Restaurants »Ocean Jewels Seafood

13330 39th Ave. Flushing

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.

Pork Buns

Clams in Black Bean Sauce

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Posted on October 11, 2010

Restaurants »East Ocean Palace

east ocean palace11315 Queens Blvd, Flushing

We’ve quickly gone from dim sum newbies to the type of people that get up early on a Sunday, run to the car, and drive to the next place to try, even with a slight hangover. East Ocean Palace is a bit outside the epicenter of dim sum cuisine in Flushing, on the border of Forest Hills and Rego Park (easy to get to from the Van Wyck). For this reason, perhaps, or because we were there by 10 am, the place was less crowded than Jade Asia and slightly more pristine.

Our first lady was very helpful with explaining her dumplings and we enjoyed the typical fare of an array of shrimp, pork and chives as well as wide rice noodles with shrimp. We also tried things we didn’t have at our previous dim sum experience including a great meat speckled and leaf wrapped patty of sticky rice, minced shrimp tempura in pepper, and the best surprise of the meal – a gooey egg custard dumpling with a slightly crunchy outside. It got a thumbs up from the server and she was right.

Overall, the food was a bit fresher tasting than Jade Asian though, maybe it was the early hour, but it seemed to offer less variety. I’ve heard they have a great dinner menu that I’d like to revisit and try.

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Posted on November 15, 2009

Restaurants »Jade Asian

jade asian flushingI've really been making the rounds on the Flushing eating scene lately! I finally made it out for early Saturday morning dim sum at the renowned banquet hallesque Jade Asian. We had no problem getting a table for four at ten, but I've heard the wait can get crazy after noon time.

Not entirely knowing what to expect, I was struck by he whirlwind speed at which the dishes came at us. The staff speaks little English, but there's no language barrier issues when pointing, nodding, thumbs up and smiling do the trick. We said yes to lots of things right off the bat – several dumplings, wide noodles as well as crispy taro thingies.

I fell head over heels for the scallion dumplings and flagged down one of the waitresses for about three orders. My second favorite dish was a bit more daring: a custardy scallop mixture served on the half shell. Another favorite were dumplings – presumably filled shrimp and pork – and topped with a dollop of mayo and roe. The only dish I didn't care for was the expectedly heavy deep-fried bacon wrapped shrimp, but Jim was happy to eat mine, so it didn't go to waste.

We finished the meal with a sweet fried dough treat filled with sweet black bean paste. They were delicious and can be recognized by a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. Here's a whole bunch of pics I posted on RC.

I'd love to return again, because on the way out I noticed mussels, pancakes, and asparagus that we missed out on during this first go-round.

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Posted on September 7, 2009