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Mar 22, 2009 07:46 AM

Flushing Dim Sum -- Avoid Ocean Jewels

Ocean Jewels certainly seemed promising as we entered, though the promised 15-20 minute wait ended up taking 35 minutes. But the “half Peking Duck” was all skin and no meat, and seemed less than a full half. The salt and pepper fried anchovy mysteriously was all coating and no fish. Despite it’s size, the selection of items and preparation styles was quite limited, with an emphasis on bland, fried things and cold, oily things. There were a large number of carts, but not much variety. At the end of the meal, we all felt greased down and a bit queasy. When we went to pay our bill, the cashier added an extra $5, claiming the waitress had misadded—although the bill had seemed correct to begin with. We’re not going back.

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  1. I'm curious how the Peking Duck was served? Did they give you a platter of the cut duck and the accompaniments to make the dish, or was it premade? Traditionally Peking Duck is just the skin. Mostly we order it 3 styles, with the duck skin and the pancakes as an appetizer, soup made from the carcass, and then a stir fried duck as an entree.

    My DW, who is Chinese, tells me of a place in Toronto that carved the duck properly and only give the skin for the appetizer. However, if there was a non-Chinese at the table, then the meat was included with the skin as the restaurant would get complaints from the non-Chinese patrons. She would joke that if we went there I would have to wait outside until the duck was carved and then I could come in and eat with everyone, but alas, that restaurant doesn't seem to exist anymore.

    13 Replies
    1. re: ltlevy

      My experience of eating Beijing ka ya in Beijing is that it's served in several courses, as you indicate. You certainly get a lot of skin and shouldn't order it if you don't like delicious, crispy duck skin, but plenty of meat was also included. I also recall that the pancakes were eaten with duck skin, some pieces of which were attached to strips of meat. I should add that we went to some very non-touristy neighborhood restaurants where there were no other Westerners and English was not spoken.

      1. re: ltlevy

        too bad you didn't like ocean jewels, I usually find their food fairly decent

        its very rare to find peking duck served the traditional way in NY (or anywhere for that matter). mainly b/c the real way to prepare the duck is a pain and requires that you have alot of turnover, so its difficult to run it as a business. While I haven't had it at OJ, most of the places in NY (ex-Peking Duck House in manhattan) is actually the cantonese interpretation of peking duck, which is actually a roast duck (i love the cantonese preparation btw). You also usually tend to eat it with mantou instead the traditional thin pancakes and they dont have the other preparations (soup, stir fried etc).

        1. re: Lau

          Lau, what's your favorite dim sum place in Flushing?

          For the record, I wouldn't order Beijing duck at Cantonese restaurants, because that's not their forte. I do love Cantonese-style roast duck, such as you can get at places like Great NY Noodletown in Manhattan, or Chaozhou-style roast duck, like you can get at Chou Zhou across from the Flushing branch of the Queens Borough Public Library (caveat: I haven't been to Chou Zhou lately).

          1. re: Pan

            probably a toss up between jade asian and perfect team. followed by OJ and gala manor (although they recently changed their name, so mgmt may have changed and i havent been since the name changed, so i dont know how it is now)

            jade asian - everything is pretty fresh and they have a good selection...and for some reason its by far the nicest dim sum ladies ever
            perfect team - has a smaller selection of traditional dim sum items, but everything is of good quality

            with respect to peking duck, I actually like the cantonese rendition when done right quite a bit, but it should not be confused with real peking duck

            btw you should try the chao zhou roast duck at new chao chow in manhattan...its quite good

            1. re: Lau

              Thanks, I will. It's just tough to eat anything else when I get one of their filling noodle soups. I'll go there with my girlfriend or a friend, and we can share.

              1. re: Lau

                Lau,can you tell me more about their duck (New CC??) I've only had the noodle soups there.

                1. re: erica

                  the duck is just a roast duck, but they put some sort of light sauce over it before they serve it to you and they serve it with pickled radishes. It's not salty at all and the meat is very tender. It's sort of hard to explain b/c it looks just like a duck that you'd get at any cantonese bbq place i ctown but it tastes different. I like it and you can get a small order, so i always get one when I go to new chao chow or bo ky (but new chao chow's is better).

                  Fyi, chiu chow (chao zhou) are people in guangzhou (where cantonese people are from), but they've got their own dialect and their own food, which happens to be excellent. Bo Ky and New Chao Chow both serve some ciu chow dishes b/c i believe both are originally of chiu chow descent (i know Bo Ky's owners were in vietnam first though as there are alot of overseas chiu chow people in vietnam, singapore, malaysia etc)

                  here's a pic on yelp:

                  1. re: Lau

                    You will also see it spelled as Teochew, Teocheo, Teo Chiu or in Mandarin pinyin as Chao Zhou. Main center of Chao Zhou is the city of Swatou (Shantou in pinyin.)

                    1. re: scoopG

                      bumping this; i would love to try these types of dishes somewhere, what are some good dishes and good spots?

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        I'm not entirely sure what sort of duck dish Lau is talking about, and it doesn't help that the picture he linked to isn't coming up on Yelp any longer (though I may have found it, see below), but my wife's family recently served me a dish that was basically shredded duck casserole. It was, by far, the most delicious duck dish I'd ever eaten. My wife's family is Cantonese - mostly Toishan. I haven't been able to find anything similar in any of the Cantonese restaurants.

                        Well, I was in Joe's Shanghai a couple of weeks ago (my wife and I prefer their XLB to Nan Xiang's though I know we're in the minority on Chowhound), and I saw a duck dish that sort of described what my wife's family had served, so we ordered it. When it came out, it looked like half a roasted duck just laying on the plate, but there's no way it was roasted. The meat was really tender, pulled easily from the bones, and shredded up easily. It was served with a brown sauce (probably oyster sauce) and the green bok choy (ching chiang, I think). It was good, though paled in comparison to the home-cooked dish I was shooting for. However, it sort of sounds like what Lau is talking about above, so if that description piqued your interest, you may want to try Joe's version.

                        I think this is the photo Lau was referring to from New Bo Ky:
                        Hopefully this link will work for a little while longer.

                        Here's the dish I'm talking about from Joe's Shanghai:

                        It looks like they're pretty different, though both look good. Any thoughts on which restaurants out there serve a duck casserole that matches my description above?

                        1. re: Greg

                          the dish i'm referring to looks just like any other cantonese whole roast duck, but the chiu chow preparation is different than the regular cantonese version

                          toishan is different than chiu chow although they do have their own dialect that is very similar to cantonese (alot of people in ctown are from toishan originally).

                          there aren't really any dedicated chiu chow restaurants that i know of in NY, the only ones that has some dishes are new chao chow, bo ky and chao zhou in flushing...none have more than a few dishes though

                    2. re: Lau

                      specific recs at Bo Ky? went there a couple years ago and I think we had various noodle soups, can't remember any standouts but I'd love to give it another go? they do some unique stuff there, or not really?

                      1. re: bigjeff

                        bigjeff - i usually go to new chao chow for their duck and they have this one noodle soup i like alot; bo ky has some good noodle soups as well, i can't remember what any of them are called though (in chinese or english)...let me go back soon and i'll post up on it

                        fyi, i did some googl'ing to try to show some of what chiu chow food is like
                        - here's part of bourdain's HK episode where he hits a chiu chow restaurant (i dont think it made the actual airing of the show):
                        - here's review on a blog of an excellent chiu chow restaurant in LA (prob one of the best chinese restaurants in'll get hungry looking at this): http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.c...

          2. you open your dim sum review with pans of two non-dim sum items, I'd like to hear more about the specific dim sum you had.

            1 Reply
            1. did perfect team change ownership? last time i was there the name appeared to be changed on items inside the restaurant and on their parking voucher stamp.