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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
7.6
7.0
$45
Chinese, Seafood, Dim Sum
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Fri 10:00am–11:00pm
Sat–Sun 9:30am–11:00pm

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

www.wongsking.com

82nd Avenue Area
8733 SE Division St.
Portland, OR
(503) 788-8883
Wong’s King Seafood
An enormous, popular dim sum spot that serves up seconds-old seafood from the cleanest tanks ever

Wong’s King Seafood is infinite. We’re pretty sure there’s a wormhole lurking in here, somewhere between the meticulously kept seafood tanks and the bathrooms. How else could you explain the endless numbers of servers, dishes, customers being processed per day, per hour, per minute?

The place is spotless, with crisp, white tablecloths. A smartly attired waitstaff moves with almost-military precision. Despite its overwhelming size, this Cantonese restaurant fills up frequently because of its inordinate popularity.

The dim sum variety is large, and the carts are refreshed frequently. The staff is very knowledgeable and, unlike at many places, doesn’t hesitate to help you with your selections. Shrimp and pork dumplings in light wrappers are delicious and fragrant. Congee (rice porridge with flavorful bits of pork) is also great, as are char siu bao (barbecue pork buns).

Lunch specials are inexpensive and good. Light little crab puffs, which actually taste like crab, might be the best in Portland. But the standard lunch mains are not nearly as delicious as they used to be. We’ve had them inedibly vinegary. Here, as everywhere, you’re definitely better off avoiding the Chinese-American stuff. The kitchen seems more careful with seafood and more exotic (traditional) dishes.

Dinner is more reliable, with a tome-like menu of rather condescending pictures. Chicken and duck are cooked beautifully, with an extremely crispy skin that crackles when you bite into it. Unfortunately, the meat beneath can be a bit bland—use sauce. For hot pot, firepots of stock are delivered steaming to your table, waiting to be plied to your liking with thinly sliced meats and fresh vegetables.

But what you ought to do is look to those tanks for your dinner. Abalone is unusually tender and silky; one excellent rendition is served thinly sliced with mushrooms. Scallops with XO sauce are expertly cooked, juicy and flavorful; the same goes for salty-spicy prawns. Salt-and-pepper squid is also aptly done, crunchy and hot.

We find Wong’s to be a little overhyped, but stick to the live seafood and you won’t be disappointed. This place definitely has that ostentatious thing going on—the display of shark fins and such. It’s tacky but authentic. What more can you ask of Portland Cantonese cuisine?

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