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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
9.1
6.0
$30
Chinese, Seafood, Dim Sum
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 9:30am–midnight

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

www.oceancityportland.com

82nd Avenue Area
3016 SE 82nd Ave.
Portland, OR
(503) 771-2299
Ocean City Seafood
Better vibes, better seafood, and better dim sum—better get it while you can

Ocean City is often compared to Wong’s King. Both places serve Cantonese food, including seafood fresh from the tanks and dim sum. Both places are huge and full of round banquet-like tables, but are a little tattered around the edges. Both places are brightly lit, but lively and bustling.

But that’s where the similarities end. This more obscure, humbler restaurant stands heads and shoulders above Wong’s King. A quick look around the dining room might give you a clue as to why: they’re actually catering mostly to the local Chinese population. You’ll see entire extended Chinese families here, spanning three or even four generations, coming for dim sum or spectacular seafood. Back over at Wong’s King, all the hype has turned the place into more of a white-people trap, and the food has suffered.

We would normally never recommend starting dim sum with a sweet dish, but don’t miss the so-called “pineapple buns” whenever they come out of the oven. The buns aren’t so named because they are made with pineapples—they just look like them. These treats are a festival of irresistibly yeasty, undercooked dough and creamy yellow goodness. Chicken feet are great, meaty and tender, and dumplings are also wonderful. There’s a nearly perfect version of sautéed greens here, as earthy and garlicky as they are tender, with a noticeable kiss of fire from the wok. Pork barbecue is just average, but average pork barbecue isn’t a bad thing.

And then comes the pièce de résistance: live bait shrimp taken from the tank and gently steamed to ethereal sweetness. Or choose a whole bass, steamed with ginger and soy, a silky delight.

The staff here is friendly and helpful, and you won’t usually have to wait. There’s no pomp and circumstance—just a sincere Cantonese effort. Given time, the crowds will get hip to this fact, and the waits will get longer. Hopefully, Ocean City will also resist the downhill turn that tends to come with popularity.

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