OK Seafood Kitchen, 235-237 Buffalo Ave, Paterson NJ 973.881.8806
The OK Seafood Fish Market and Kitchen is a little known hole-in-the-wall that serves well prepared and tasty food. It is a Chinese seafood restaurant that will beat the fancy suburban places on quality and price by 30%. 30% better quality and 30% less cost.
First the location: Paterson, NJ smack in the middle of the Railroad Ave. Farmer's Market. After loading up on fruits and vegetables, you can stop here for lunch and rest your arms and legs.
Next it is a fish market with a few restaurant tables: This means that they use the freshest fish to cook up your meal. Plus the Mexican fishmonger guys do a great job of preparing the fish. If you even make a token effort to speak Spanish with them, they go out of their way to give you the best service. Erik the Chinese owner speaks excellent English, but I always get a smile out of him by teaching him American slang phrases.
Then there is the Chinese menu: The owners are from Fukien province where all the recent Chinese immigrants come from. They have taken over this generation's slot of running Chinese takeout joints. They have a full takeout style menu and they run a great $5.99 lunch special deal which lets you choose 3 items from the steam table with fried rice and a can of soda on the side. Don't let that fool you though. Go for the catch of the day.
You want to come here for the seafood. They will grill your salmon, tuna. Chilean seabass, cod, mahi-mahi, flounder, shrimp, and whatever else is fresh, over charcoal or a hibachi. The fish and chips are exceptional. Everyone whom I brought here have been wowed by it. Then they have a full steamer menu too. Yes you can get clams, oysters, shrimp, king crab legs, and lobster for a much more affordable price than at your usual seafood palace. The last time I checked the 2-2.5 lb lobster in ginger sauce special was between $15-16. And if you want to mix it up, order some of the Chinese entrees.
I suspect that if I ask them to experiment with something like Japanese style panko bread crumbs, they will have it for me the next time I show up.
I started taking a bunch of my grade school and high school buddies to OK Seafood Market and Kitchen. They scratched their heads at first. Where are you taking me? But when they dug into the food they were won over right away.
The only downsides to the place are that it is real basic no-frills space and they are only open for lunch and through the afternoon till 6:30pm.
But with food this good, you work around it. Right?
Wow, this is an great seafood find. I have been there three times over the past two weeks. So clean (spotless!), absolutely the freshest fish anywhere in the area and prices are 30% less than other places. The best fillet of flounder was 4.99/lb. yesterday. Beautiful tilapia is also 4.99/lb. Shrimp prices are also very fair, too: approx. 6.99/lb. Lots of whole fish available with their eyes looking up at you if that's your thing, too. Don't forget to stop by the neighboring Paterson Farmers Market while you there for some great stuff, too. Or just get a good Turkish coffee and you'll be set for the day.