East Ocean Seafood Restaurant
East Ocean has long served authentic Cantonese fare in Hong Kong and continues to maintain a firm footing in the local culinary scene. On our recent visit to the Wan Chai outlet, there was a promotion on freshwater crabs from Yangcheng Lake on the mainland, one of the favourite delicacies among people here in Hong Kong. A sumptuous set dinner featuring crabs and other dishes sold for $298 but those who want a lighter meal can order the shellfish separately. There's also a 'luxurious set meal', which costs $629 per person, but we baulked at that.
We opted for freshwater crab xiao long bao ($18 each, $90 for six) and four other dishes from the a la carte menu. Diced beef tenderloin with black pepper ($52) was tender and delicious with golden-brown garlic pieces, but was unfortunately served lukewarm. Pan-fried runner beans ($52) came with seasoned minced pork but would have been much more enjoyable if the beans were not burnt.
The xiao long bao had delicate wrappings, and the pork and crab meat filling was full of flavour. A rich broth filled with the oil from the crabs oozed out from the dumplings as we bit into them: they were sinfully rich, but so delicious that we could not resist.
To make ourselves feel less guilty, we ordered Chinese and button mushrooms with spinach ($98) and bean curd with crab meat and bamboo piths ($75), which were both healthy choices. The spinach was fresh and the mushrooms helped to add a subtle flavour. Shredded crab meat and egg whites complemented the smooth bean curd, while bamboo piths added a crunchy twist to the dish. Dinner for three, including Chinese tea and juice, was $492.
3/F Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2827 8887. Open: Monday-Friday 11am-midnight, Saturday-Sunday 10am-midnight. $$