Last weekend after a concert at Stern Grove, our family trekked over to Ocean Restaurant at 726 Clement for an early dinner. I believe they specialize in Cantonese cuisine, but correct me if I'm wrong. My in-laws have been there numerous times, but it was my first.
When going to a Chinese restaurant w/ my in-laws, I can be assured of two things: 1) it will generally be good and 2) it will be of good value. My MIL did all of the ordering for our group of 7 adults and 3 kids. The ordering wasn't as diverse or plentiful as a typical chowdown, but I still got a good idea of potential.
Not being sure of their exact names, the dishes that I can remember on the table were: 2 orders of lobster in ginger-scallion sauce (bargain of the day at $18 for both); oyster in claypot; tofu and eggplant in claypot; buddha's vegetable and noodle dish; some sort of deep-fried pork w/ a bright red sauce; fried rice (for the kids). There must have been something else, but it wasn't memorable. All dinners come w/ soup of the day (sizzling rice w/ seafood that day) and dessert of the day (red bean dessert). Total came to about $80 pre-tip. Generous portions rendered us w/ some leftovers.
The lobster shells were bright red, the meat was firm and sweet, and the ginger-scallion sauce enveloped the meat nicely. I assumed they were frozen, but they tasted good considering. This was a white board special, so not sure if it's still available. The oysters were shucked and were very plump and creamy. I also really liked their silky, nutty tofu. All vegetables tasted perky and fresh w/ the bright green snow pea pods being very sweet. The rice for the soup was perfectly crisp and golden, and the light broth was enjoyable.
A few of us at the table noticed that the char siu bits in the fried rice tasted a bit old and rancid. We mentioned this to the proprietress, and in typical Chinese fashion, she argued w/ us and tasted the pork straight from the plate. We all kind of chuckled and weren't offended by her direct behavior. She said that it tasted normal to her, but accommodated us by having a fresh plate brought out sans pork. We could tell it was a freshly-made batch due to a slightly different wok flavor.
All in all, I enjoyed the food here and thought that items were prepared skillfully and weren't too greasy or masked by sauce. I have a feeling that there are some interesting dishes that I could sample if on my own or w/ a group of more adventurous eaters. What do hounds like here and how is the dim sum?
I did a search and found a few mentions of Ocean, but not as many as I expected. One of the more recent reports is from Melanie who also happened to indulge in one of their lobster deals in December of last year: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...