Chinese food returns to Blaine
By Tara Nelson
Blaine residents no longer have to choose between pizza, burgers and high-end dining when choosing where to eat dinner.
Peggy Huang and Kaiting Louie, both of Blaine, opened Ocean Bay Chinese restaurant at 1210 3rd Street in October, offering half off lunch entrees their first three days and selling out both times.
“People waited by the door for more than two hours,” Huang said, adding that things have calmed down considerably since then. “It was very busy.”
Huang and Louie are both originally from Guangzhou, a city formerly known as Canton in southern China – a region famous for its style of food that employs quick cooking methods such as steaming, deep-frying and stir-frying.
But they also worked in Chinese restaurants throughout the West Coast such as Seattle and San Francisco for several years, gaining valuable restaurant experience.
The couple and their son, Allan, 7, moved to the Blaine area to get away from the hectic urban lifestyle.
“We liked the quiet,” she said. “It’s peaceful up here and people are nice. Also, the weather is better here than in Seattle.”
The Moo Shu Vegetables with Pancakes ($7.50) was this reporter’s favorite. Huang said the dish uses a stir-fried combination of vegetables such as shredded cabbage, bamboo shoots and green onions with dried black fungus from China.
The fungus, which grows on certain trees such as mango, is prized for its crunchy texture and ability to absorb flavor. It also adds a nice, earthy flavor to the dish.
The dish comes with four pancakes – sort of a misnomer since the “pancakes” are more like ultra-thin tortillas, albeit just as delicious with any other name.
The entire package comes with a side of Hoisin sauce, a thick, dark, spicy-sweet sauce made with molasses and pungent spices, to drizzle over the mixture before it is rolled up in the pancake and eaten like a burrito.
Huang said the restaurant’s best selling dishes, however, are the Orange Chicken ($8.50), a Sichuanese dish with pieces of white chicken, chopped, battered, deep fried, and coated in a spicy sweet orange-flavored sauce, or the General Tso’s Chicken ($8.50), pieces of chicken, deep-fried and seasoned with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and scallions. Both dishes are served with steamed or fried rice.
Ocean Bay Restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with weekday lunch specials between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and can be reached by calling 332-3268. Delivery is available in limited areas for minimum orders of $20.