For those of you who’ve read this blog for a while, you might know that good food is one of the few things that can rival my love for a good fit & flare dress! One day, while in a late-night hungry stupor, Nick stumbled down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos that led him to a channel called Strictly Dumpling by Mike Chen. And that was the beginning of many takeout nights at home where we sat and ate vicariously through Mike’s videos of delicious food (lots filmed in NYC, CA, Toronto, Singapore…). He also does Asian home-cooking tutorials, so be sure to subscribe or follow on FB if you share similar tastes!
We became fast foodie friends with Mike, so when he was visiting Boston and hungry for seafood, we had to show him around some of our favorite local spots! I become so awkward in front of video cameras, so thank goodness for all the food in this video – I could just keep chewing, nodding, and smiling : )
Two of the spots in this video are highlighted in my Boston guide, and the third is a Chinatown hole-in-the-wall that you can try if you’re in the area and feeling adventurous!
Neptune Oyster – This place is touristy but is not a tourist trap IMO, since the food is always good! In addition to the Boston classics shown in the video, they also have a good raw bar selection with fresh oysters, hot entrees, and daily specials (lobster spaghettini or uni bucatini, anyone?). I’d suggest going on a weekday to line up about 20 minutes before they open, otherwise the wait could be hours (they do take your name and number down, so you can wander off to explore).
Hot with butter vs. cold with mayo lobster roll at Neptune Oyster (get the hot!) + johnnycake
The Daily Catch – Perfect wine and pasta date night spot. I often get hit with cravings for their fresh seafood, springy pasta, and savory sauces served hot, straight in the pan. Their “aglio olio” squid ink pasta with fragrant garlic and ground calamari is a must-have every time, and if you’re looking for something with lighter flavors, I like their octopus salad appetizer with olives! There’s three locations, but I’m partial to the cozy little Brookline one (FYI, they do not take names down there so you unfortunately have to stand in line).
Gaga Seafood – There isn’t any one place in Boston’s Chinatown that really stands out to me, but this spot has all the traditional dishes that I grew up eating (and earned praises of “authenticity” from my family visiting from Guangzhou). Lobster lovers can choose from over 4 styles of preparation, including their signature lobster over sticky rice (like the lotus leaf sticky rice packets at dim sum but bigger!).
In addition to (or instead of) lobster at Gaga, I’d recommend trying something from the “casserole” section of the menu. These are flavorful, braised Cantonese favorites cooked in smaller clay or iron pots. Amongst these, I like the traditional braised beef with tofu skin or daikon, salted fish with chicken and tofu, or petty much any of the tofu casseroles. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, the spicy salted dry fried pork chops are pretty tasty (or salt & pepper calamari, which has the same flavors)!
Cantonese stir-fried lobster homemade by mom vs. me
If you’d like to try your hand at making Chinese-style lobster at home instead, check out the recipe at the bottom of my older blog post! You can just buy lobster tails from the grocery store instead of whole lobsters to make the process much easier!
What’s your favorite way to eat or cook lobster?