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dinwiddie

Seven Seas, behind Federal Plaza in Rockville

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This is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Rockville. The menu is extensive, and I have never had anything that I didn't think was cooked perfectly. The squid deep fried in salt was tender, delecate, and served on a bed of lettuce and roasted garlic and onions. The Dungeness crab with ginger and green onions was wonderful. Try the seafood hot and sour soup for two. It comes in a bowl with enough for 4 at least. The whole fish Hunan style was spicy, crisp skinned and wonderfully moist and flaky. While the seafood is the star here, the other dishes are also very good. It can get crowded but it is worth a wait. The seafood is kept in tanks in the restaurant and is brought live to your table for approval before cooking. We have always had a wonderful meal there.

Edited by dinwiddie

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We used to go here a lot when Kay and I both worked in Rockville. Now it is overshadowed by Joe's or Greenfield (Caprinhia mmmmmmmmmm) on our infrequent trips to the city on the Pike.

I recall something served on a hot pot/flame contraption with tofu that was wonderfous as well as fresh in shell scallops that were superb. Sesame sauce noodles were also quite fine. Whole fish, lots of great shellfish, great place. I am not sure that it is any better or lesser than Hollywood East, which is about 20 minutes closer to home.

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I forgot about their pretty nice selection of cold dishes beyond just the cold noodles. While not in the class of Joe's or of A& J, it is noce to be able to have good cold dishes with a whole fish to follow.

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We haven't been to Seven Seas for a little while. I always ordered one of the whole fish dishes, and the server invariably pointed the head towards my (very squeamish) husband. This could be why I can't convince him to go back!

SS also had an addictive crispy duck. I was particularly fond of the baby conch in hot oil, which turned out to be whelk in hot oil. Guess they thought no one would order whelk?

Edited by perrik

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I stopped in for lunch on Friday, and ordered a small dim sum assortment. One of the four was a delicate turnip cake that was so delicious, I was tempted to order a plateful just of those. The texture was delicate, custard-like. And the flavor was sweet, earthy, salty. Just wonderful!

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FYI, the head of the fish faces the head of the table or the most honored guest at the table. Your husband should be flattered and not, um, grossed out. :lol:

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I went to 7 Seas a few weeks ago for an in-laws function and came away less than impressed. Too many of the offerings on the menu seemed to be the usual Chinese glop dishes like General Tso's Chicken, Orange Beef, Mu Shu Pork and so forth. Maybe I just ordered the wrong stuff.

Am I looking at the right menu? I have to go to another in-law event soon, and I'd like to order something more interesting-- though not quite as interesting as stewed pork intestine with duck's blood. :lol:

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I don't remember if there's a separate menu, but I have never ordered the americanized Cantonese cuisine, so I have no opinion as to whether they do those things well.

I stick mostly to seafood, especially whole fish, which is impeccably prepared. By the time we get a few small plates and a fish, that's enough for me and my wife.

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There are several menus, or at least there were. I remember a red one and a black one. More recently they added a sushi menu. And then a Thai menu. I don't recall having to ask for them. But the fact that they have four menus should tell you something about Seven Seas.

Stick with a few tried and true favorites and you can get out of there reasonably well fed. Especially stir-fried dungeness (sp?) crab, clams with black bean sauce, whole fish with garlic and scallions, and ginger chicken casserole.

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Am I looking at the right menu? I have to go to another in-law event soon, and I'd like to order something more interesting-- though not quite as interesting as stewed pork intestine with duck's blood. :lol:

They do indeed have different menus. I think the red menu is the menu with the unusual dishes. Stick with the fresh seafood as everyone else has already mentioned (especially the simplest whole fish preparations or shellfish dishes), ask for whatever vegetable is good that day (snow pea leaves, spinach, watercress, etc) and check out their competent version of "Three Cup Chicken". Oh and on a lark, why don't you order one small dish out of the ordinary. You might find that you actually like it!

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They usually put both menus out, but not always. I was at a dinner last month during the holiday's and I had to ask for the "other" menu. They probably try to size you up and if you look like the masses they just give you the Americanized menu instead of the more authentic menu.

We had a party of ten and not one compaint about the food or service and they were jumping that night.

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The secret to ordering at Seven Seas... if the dish is something you'd find at the local carryout "Chinese" place, skip it. Get the red menu, order a whole fish and some Manila clams, and you'll be happy.

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Eve Zibart- "Smooth Sailing at Rockville's Seven Seas."

The afternoon tea and taste sampler sounds interesting: "a form of midday dim sum that is one of the area's best bargains: two appetizers, two entree samplers, rice and your choice of tea and ice cream for $12.99."

I haven't been in ages, but this might be a stop for the Rockville Pike Lunch Club...

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I tried the afternoon tea and taste sampler for lunch (choice of small portions of two appetizers, two entrees, rice, pot of tea, ice cream). I had:

one roasted duck spring roll - came hot, with a couple of chunks of duck, pretty good

one vegetable dumpling - came drizzled with a strong soy dumpling sauce, standard dumpling

pork with chili? pepper - four lightly battered pieces of pork, nicely salted, a little greasy, with slices of sauteed pepper that looked like jalepeno, garlic

yushiang eggplant - pieces of eggplant with garlic sauce - sweet, thick sauce that had some savory flavor

standard bowl of rice

scoop of vanilla ice cream - they were out of mango sorbet

small pot of jasmine tea - they had a choice of teas

The food was fine to good. The best part was the variety in one meal. But $12.99, plus tax and tip, was high for what I'd normally spend for lunch, though I could see myself going back occasionally. I was worried about it being too much food, but it wasn't that large. It was one of the few times I've left a Chinese restaurant without a doggie bag, which I was glad about (sometimes I feel tied down by leftovers). :o

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Looks like alot of people are confused over the types of menus at Seven Seas. I'm a regular so I know their system quite well. :blink:

The black menus are lunch menus, together with a separate menu that lists specials, which, right now is their Afternoon Tea Sampler.

The red menus are their dinner menus - you can also order off the dinner menu for lunch, but you have to ask for it. The dinner menu usually comes with a separate wine listing and sushi menu.

On morning weekends, they offer dim sum. Again, you can most probably order some of the dimsum items on weekdays. At Seven Seas they are really flexible about practically eveything. The key is to ask.

;) My favorites are the Afternoon Tea, fresh fish prepared in any style, clam and ginger soup and the beef westlake soup. :P

Now they have a new dish called the Paper Hot Pot. The pot is actually made out of paper and sits on a wire mesh basket atop sternol fire. I thought it was a novel way to eat, and according to the owner, it's really popular in China at the moment because the paper also absorbs extra oil from the food (though it doesn't even have much oil in it to begin with). I was really amused that my friend, the electrical engineer, couldn't get over how the paper was withstanding direct heat from the fire. But it was different and we really enjoyed the mixed mushrooms and mixed seafood dish. :)

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Welcome aboard Artemizu! I hope you can join the "Rockville Pike Lunch Bunch" sometime in the near future.

Scott

Looks like alot of people are confused over the types of menus at Seven Seas. I'm a regular so I know their system quite well. :blink:

The black menus are lunch menus, together with a separate menu that lists specials, which, right now is their Afternoon Tea Sampler.

The red menus are their dinner menus - you can also order off the dinner menu for lunch, but you have to ask for it. The dinner menu usually comes with a separate wine listing and sushi menu.

On morning weekends, they offer dim sum. Again, you can most probably order some of the dimsum items on weekdays. At Seven Seas they are really flexible about practically eveything. The key is to ask.

;) My favorites are the Afternoon Tea, fresh fish prepared in any style, clam and ginger soup and the beef westlake soup. :P

Now they have a new dish called the Paper Hot Pot. The pot is actually made out of paper and sits on a wire mesh basket atop sternol fire. I thought it was a novel way to eat, and according to the owner, it's really popular in China at the moment because the paper also absorbs extra oil from the food (though it doesn't even have much oil in it to begin with). I was really amused that my friend, the electrical engineer, couldn't get over how the paper was withstanding direct heat from the fire. But it was different and we really enjoyed the mixed mushrooms and mixed seafood dish. :)

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Went to 7 Seas with the inlaws again, including the hellraiser Grandma Sid, and had some good stuff. The enormous braised pork butt is delicious as was the crispy tea leaf shrimp. I had two days worth of leftovers from the butt alone.

I may have to go back soon to try their special Mushroom Menu which had a number of intriguing sounding dishes.

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After driving by Bob's Shabu Shabu only to find it closed do to some building issue, we headed down the pike and tried 7 seas. We have not been there since the remodel which leaves the walls a deep, vibrant red and the place has a modern look. The live seafood tanks are no longer front and center so pciking out your dinner is a little harder.

We had a 4 item cold plate sampler:

conch in ma la chile oil- very nice, not too hot with only a hint of Sicuan peppercorn. Could have ate a large plate of this.

smoked fish in a soy based sauce with a nice level of sweetness. Superb. Chewy, tooth fish, good flavor and balance.

sweet & sour cabbage which was perfection. Crunchy, a fair amount of sweetness offset by rice vinegar. Really refreshing

shredded bean curd - a little bland, bean curd thinly shredded in a lot of sesame oil. Needed more spice.

manilla clam & ginger soup- one of the best renditions of this dish I have ever had. Only about 8 clams but enough to give the broth a nice clamyness but the star was the slivcered ginger which delivered a punch. As always, when done right, this is a superb dish! What could just be watery steamed clam turns into a wonderful taste treat.

Salt & pepper shrimp with the heads on. The cooking was fine. The coating crispy, it was served on a bed of scorched onion, garlic & jalapeno with slivers of cababge. The coating has just enough salt for good flavor and not enough that I feel dehydrated the morning after. But the shrimp themselves were a little blah and mealy so the dish was a miss, but an almost. I would like to see this preparation with a better central ingredient. We could have enjoyed a huge plate of the garlic, jalapeno, onion & cabbage on rice.

All in all, a great return to an old favorite. $43 including a hot sake. They have a good cold sake list as well.

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