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Jan 16, 2012 07:47 AM

O'Mei Chinese Naples

I generally avoid the Chinese food down here in the Naples area, as it is usually what I call “suburban Chinese”, meaning lots of sweet and sour and safe, Americanized dishes. O’mei, tucked into the corner of a shopping mall in North Naples, is the closest approximation to a Chicago or San Francisco Chinatown restaurant that I’ve found here.

I was pleasantly shocked to see 2 kinds of soup dumplings, a Shanghai delicacy on the menu. They offer a crab and a pork version and both are filled with luscious, liquid goodness. Be sure to ask for a spoon and a couple small bowls. We also enjoyed salted pepper calamari. Crispy lobster rolls were a bit sweet for our tastes and I thought the wrapper could’ve been a bit crispier. I enjoyed their hot and sour soup.

The star of the night was the Peking Duck, which is as good a version as I’ve had anywhere. It needs 40 minutes cooking time and they present the whole duck at the table in all of its bronzed, lacquered glory. They return a few minutes later with a plate fanned out with thinly sliced pieces of the duck, each topped with crispy skin. This is accompanied by a steamer of pancakes and a dish with scallions and hoisin. This is a portion feeding 4 people. An order of crispy duck is a satisfying alternative.

They are adept at cooking seafood and every dish we tried was perfectly moist, including wonderful shrimp with lobster sauce, drunken grouper, and O’mei pan fried noodles, which are very crunchy. The seafood has that fresh, gulf taste. Fried rice is a bit bland and needs to be kicked up a few notches. Vegetables are perfectly crunchy and I recommend bok choy with garlic or asparagus with oyster sauce.

The variety of dishes here will cater to everyone’s taste. Good ethnic restaurants are few and far between in Southwest Florida and I hope people give O’mei a try. Few meals are as satisfying and comforting as good Chinese.

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  1. I agree with RevrendAndy on Omei!

    Great family run spot that is usually far from the maddening (season) crowd. The owners are pleasant.

    Asian friends frequent Omei's as well as Charlie Chiang's for delicious Asian food. Both have great crispy duck.

    Chiang's is more popular, for its riverfront dining with eagles fishing, stunning interior decor, and traditonal and creative Asian foods. Mr and Mrs. Chiang are often on premises, very friendly, and very supportive of local charities. The chefs come straight from China, and customers have too often asked them to not put any authentic spicing in foods...keep it on the bland side, that's Naples for some. I ask to have it "as it's really made" when they are not busy, and it's bursting with taste. Your taste buds may vary.

    I don't care as much for P F Chang's which is a quite predictable chain that's as popular as Cheese Cake Factory.

    Empire China and some others are local Naples spots that have thier followings.

    For home cooking with Asian fresh and canned items, Asia Pok Market on Pine Ridge, and 88 Asian Depot on East Trail are good spots.

    1. Omei has opened a 2nd location near the Naples Costco. Although I haven't posted recently I am a regular here and love the food. The menu hasn't changed much from my last post but their cooking is still spot on.

      Naples Centre Village
      6434 Naples Blvd Suite 406
      Naples, FL 34109

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