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Sep 14, 2008 08:17 AM

ABC Chinese in St Pete...Heaven! I'm in Heaven!

Holy Cow!!! Good chinese in Florida!!! And they said it couldn't be done!!!

To all those who recommended this place, THANK YOU.
To any who haven't made it there yet, put it on your list!!

Saturday late afternoon, what shall we do for dinner? Ahhh it's the weekend, who cares, let's take a drive down to St Pete and try that Chinese place we've been hearing about. Even my manicurist that morning had said they have the freshest fish in the area, and the best authentic Chinese. She's Chinese, she aughta know!

Off we went. Little place, surprisingly lots of big tables inside. We got settled, beer and sake, ready to go. Big fish tanks on one wall; with striped bass, grouper, crabs, lobster, shrimp, tilapia. Oh, my. We're really talking fresh.

To start, we had dumplings, one order of steamed, one order of fried. They were great, didn't even need any sauce. The sauce they served it with was red, thin. I'm used to a brown vinegary sauce with dumplings. There was a pot of increadibly spicy hot chili oil-based sauce on the table; just a drop of that into the dumpling sauce made it perfect.

Next, dinner...Honey had the General Tso's Chicken (he's not as adventurous as I am, food-wise). It was really great. I had a small striped bass, fresh out of the tank, in a ginger scallion sauce. Watch out for the tiny bones but it was excellent. Yummy. Oh boy.

Then...two "salt and pepper" oysters, covered with scallions, smelled incredible, taste was totally out of this world. Am I allowed to say "orgasmic"??? Because that's what it was. Seriously. Huge oysters, each the size of my fist, served on the shell; took a long time but totally worth the wait. I can't wait to go back. Seriously. Need more of those oysters. Many, many more.

Dessert was a little bowl of tapioca, not thick like pudding, thin, with little pieces of cantaloupe and honeydew. Refreshing end to an incredible meal.

What a jewel!!! I'm so thrilled we found this place!

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  1. Oh, I'm totally with you here. I've been about four times and I've tried something new each trip and haven't been disappointed yet. The menu is HUGE and there's many things I'm pretty clueless on. The wait staff is friendly and will help guide you though.

    The complimentary cold cocounut/tapioca soup is delightfully refreshing. Next time you go try an order of the milk balls as a sweet appetizer or dessert to accompany the soup. I don't think they're on the menu as a side but they serve them with a seafood dish I believe. They're little balls of fried coconut milk heaven. I don't know how they're made but they're so good.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        oh, sorry, am I supposed to include a link to the restaurant's home page when I post about it? I didn't know; I'm kinda new here. Sorry, I googled, it doesn't look like they have a home page, but there are lots of favorable reviews online. They're on 54th in St Pete; we called information, got the street address, entered it into the GPS and off we went.

        1. re: Manderley

          Link is not at all mandatory but since you didn't include the address I thought I would add it. Have you tried Halang Bay for dim sum on 34th St., since it's pretty close by?

          1. re: Chandavkl

            We noticed Halang Bay when we were in St Pete. I'm a big dim sum fan. Do you recommend it?

            1. re: Manderley

              I ate there once. Wasn't impressed.

          2. re: Manderley

            you're not required to post a link or anything else. We're already on the internet, so I don't see what the big deal is. If you take the trouble to post about great food, that is enough for me.

            I'm also curious about how ABC compares to Tampa two titans. I'm considering writing a double (now a tripe!) review, as I did for two Vietnamese restaurants in Tampa, Trang and Pho Quyen (link below).


            1. re: andy huse

              I thought ABC was a step below Yummy House and China Yuan, but that was based only on one meal. Haven't had the dim sum at Halang Bay and I'm curious to get a report.

              1. re: andy huse


                I think ABC is just as good and on some dishes, better. While they don't have the dim sum variety that CY has, the rest of their menu is really top quality. I have now been there six times and have had a bad dish yet.


          3. Manderley have you been to China Yuan or Yummy House? Just curious how ABC compares. Maybe we'll stop by on the way home from the beach this weekend.

            4 Replies
            1. re: rhnault

              A waiter at Yummy House told me about ABC - he recommended it for this side of the bay.

              I've only been once, but it was great. I had razor clams in XO sauce and the dish had lavish amounts of asparagus in it.


              1. re: rhnault

                No, not yet, we're new to the area; will have to try both of those places....ohhhh can't wait! to heck with my diet!!

                1. re: rhnault

                  I noticed many dishes had the XO sauce; when I asked what it was, well....didn't really understand the answer. I remember hearing "dried fish"; it sounded more like a dry rub than a I went with the ginger scallion. Can you tell me about the XO sauce? Maybe I'll try it next time.

                  1. re: Manderley

                    Well, many Chinese are highly brand conscious so somebody in Hong Kong created XO Sauce, a sauce not made with cognac, but with spices and dried shrimp and dried fish. Dishes with XO Sauce are typically served at restaurants specializing in Hong Kong/Cantonese cuisine.

                2. At Yummy House, the 'XO Seafood Fried Rice' is the best fried rice I've ever had...

                  The 'Spicy Seafood Combo in XO Sauce' mixed with their fragrant steamy white rice is spectacular...

                  It's not fishy or spicy--- it's very friendly on the palate... Just plain delicious...

                  I don't yet know what it is either, but I'll worry about that at a later date...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Mild Bill

                    The XO sauce at Yummy House is great. I had some fish there in XO sauce. Maybe sea bass? Anyway it was great! People tend to get a bit leery when they hear dried fish or fish sauce but both are just really concentrated flavored seasonings. I have been buying and cooking with fish sauce quite a bit this summer-perfecting Bun at home- and it is really a great all purpose condiment and seasoning.

                  2. Finally got to try ABC a couple of days ago, and carried out. My order was quickly filled by friendly, helpful staff. I regretted not being able to dine in, but DH was waiting patiently at home half an hour away for dinner. We got Salt & Pepper Calamari (very good with tender lightly-battered squid rings), Mix Seafood in X.O. Sauce (loved all the seafood except some of the squid pieces were SO chewy, I lost one of my dental crowns! LOL), and also had Sweet and Sour Pork - which again had a very light batter and some bones in it, but good cuts of meat and a nicely-balanced sauce. Even though some of the items I chose had the hot-pepper icon next to it, they were not too fiery for my heat-sensitive palate.
                    Can't wait to work my way through the menu!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: triff

                      I guess I'm really going to have to try that XO sauce. My mouth is watering. I'm trying hard to stay on my diet but those salt and pepper oysters keep running through my mind, calling my name......ooooohhhhhhhhh.....seriously, i'm salivating. oy oy oy this place is going to be my downfall!!!