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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Chinese, Seafood
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 8:00am–2:00am
Fri–Sun 11:00am–11:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

82nd Avenue Area
2745 SE 82nd Ave.
Portland, OR
(503) 517-9992
Yummy Yummy Seafood
Cantonese that’s earned both of its yummies

“Yummy.” What is it with this word lately? It seems to pop up everywhere you look, staring out at you like a perky, lollipop-licking first-grader. Don’t get us wrong, lollipop-licking first-graders are cute, but it’s creepy when grown women (and, shudder, men) talk like one. Not only does it sound annoying, it means absolutely nothing. A Twinkie can be “yummy,” if by “yummy” it means it makes you think “yum.” So, then, can a beautifully seared pork belly. Hey, describing food in 400 words or less is a postmodern pain in the ass. But regressing is never the answer (unless you’re Pee-Wee Herman).

The neon sign in Chinese characters (reading, naturally, “Yummy Seafood”) looks hilarious laid over what appears to be the shell of a former KFC (which has very yummy biscuits). Inside, it’s often empty, except when there’s a special occasion, which is what the place looks like it’s set for—a very authentic touch among Chinese seafood restaurants. It’s not unusual to have to interrupt the staff watching television to get something, but we admit that we kind of love that. It makes us feel like we’ve slipped into a Hong Kong hole in the wall.

On the menu you’ll find good renditions of traditional Cantonese and often-controversial delicacies like abalone, sea cucumber, shark’s fin, and bird’s nest—but they’re not always available. We will refrain from moral judgment here, but their presence is a good signal, anyway, for authentic Chinese cuisine. Fried pork ribs are delicious and garlicky, but succulent lamb is even better; as is a kick-ass version of cold jellyfish salad, as spicy and gelatinous as it should be. Tripe rocks the house, and being Cantonese, this kitchen also does a great job with salt-and-pepper shrimp (shell-on) and squid. Fish straight from the tank done up in faithful Cantonese style. In short, this is one of the top Chinese tables in Portland. Fried homemade tofu is delicious, properly crispy. Skip the stir-fried noodles, which are greasy and underwhelming, with none of the crispy qualities indicative of a good, hot fire.

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