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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
7.1
3.0
$25
Chinese, Vietnamese, Dim Sum
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 11:00am–midnight

Features Outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

82nd Avenue Area
801 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR
(503) 788-3113

Beaverton
4021 SW 117th Ave.
Beaverton, OR
(503) 641-2852
Jin Wah
Half-Vietnamese, half-Chinese, full-on cranky

Jin Wah is a pretty popular joint. Its two locations attract people in droves, and it’s managed to earn itself a good name around town. One outpost is in Beaverton, and the other is in Portland’s mecca of good Asian food along 82nd Avenue. And we don’t mean good in a General-Tso’s kind of way; we mean good in a live-seafood-plucked-straight-from-the-tank sort of way.

Jin Wah’s menu is divided into Chinese on one side and Vietnamese on the other. We recommend that you pay more attention to the Chinese side, especially the hot-pot section. That’s what locals in the know order; it’s a warm, soothing bowl of stew chock full of meats. And don’t miss the tanks of live Dungeness crabs. Pick one, the staff will pluck it out, and you can enjoy.

In fact, this kitchen is very strong with seafood all around. Salt-and-pepper squid is a real winner, texturally just right—neither chewy nor burnt. The seasoning is aggressive, and we mean that in the best way possible. The staff is quick to recommend it to you, and look around—just about every group has at least one order of it on their table. Fried fish is delicate and delectable.

Many people also come for the dim sum service, but we’re not converts. The selection could stand to be much broader, and flagging down a cart is about as easy as hailing a cab in New York City in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Bubble tea (if you’re into that) is an afterthought here; there might be a lot of flavors, but none of them is particularly good. The worst part of your experience here will be dealing with the sour staff. They’re an unfriendly bunch, often given to treating you like a criminal for having walked in. Perhaps their bad attitude comes from working in such a dull space, where décor is non-existent. Just keep your eyes on your hot pot.

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