While the name of our latest dim sum destination is confusing – is it Ocean Jewel Seafood, as written about everywhere online? Or Asian Jewels as the punch card menu would suggest? Well, either way, you’ll have no trouble finding it as the building is a humungeous banquet hall type with its own valet parking lot (actually incredibly helpful in the hard to park neighborhood) situauted next to the large KO Karaoke Club and across from the Flushing Mall.
We went with dim sum lovers who were new to the more traditional point at cart ordering system which always adds a bit of drama to dining. Even if you can get an answer to “what is that” it can be misleading (vegetarian dumplings hide lots of meat – so not the best place for the picky or the vegetarian). We only struck out on one dish – a sausage in a bun that looked like an uncooked, puffy pig in a blanket but according to Mike and Jim was “interesting… like a fat Slim Jim”. I decided to pass.
The best things we tried were the fluffy pork buns and the “super” dish of black bean clams whose sauce was to die for. I also went a little crazy on the chive dumplings, a favorite of mine and my first thought of the day when I woke up (must have chive dumpling!) so I went ahead and have about four. Steamed shrimp dumplings are always great and we tried a new dessert that looked like a lobster tail made of fried dough. It was flaking and sticky and quite good on the cart woman’s recommendation (I’ve learned from past experiences to try something if the lady is enthusiastic enough about it). We finished the incredibly cheap feast (less than 20 per person for lots and lots of food) with some soft sesame seed balls.
While on a few staples, I think I prefer the other two dim sum places we’ve been (particularly the shumai and dumplings) the pork buns and bean clams more than make Ocean Jewel (or is it Asian Jewels?) a worthwhile dim sum excurtion. Just be prepared for a long wait with restless eaters if you come past 11 am.
Clams in Black Bean Sauce