Thursday, May 24, 2012


Once in awhile, the family gathers together for a meal. Father, sister, brother in law, niece, and nephew in tow, we all headed out to Pacificana for dinner. It was my request. It's my favorite Chinese restaurant in Sunset Park for both dim sum and dinner. It's a little pricier for the latter but I think the quality and presentation is worth it.

For our appetizer, we had some jellyfish. This oceanic animal doesn't have much flavor on its own. In fact, it takes on any sauce that you use. Normally it's sesame oil. Lots of it. Strands of long, bouncy, and slightly rubbery jellyfish with loads of toasted sesame flavor. A nice refreshing course.
And now the entrees. This is an oyster casserole. Each whole plump oysters are lightly battered and fried until crisp. Then it's cooked slowly in a thick sauce with mushrooms and vegetables. I think they just cooked this in a wok and served it in a casserole dish. I say this because the dish was too pristine. It needed to be dirtier especially when you slowly cooking something. None the less, I enjoyed this dish. Sometimes they make this with fried fish as well.
What's a family dinner without Honey Walnut Shrimp? Large, plump shrimp lightly dusted and fried until crispy. Then lightly tossed with kewpie mayo and garnished with broccoli florets and fried sweet walnuts. I thought they used honey but the waiter told us they used maltose instead. Interesting. Anyway, I love this dish. Yes, I do not particularly like mayo but this dish is superb. Sweet shrimp with tangy mayo, crunchy vegetables, and sweet walnuts.
One of the vegetable dishes that we always get is the garlic stir fried snow pea shoots. This dish is so good. Each leaf of covered with delicious minced garlic and oil. The vegetable is picked over so that only the most tender leaves are served. Then the hot wok cooks it in minutes and then served right away.
We also ordered a half of a fried garlic crispy skinned chicken. This was just okay. I wish the top was more doused with fried garlic. Next time, I'll have to ask the waiter for extra garlic. Anyway, the chicken was very tender and juicy. The skin was super crisp and the fat rendered. I like how this was made fresh unlike some places that refry the chicken. Yeah, you can taste that right away.
And lastly, my sister picked the Shanghai style pork chop. These sweet and sour bone-in chops were delicious. Thinly pounded meat fried then coated with a sweet and sour sauce. Shrimp chips garnished the plate. I remember fighting for those chips when I was younger. This dish was made very well here. The chops didn't get soggy and gross. They held up very well in fact. Also, the sauce wasn't gloppy and thick. It thinly coated the meat.
For dessert, they offered sweet red bean soup which is very traditional. The beans are naturally sweet but they add sugar for more sweetness. They cook it slowly until the beans are tender. It's a unique taste and not everyone enjoys this. However, before you even try to eat this, you have to...
Eat the oranges! Always eat the citrus fruits first. Otherwise, it will taste very sour compared to sweet red bean soup.
Another good meal had at Pacificana. This place still remains my favorite in Sunset Park. The food, the service, and the decor is most enjoyable. Oh, and for you non-Chinese speaking patrons, they speak English here. Especially at night when the manager is usually present.

Pacificana Restaurant
813 55th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 871-2880

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