Dish No. 19: Tai Chi-Style Seafood and Vegetable Soup at East Ocean Palace
Today's pick: Tai chi-style seafood and vegetable soup ($14.95) at East Ocean Palace (113-09 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, Queens, 718-268-1668).
East Ocean Palace is one of the very good Hong Kong-style restaurants that have been migrating to the so-called outer boroughs lately. It offers a full menu of Cantonese, plus specialties from the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia and a few dishes from Japan, too. In addition, the menu has absorbed regional recipes from several parts of China, including Hunan, Sichuan, and Shanghai.
But some of the most interesting dishes are the invented ones, such as the soup pictured above, which easily feeds six people as an appetizer. It started appearing in Hong Kong restaurants a decade ago. Inspired by the yin-yang symbol sacred to Chinese medicine and martial arts (and American hippies), the symbol represents the balance of opposing forces. In this case that means tofu against mixed greens, layered carefully over the top of a seafood potage. The minute you serve it, of course, the effect is destroyed.
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