. Siu mai was good, enough fat in it and not mushy. Shrimp and chives dumpling was ok, would have liked it pan fried a little more, but taste was good. I didn't eat the shrimp and water chestnut thing served with mayo. Siu long bao was a little dry on the top which is usually a sign its either been sitting out or not steamed long enough. It was ok. Pai gwut was ok, a little fatty, but really on par with most dim sum places.
For $23 you can't beat it! It's a little more expensive at Legendary Palace so this is the best alternative to chinatown and it has all the staple plates I usually get. Big plus that I go to Alameda so much. Their back parking lot was full, but I circled once and got a space on the street. Definitlely will go back.
I've really gotten to like East Ocean more and more for their banquet style dinners. Great for parties of 8-40 or renting out the entire restaurant for a wedding banquet. The food has been pretty consistently good for a 7-10 course meal. My family has had success there when we call early to order a precustomized meal which takes time to prepare for a larger party. My favorite item? BBQ smoked Sea Bass. wonderful.
I have yet to try the Dim sum, but have heard great reviews from my friends. I think I'll plan something for 2 weekends from now.
East Ocean is still the best dim sum value in the Bay Area. They make the fluffiest steamed pork buns I've had in a long time, and the place is always packed on weekends so everything is fresh. I've had marginally better dim sum but it cost three times as much...we had six plates for $20 including tip.
re: Hollow Leg
Right there with you Hollow Leg! As much as I love O-town I have to say that I choose East Ocean over all the Oaktown Chinatown joints. It is clean and the food tastes much more fresh and of higher quality ingredients than anything I've gotten at Legendary Palace, YoHo, or Peony.
We had dim sum there last Saturday and it was as you describe, a good deal and good eats. I think we go there about once a month and are always amazed at how much we get to eat and then how low the the check turns out to be. Plus, they are so nice. I hadn't seen any shrimp dumplings and mentioned it to one of the girls. Within a minute there was a steamer with 3 very fresh and very hot dumplings. Same thing when we wanted egg custard tarts.
On the weekend the place is always packed but moves quickly. It's just full of Chinese families enjoying themselves. I've seen some awesome looking dishes, special orders no doubt, come out of the kitchen.
Since we live in Alameda, it's a real gem to have just a short drive away.