Monday, May 14, 2012

Asian Jewels Seafood Restuarant

I'm always on the lookout for new dim sum places to try. When my good friend, TC, told me about Asian Jewels in Flushing, I didn't hesitate to try it. I convinced my family to try it with me as well and so we all ventured out early on a Saturday morning. We are a morning dim sum family. I know lots of food come out later in the afternoon. So we linger long enough for that food to come out in the first round. Oh yeah, we're seasoned dim sum eaters.

We arrived early enough to snag a table to ourselves. That's always a plus. Unfortunately for Mr. M&P and myself, we were late. So my family started ahead of time. Gotta feed those hungry kids! They ordered some har kow (shrimp dumplings), pork and vegetable dumplings, and beef meatballs.
And once I arrived, a lot more food was ordered!! Look at that bounty. And this was just the beginning.
The har kow or shrimp dumplings was expertly prepared. Look at that signature Hong Kong style wrapper. It's a bunny. Cute! And delicious! A ball of minced shrimp stuffed into a rice based wrapper then steamed until cooked and translucent. A staple in dim sum.
A family favorite is the fried eggplant stuffed with shrimp. I've seen this dish dripping with gloppy sauce at other establishments. But it's expertly prepared here. Tender eggplant and sweet shrimp. A perfect combination.
The sticky rice with Chinese sausage and mushroom was a miss. Mr. M&P noted that it seemed off and the rice wasn't as sticky as he's had in the past. He also wasn't happy that the sausage and dried shrimp wasn't evenly spread out.
One of my favorite dishes is the fried cruller wrapped in rice noodle. They do it well here though I did notice a lack of cilantro in the rice noodle. None the less, the cruller was still crunchy and the rice noodle was soft and supple. A healthy pour of sweet soy sauce on top and I'm in heaven.
The black pepper beef short ribs were the same as anywhere else. Tender and slightly chewy around the bones. Lots of flavor from the spices and fat.
The steamed fish balls tasted fresh with a light spring in its texture. I didn't add the white pepper as a test to its freshness.
The phoenix feet or chicken feet are snipped in half for eating ease. The flavors are sweet and savory. You're only eating skin here but I enjoy them. I've been enjoying them since I've been 2 years old. Yeah, it was a rough childhood.
The Malaysian cake was ordered for the kiddies. I didn't taste it because I'm not usually a fan of this style of dessert. But everyone else seemed to enjoy it.
The pork spare ribs were okay. They could have used a lot more black beans though the garlic flavor was there. Little nuggets of fatty bone-in pork.
The shrimp rice noodle was very good. The shrimp were large and came 3 to a noodle. The noodle skin was thin, supple, and tender. It hints at its freshness. Again, a splash of the sweet soy sauce and  it was perfect.
My favorite dish of the day was the fried daikon cake. I've never seen this preparation before. Each cube was perfectly fried giving it a crispy crust holding in a creamy soft daikon cake inside. The flavor came from the fried garlic and hot peppers. I loved this. No oyster sauce needed.
The fried shrimp tofu skin roll was ordered out of curiosity. Not bad. It was similar to all the other restaurants in the area with its crispy fried tofu skin wrapping minced shrimp inside.
I bit into the shrimp and garlic chives dumpling before I took a picture. As you can see, lots and lots of garlic chives. Not too much shrimp. But the flavor was very nice with the sharp pungency of the chives.
And lastly, the anise beef tripe. The honeycomb tripe is cooked until ridiculously tender. It's served with daikon and sometimes spleen too. They do a nice rendition here with each piece absorbing the anise flavor. The portion size is a little small here but nothing to cry over.
Overall, I thought the food at Asian Jewels was excellent. The freshness of the dim sum here is no joke. I would love to come back here except that it was expensive. Well, pricey for dim sum standards. Normally, I would spend about $50-$60 at dim sum restaurants for 5 adults and 2 kids (one doesn't eat solids yet). Asian Jewels set me over $90. With tip, that's close to $100. The question comes up if Asian Jewels is twice as good as my standing favorite Flushing dim sum joint? No, it isn't. While I wouldn't write off Asian Jewels completely because it's very good. It also won't replace my go to place either due to its prices.

Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant
13330 39th Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 359-8600

5 comments:

  1. looks like it is worth a try for a FBM Dim Sum outing.

    Is this the place across the street from the Flushing Mall?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I believe it is across from Flushing Mall.

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  2. Yes it is... You went the same day I did, but I totally had a different experience. BUT I wasn't the one ordering most of the dishes, admittedly.
    BTW, I didn't know the tripe is anise flavored. Hmm, interesting.

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    1. I mean yes it is across from Flushing Mall.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed the food, H. Fresh, mostly prepared well, but expensive indeed for dim sum. Maybe an infrequent treat then.

    Ohhh, bunny!!
    I'm usually content with har gow and siu mai.

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