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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.2
6.0
$25
Chinese, Seafood, Dim Sum
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 10:30am–10:00pm
Fri 10:30am–11:00pm
Sat 10:00am–11:00pm
Sun 10:00am–10:00pm

Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Bellaire Chinatown
9896 Bellaire Blvd.
(713) 774-2888
Arco Seafood Restaurant
A Chinese banquet hall that does it equally well from the land, the sky, and the sea

Like most Chinese seafood places, Arco’s big, banquety, and brightly lit. Come with a large group and sample what’s in the tanks, easily the most alluring design element here. You may have to stave off your server’s persuasive efforts to get you to order the most expensive fish swimming that day (one time, a $90 grouper). And the $15 per bottle corkage fee is too high for this genre, but you really should bring your own anyway; this selection’s full of grossly overproduced bottles that can afford to advertise on billboards.

If prestige is your thing, you’ll find shark fin here, a silly, overpriced ingredient that basically tastes like glass noodles, whatever your ethical stance. But there’s an otherwise lovely seafood stew with it, as well as delicious abalone and a bounty of fun, bobbing creatures. Greens are lovely and über-garlicky. Twice-cooked pork has come shimmering with real chili flavor. Best of all is a fresh-from-the-tank Dungeness crab dish with beautifully textured rice. We’ve also been pleasantly surprised by those usually rubbery and bland denizens, lobster and chicken. Peking duck has great crispy skin (you’ve got to love fat), and it’s wrapped in fluffy rice-flour buns that remind us a bit of Momofuku’s. Sweet and sour fish is, happily, not of the neon-gloop variety, and the tilapia’s more striped-bass-like than it is muddy. Good news, if you can’t afford the grouper.

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