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Chinese on Sandy or 82nd in Portland?

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So many places, so little is good? I like Chaba Thai on Sandy but I'm not looking for Thai, I wonder if any of the places are simply decent. Ambassador? Somewhere we can take a bottle of wine in, not a take out. Any recommendations? Thanks.

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  1. Wongs King, Ocean City, Yummy Yummy, Shen Zen, and a bit further out is Lucky Strike for your Sichuan needs.

    1. Legin on 82nd in Portland. It is classic Cantonese cuisine. Always excellent. Always fresh. And the best dim sum in, possibly, the Northwest.

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      Legin Restaurant
      8001 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

      1. Shenzhen on 82nd, Om Seafood on Powell.

        1. Ocean City is really hitting their stride right now...very good food.

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          Ocean City Restaurant
          3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

          5 Replies
          1. re: JillO

            Had dinner with a friend last weekend. I was curious to see if Ocean City is going to give the other Cantonese seafood places in town a run for the money.

            Here's what we had:

            1) Multi-Flavor Tofu - very soft tofu, a switch from the more usual firm tofu, coated in salt and spices and then deep fried. It was served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Not at all greasy, full of flavor, the dish showed the kitchen's skill as the tofu wasn't falling apart. The sauce was an unusual choice, though.

            2) Steamed Oysters - not a bad price, $1.50 each. Steamed with black bean sauce, these were perfectly done. However, the steamed oysters at OM are larger.

            3) Crispy Garlic Chicken - a typical Cantonese fried chicken that is smothered with a sauce containing garlic slices, perfect to ward off the vampires. Cantonese fried chicken is not often well executed as restaurants take a shortcut and fry up a chicken that has been steamed, leaving the meat on the dry side. This chicken, however, was moist and left me thinking that it had not been a steamed previously. Chinese style chickens, steamed or fried, are usually cooked to a point where the bones are slightly red, leaving the impression that the bird might be undercooked. This was not the case; the chicken was cooked through.

            4) Snow pea tips with garlic - the larger, older variety of leaves, this dish had a discernible fragrance of the wok. Very tasty.

            It's worth noting that Ocean City has a couple of stuffed tofu items -fried or steamed- that are down home Chinese dishes. With crab season around the corner, a return trip to sample this and a few other, different items is in order.

            The menu is large, but I would note that prices here are higher than most of the other places, e.g. a dish of spinach stir fried w/ garlic goes for $10. The pea tips were $12.

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            Ocean City Restaurant
            3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

            1. re: farrago

              I have had the multiflavor tofu, the Crispy Garlic Chicken and the snow pea tips myself and also found all of them to be delicious. Their dry seafood chow fun is also really delicious as is the pei-pa tofu clay pot.

              1. re: JillO

                Was the chow fun truly cooked dry style or was it served "wet," i.e. a gravy based topping on top of the rice noodles?
                Dry style chow fun is one my litmus tests for the chef.

                1. re: farrago

                  Yep, farrago, it was the real deal - dry with flavor coating everything but no sauce. It's like crack and one of my favorite dishes there.

                  1. re: JillO

                    My experience tonight: Basic jellyfish salad - best I've had in this town; Sizzling scallops - tasty, but waaayyy overloaded with onion (like 2 or 3 whole onions) as filler; Mustard greens in broth - nothing to write home about, and underseasoned, but the greens were decent. Service was good, so not a bad experience. I want to try Om and compare.

          2. I've heard good things about Wai Kong on 122nd. It's a Hong Kong-style bistro that serves, among other things, Chinese-style western food (think spaghetti with marinara poured over baked pork chops).

            Wong's King is about as good as it gets in PDX for dim sum (still below average compared to Seattle and Vancouver) All other ones are absolute garbage in the dim sum market. Their dinner is a bit better if you stick with upmarket items like lobster and king crab.

            I've always liked Thien Hong on Sandy for Chinese with a tinge of Vietnamese influence.

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            Thien Hong
            6749 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

            1 Reply
            1. re: HungWeiLo

              http://pdxplate.com/forum/wai-kong

              I agree whole heartedly with HWL's assessment of the Chinese food scene here. The only two other places of note for me are Powell Seafood and Mandarin House.

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              Mandarin House
              1035 Lee Blvd, Richland, WA 99352

            2. I'm amazed that no one's posted anything here yet, but Seattle's famous Mike's Noodle House now has a second location in Portland on 82nd. It's called Kenny's Noodle House, I believe. Haven't been yet, but word is that the menu is the same, and the food quality is almost as good as the Seattle store.

              3 Replies
              1. re: HungWeiLo

                Yeah, we've been talking about it over on pdxplate. I always see a crowd there whenever I go to Best Baguette, which is a good sign.

                1. re: HungWeiLo

                  Ate there a couple of weeks ago, and it's worth a visit. Not the biggest menu and not the most amazing food, but everything was fresh and very well prepared.

                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                    just went there on your recommendation. Great noodle soup. It's pretty much a soup joint, but what fantastic comfort food on a cold evening. Fish ball, brisket, dumpling, and chinese brocolli were all excellent

                  2. After a promising first visit, the temptation of a large menu, and crab season in full swing, it was time for Round Two.

                    Here's what we had:

                    1) Salt and Pepper Crab. A big, fresh, sweet crab yet somehow the kitchen managed to miss having the salt/pepper flavoring merge with the crab. The way the crab was cut up may have had something to do with the failure to have the flavors merge. I thought the flavoring could have been saltier and spicier.

                    2) XO Sauce Beef. A stir fried dish of beef slices with a good choice of sweet vegetables to complement the sauce. There was a good balance between the veggies and the meat. Like the crab dish, the flavoring could have been more assertive. I should note that the chef(s) at Ocean City cook the stir fry dishes on the dry side, i.e. without a ton of gravy. Such a style demands a bold if balanced hand at seasoning. If successful, the chef's technique should shine.

                    3) Steamed Tofu w/ Gravy. I suspect Ocean City must be getting a deal on soft tofu due to the prevalence of the soft variety in its tofu dishes. We had wanted Pan Fried Tofu w/ Pork but instead we got a platter of steamed soft tofu slices that were smothered in a gravy of ground pork and finely minced, crisp veggies. It was a very good dish, but we were looking for something with a little more tooth.

                    4) Green Beans with Minced Pork. Probably the best dish of the meal as the beans really had the good wok char and flavor that is elusive. If only the crab and beef dishes had the same quality.

                    On the whole, not bad. What makes Ocean City worth the trip is the vast menu. Trip 3 is in the planning stage.

                    As an aside, Chinese New Year is around the corner (Feb 14th by coincidence). Ocean City seems to be doing some redecorating to get the place ready in time. The lounge was shut down, and workers were busy working on the back banquet room.

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                    Ocean City Restaurant
                    3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: farrago

                      I've now had dim sum at Ocean City several times and I can honestly say IMO it is the best in the city right now. There could be a bit more finesse with their rice wrappers on certain items like har gow, they are a bit thick and very slightly gummy, but the fillings are some of the best I have ever had.

                      Great chicken feet, delicious garlicky pork spare ribs with black beans, anything filled with their bbq pork (like the bao/buns baked and steamed - but especially the flaky pastry filled with it). Anything fried is usually good - and if you get there early everything is hot, and crispy and amazing.

                      I have also seen and tried things that are not traditional dim sum items (something I have rarely seen in a restaurant that has a fairly traditional menu) like shrimp fried around sugar cane (very good) and a nori-wrapped, tempura fried roll filled with rice, sausage and other yummy things.

                      But no fear, traditional items like congee (which is very good here, and they usually have 3-4 versions of add-ins for it on one cart), shumai (which are big and have a delicious, chunky filling), fried taro dumplings, and bean paste filled sesame balls are all here too.

                    2. Gung Hay Fat Choy! Welcome to the Year of The Tiger. May this be an exciting and prosperous year. Anything beats last year.... but less of the commentary and on to the chow.

                      Continuing with my quest to chow my way through the extensive menu at Ocean City, I figured that the new year's celebrations and banquets would swamp the business.

                      And so we walked in at the propitious time of 5 pm. 85% of the tables were set up for banquets - with reservations. If you strolled in w/out, you were in for a wait or just plain s-o-l. As soon as we placed our order, a proverbial flash mob descended on the place.

                      Per previous visits, the goal was to order dishes we haven't had before. Here's what we had.

                      Ginger/Scallion Crab: Big, meaty, fresh, and sweet. Lots of scallions and ginger, but no oyster sauce was used to flavor the dish. Oyster sauce would have given the dish a savory note.

                      Chinese Broccoli/Beef: I have been intrigued by Ocean City's stir fried dishes as the chef doesn't drown these dishes in gravy. The dry style of stir frying allows the chef's seasoning skills and the fragrance of the wok to shine. I enjoyed this dish as the meat had good texture, fragrance, and taste. The broccoli was young and tender. And the portion was huge.

                      Salt/Pepper Squid: The squid was battered, perfectly fried, and showered with an excellent s/p seasoning. I should mention that the squid was extremely tender.

                      Crispy Tofu w/ Pork: A real home style dish, this is often made with deep fried tofu. OC used fresh, firm tofu - not the usual soft tofu that appears in their dishes. Rectangles of tofu with a hollow center to hold a portion of ground meat had their bottom side crisped up on the griddle. The meat was hand chopped and had the unique tang of salted duck egg in the mix.

                      The beef and squid dishes were the night's winners.

                      I would caution that the quality of the dishes may be dependent on how slammed the kitchen is. When we left the place was packed, and the wait staff seemed to have some difficulty keeping up with the ravenous horde.

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                      Ocean City Restaurant
                      3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: farrago

                        Anyone down for a Chowdown here this weekend?
                        I will post on the main board...

                      2. stay away from Legin they don't like non Asians and we think they give bad food to them as well.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: r schultz

                          I think Legin is very equal-opportunity and color-blind when it comes to serving horrifyingly-bad food.

                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                            Amen on that...

                            After a meal at Ocean City (or Kenny's Noodle House if you want noodle soup or congee), head on over to mojo crepes for an interesting Japanese crepe/ice cream experience (free hot tea and sticky pics!):

                            http://www.mojocrepes.com/

                            1. re: JillO

                              Finally tried Ocean City. Had the congee with dried fish, scallop/shrimp (excellent filling) shu mai, among other things. We loved it and will be back soon. Great food and friendly efficient service. Everything was fresh and hot. It was Easter and they were busy, so if they can handle that they can deal with the normal rush.

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                              Ocean City Restaurant
                              3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

                        2. Hong Kong 97 a little west of 82nd.Harmony and King R.d Basic Chinese fare.Fresh food and the best General Taos I've ever had Crispy right combo of sweet annd hot.

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                          Hong Kong 97
                          17405 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, OR 97267

                          1. Shen Zen is wonderful and not pricy...

                            1. Ocean City sounds amazing! We are going to be in Portland this weekend. We may end up here, but were hoping to find a good sichuan hot pot restaurant. I've seen a few "decent" recommendations. Anyone have a fantastic hot pot experience they want to share? If not, we'll go to Ocean City. :) Thanks so much in advance.

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                              Ocean City Restaurant
                              3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266