Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

They are different restaurants, across the street from one another, with a long-standing rivalry.

Each has its adherents, but recent descriptions seem to indicate that both are pretty solid.

I'm a Vietnam guy myself, but it's not like I'd refuse to go the other side of the street...

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha, you have no idea how many times I've gotten those two confused!

Anyway, they're both pretty good. Like Philadining, I prefer Vietnam, though I've been to Vietnam Palace more often lately, because it's more stroller-friendly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Clams in Black Bean Sauce at Ken's Seafood.  Best I've had.

Where is Ken's Seafood? I cant find it by googling, nor could I find it driving around Chinatown last night looking for parking spot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Clams in Black Bean Sauce at Ken's Seafood.  Best I've had.

Where is Ken's Seafood? I cant find it by googling, nor could I find it driving around Chinatown last night looking for parking spot.

10th & Race, south side of the street. About two doors up from the old Ho Sai Gai. Address is probably 1006 or 1008 Race.

I just got home from there. <burp>

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. Clams in black bean sauce is my favorite dish from way back. When I was a kid my dad used to take me to this little Chinese restaurant in Harlem called Shanghai tea garden which is long closed. Once he let me order my own clams in black bean sauce and I was in heaven! They used to make it with Cherrystone clams which no one ever does anymore.

Those two geoduck clam dishes beautifully photographed by Philadining look really good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Yet another fave at Ken's Seafood:

gallery_23992_3606_75366.jpg

Chinese Broccoli with Sausage.

Do I really need to convince you that a dish of greens that's about half pork is a good thing? The combination is really amazing, the sweetness and fattiness of the sausage offset by the slightly bitter greens.

ETA: there's a lot of ginger in this too.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Along the way we had a couple of other dishes that would rank in this "highlights" topic.

Fried Geoduck Clam bellies and eggplant

gallery_23992_3606_170001.jpg

Really just the best fried clam platter you'd ever want.  We're contemplating asking them to dip everything they have in the restaurant in that batter, and deep-fry it.  I might eat my cell phone if it were battered and fried like this.

Hong Kong Style Pork Chops

gallery_23992_3606_130183.jpg

These chops are a little thinner, and mysteriously sweeter, than the equally excellent version of this dish at Xiao Guan. I'm not sure I have a favorite. They're crispy, yet still juicy, with ground pork, garlic and onion.  No sauce to speak of, and they don't need any.

Those fried clams looked so delicious I asked for them when I went to Ken's Seafood last week. Was that on the regular menu or was it a special? When I asked the only deep batter fried item they said they had was batter fried oysters.

I got two of the batter fried oysters--very good....plus the clams in black bean sauce--very good and gingery.

Can some of you who have been to Ken's list some additional dishes you've liked?

Also a question--My sister ordered some vegetable fried rice. It looked very nice since I don't like my rice with soy sauce. I was however, surprised by its extremely yellow color. I've never run across it in a Chinese restaurant. Any guesses? Could it have been saffron?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Also a question--My sister ordered some vegetable fried rice.  It looked very nice since I don't like my rice with soy sauce.  I was however, surprised by its extremely yellow color.  I've never run across it in a Chinese restaurant.  Any guesses?  Could it have been saffron?

They were eggs. Traditional Cantonese fried rice does not contain soy sauce. The type that you see is American style.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, there's something else going on with the fried rice, it's too yellow for it to be just eggs. But I can't imagine it being saffron either.

But Ken's does make really good fried rice, especially if you get it with sausage and ham!

As for the fried clams - there were two tricks to this. First, yes, it's kind of a special, it wasn't just clams, it was Geoduck Clam (or Giant Clam) and I'm not sure that they have them all the time. I've seem them being served semi-regularly, but it really might come down to day-to-day availability. Second, we got a combo of sashimi and fried bellies, and I'm not sure you can get one without the other.

Both parts were quite good, but it's way too much for two people, maybe too much for 4, better for 6 or 8 people. And it's not cheap. I don't recall how much it cost exactly, but it wasn't like just getting a plate of fried clams at a seafood shack!

But you did the right thing to ask for them even if you don't see them on the menu. There's lots of stuff available that's not on the menu. I'm surprised that they said they only had batter-fried oysters (although that sounds good, I think we'll have to try those!) We recently had a big heap of tiny batter-fried fish, "Chinese French Fries" is how Ken jokingly referred to them. There were some nuggets of fried eggplant around the edge too.

gallery_23992_3606_85839.jpg

As for other things at Ken's that are great:

Eel with XO sauce

gallery_23992_3606_32212.jpg

Ask if they have live scallops, and if so, get them steamed with garlic, or with XO, or with black beans.

gallery_23992_3606_52695.jpg

gallery_23992_3606_119231.jpg

The whole fish is really excellent, steamed or fried. We got a Dungeness Crab "Hong Kong Style" that was really delicious, if a bit messy...

My dining companions seem to love the shrimp from the tanks, salt-baked if they're small. We had salt-baked squid there the other night. It's a not-uncommon dish, but especially well-executed here.

We also really liked the Pork Belly in a clay pot, I think it might be under a "casseroles" section...

gallery_23992_3606_62687.jpg

Half a roasted chicken

gallery_23992_3606_94268.jpg

The Peking Duck is very good, served with spongy buns.

Jellyfish with Cold Meat

gallery_23992_3606_60225.jpg

It is called Ken's Seafood, so you're almost certain to do well with something from the tanks, whether it's a whole fish, or some shrimp, or an eel, or fresh scallops. But as you can see, there's plenty of other stuff there that's really delicious too.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and speaking of fried rice, I think the best I've had in a long time, maybe ever, was recently at Zhi Wei Guan. The texture of the rice was just great, and it had a smoky flavor from some ham, along with various other meats. We got the mixed one, but you can get it with just beef or chicken or shrimp.

gallery_23992_3606_75507.jpg

Americanized Fried Rice is so often just a big, dry, soy-soaked mess that we don't often think of the dish as having the potential to be sophisticated. But this was absolutely delicious, with delicate rice and complex aromas.

Zhi Wei Guan

935 Race St

215-873-0808

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got back from Ken's, admittedly I was a bit nervous at first, as we were the only ones there on a day where I presumed they'd be busier than normal as it was the Moon Festival celebration, but overall it was a very good meal. No pictures, though :(.

Unfortunately, they did not have the live scallops, but just asking about them seemed raise us up a notch or two in the eyes of the host, who I presumed to be Ken (he later came over and asked how I knew about them). He recommended steamed oysters as a sub, which we got with the black bean sauce. They were exquisite and definitely the highlight of the meal.

We were really tempted to go with a whole fish, but the pictures of the duck I was looking at earlier today won me over. I must say, traditional or not, I much preferred the fluffy pancakes served here over the flat ones from Sang Kee, which was previously my go to place during my infrequent trips to Chinatown. This was also very, very good - I think I'll need to concur that it was a better overall dish than what I remembered from Sang Kee.

Next up was the salt-baked squid. Unfortunately, this was the least impressive dish of the night. Flavors were good, but it came out a bit greasier than ideal.

Last was Beef Chow Fun, on recommendation of our waiter (Ken was away at this point). We wanted a noodle dish, but I forgot if/what was recommended here. It was a good example of the dish, but not particularly memorable - in retrospect I would have preferred something with pork.

And of course, stopped at a bakery for both red bean and lotus seed moon cakes! I can't comprehend that many people don't seem to like these...

Overall, I'm very glad of the recommendation - ordinarily I'd probably have passed by a place called "Ken's" in the middle of Chinatown without a second thought (although Ken is probably a common Chinese name as well, and it is my american-centrism that equates ken with kenneth) and I really needed to get outside my previous haunts here, most especially away from the gravitational pull Sang Kee seems to have on me. I'll definitely be exploring this place more as time permits - although I still need to hit Szechewan Tasty House as well. Ah, the travails of living almost all the way out to Reading...

Edited by bsims (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The night we were at Ken's my sister, who keeps Kosher got the pan fried flounder which I have to say was very good. She also ordered the bright yellow vegetarian fried rice--I'm suspecting turmeric may have accounted for the color.

After having the batter fried oysters, I think any oyster dish there has to be a winner........

I wonder if I go into Ken's and ask the waiters for "Chinese French Fries" they will have a clue what I'm talking about? My mouth is watering looking at those dishes.

The fried rice at Zhi Wei Guan looks delicious. I'm very picky about fried rice. I definitely have to put that on my list--Zhi Wei Guan is one of the few restaurants in Chinatown that I have not tried. Guess I'll be looking at their Pork Chop dish too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

New faves at Ken's Seafood.

Hot and Sour Soup. The cure for my stuffy head today. Fantastic.

3 words. Lamb Hot Pot. Burner on the table, big old earthenware crock of broth, mushroom caps and lamby bits of all sorts, gigantic honking platter of watercress on the side. Totally awesome. And a bargain at $16.95 to boot. I'd order this again and again.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...