This Chinese seafood restaurant may have its flaws -- primarily a consistent tendency to oversauce things and a sporadic overuse of salt -- but it's a generally solid performer.
The menu is extensive, the raw materials are fresh (with the exception of occasionally off-tasting shrimp), the portions are generous and the prices moderate. It's an attractive place in a middle-of-the-road way, decorated neither in the old bare-bones-paper-lantern school nor in the sumptuous style of the new, upscale places. The booths and tables are comfortable, the lighting gentle, the service quick and responsive.
To begin, there are excellent pan-fried dumplings, admirably grease free, with flavorful ground pork fillings and properly tender, chewy wrappers.
Even more interesting are a couple of unusual appetizers: Curried beef pies are similar to Latin American empanaditas -- flaky envelopes of dough encasing a subtle, curry-flavored ground meat filling.
Smoked fish is slightly sweet and heavily infused with what tastes like fresh anise -- not everyone will take to the dryness and intense flavoring of this dish, but if you like licorice you'll probably love it. Seafood combination soup is a gem, crammed with scallops, shrimp and abalone, and at $2 per person it's a good buy.
Among the entrees, the shining light here is the fish, several species of which are displayed in a big tank in the dining room. You can pick your own fish out of the tank, or, if you prefer not to, the waiter will do it for you. You can't get fish fresher than that.
The fish is available steamed or braised, or served in black bean or sweet and sour sauces. Given the tendency to oversauce here, it's best to opt for steaming, in which a light soy-ginger-sugar sauce is used along with pork strips and mushrooms. The waiters do a quick and thorough deboning job at the table if they're asked, and the result is outstanding.
Another highlight is abalone, remarkably fresh, sweet and tender. Have it with Chinese vegetables, in a mild brown sauce. A standout of a bargain is seafood with pan-fried noodles, an immense platter of nicely chewy noodles (made in house) with plenty of shrimp, scallops, lobster bits and lively vegetables.
Like the other dishes here it's compromised by too much sauce, which makes the whole thing a bit soupy -- you might try specifying "just a little sauce" when you order your entrees. Lo mein noodle dishes are generous in size but somewhat oily. The fried rice is a better bet.
Non-seafood types won't go hungry here. Peking duck is a good rendition, available at $6.95 per half-bird on weekdays, and kung-pao chicken is well trimmed and well balanced.
Pan-fried chicken in ginger sauce is a delight -- moist, beautifully fried in a nice garlicky sauce. But steer clear of the smoked chicken strips, astonishingly greasy and heavy.