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Restaurants & Bars

Grand Oriental - Cincinnati - Dim sum again

SBCochran | Aug 10, 200206:19 PM    

After a one year hiatus without dim sum service because of re-retirement of its dim sum chef, this full menu restaurant is again serving GOOD dim sum from carts on Sat and Sun from 1000-1400h. The newly hired replacement dim sum chef is a fairly young HK-born and trained guy (didn't catch his name) who most recently cooked in NYC. The nice owners had been looking for a replacement in HK, Vancouver, SF, NYC - basically all over. The revamped dim sum menu is not as extensive as before and a few prior favorites are missing, but what was sampled was quite good including:

Pork porridge (jook): not as much preserved egg as before and without the traditional sliced bread garnish, but still tasty with a little chili paste stirred in - large bowl $3.50

Steamed shrimp dumplings: not as "shrimpy" as before, but OK - 4 dumplings $2.50

Steamed pork dumplings: very tasty - 4 dumplings $2.50

Beef tripe with ginger and scallion: blander than it should be, but nicely cooked (next time I'll go for the version in curry sauce) - $2.50

Stuffed eggplant: very nice pieces in nice black bean sauce, but little shrimp paste (will order again because the eggplant was so good) - 3 pieces $2.50

Stuffed green pepper: the right balance of pepper to stuffing with the same sauce as the eggplant - 3 pieces $2.50

Shrimp fun (sic) rolls: thicker than usual rice wrappers which made eating them even more slippery and fairly small shrimp (passable, but not worth it; next time the Fun Roll with Dry Shrimp? or the Beef Fun Roll) - 4 rolls $3.50

Turnip pudding cake: nicely studded with seasoned pork and sauteéd, a simple dish that can often foretell other restaurant offerings, this was good - 3 cakes $2.50

Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce: not complicated, but nice rendition and other places charge from $6.50-8.50 for this size - dish $5.50

Ribs with black bean sauce: boring, but served HOT - $2.50

Lotus seeds past bun: delicate, flaky, pink-tinted pastry shell, but a little pasty overall - 4 buns $2.50

Coconut pudding: chilled and refreshing, without being cloying - 3 pieces $2.50

Combination of jasmine and chrysanthemum teas: probably should have stuck with straight jasmine since most items ordered were steamed rather than fried (just worked out that way this time) - 60¢ per person

Next time (and it may be tomorrow) the shrimp and chives dumpling, fried shrimp ball, roast duck, jellyfish, beef short ribs in black pepper, cuttlefish with satay sauce, Shanghai mini pork bun, peach pudding.

The only other mentionable place is Uncle Yip's on Dixie Hwy in Fairfield with carts on weekends and menu ordering during the week (the Sharonville location doesn't do dim sum); Pacific Moon is inconsistent, service is spotty and hot foods aren't hot; forget Song Phung; the owners of the Cathay Kitchen in Florence are nice and the dim sum is good, but too expensive for what you get, small menu and no carts (not a negative, items arrive freshly made).

I've enjoyed dim sum in London, SF, Atlanta, NYC and other cities and the only other dim sum place that has been as consistent Grand Oriental is Jasmine in San Diego. I'm glad Grand Oriental is serving dim sum again, so go support these guys: they're nice, the staff is nice, the price is right and the decor is as it should be........Enjoy.

Grand Oriental
4800 Fields-Ertl Rd (Kings Auto Mall Shopping Center)
Cincinnati, OH
513/677-3388

PS: Riverside Korean on Madison in Covington is serving some tasty lunch box combinations (I think $6.50) including a good broiled mackerel version. Everything's better if the mother's in the kitchen, but the son does OK.

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