With locations dotting California, Nevada, and China, Capital Seafood is a family-run restaurant chain with some well-respected dim sum, fresh seafood and traditional Chinese dishes. I’ve heard great things about their food for quite some time, but it wasn’t until we were invited out to their most recent location opening in Irvine, CA that I got to taste what everyone else was talking about.
Along with some of our core FOODBEAST team, and a round table of some of OC’s eclectic food blogging illuminati, we joined Capital Seafood’s James Tea, the managing partner of the brand, for a voiced-over 11-course meal that showed off the best of restaurant’s awesome menu.
Here’s a look at what we tried, in order of how it came out:
- Whole Winter Melon soup with assorted seafood (Fresh Whole winter melon, shrimp, scallops, squid, crabmeat, mushroom)
- Filet Mignon Satay Skewers (Filet Mignon Cubes, Lemongrass)
- Assorted Dim Sum Platter (Sui Mai, Vegetable Eggrolls, Shrimp w/sugar cane, crab wontons, chicken potstickers) butterfly shrimp
- Roasted Peking Duck (Fresh Duck, scallions, starch bun, hoisin sauce)
- House Special Lobster w/ E-mein noodles (Lobster, scallions, spices, jalepenos, garlic, fresh noodles)
- Capital’s Filet Mignon Cubes (Filet Mignon, butter, garlic, spices)
- Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimps (Shrimp, Honey glazed walnuts, honey dew, cantaloupe)
- House String Beans (String Beans, garlic, spices)
- Pan Seared SeaBass (Seabass steak, sweet soysauce dressing)
- Chef’s Fried Rice (Shrimp, scallops, squid, crabmeat, eggwhites, dried scallops, Japanese Seaweed)
- Almond Cream Souffle (Almond, Ginko Nuts, Water chestnut Diced)
James (above) was kind enough to spend the evening at our table, explaining what each dish was at it came out, making sure we knew the effort that went into the prep and quality of each ingredient and making sure we were…let’s face it, liquored up.
To the drinks’ credit, the reasonably priced signature cocktails were exquisite. Everything from the Asian Peartini (my personal favorite) to the C-Bar Martini, everything tasted great, and went down a bit too easily.
Seafood + Watermelon in a soup? I knew I was in for some interesting stuff for the evening, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get behind this particular dish. Sure enough, it was complex and delicious. The seafood melody with the sweetness of the melon really brought multiple levels to every sip of the soup. Game changer:
Roasted Peking Duck (pictured above, and in the two photos beneath this paragraph) is a definite winner. Imagine fresh duck, scallions, starch buns and hoisin sauce in every bite. There’s a bit of a sweet aftertaste, and the duck falls apart in your mouth. Everything works fabulously together, and there’s plenty of texture in the bun and the duck to help you enjoy this dish.
Let me jump in here. The picture above is the House Special Lobster, a fabulous dish made with lobster, scallions, spices, jalapenos, garlic and fresh noodles. Arguably one of the best dishes of the night, as well as my personal favorite, The Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimps, featuring shrimp, honey glazed walnuts, honey dew and cantaloupe (get all of them in one bite and you’re in for the treat of your life).
Did someone say Whiskey? Someone did. James was kind enough to bring out the Chivas for the table, and everyone proceeded to get extra toasty. For some reason the whiskey made the Almond Cream Souffle we had for dessert even tastier. The souffle was top-notch, a concoction of almonds, ginko nuts and diced water chestnuts. Winner:
Pictured below with James is Capital‘s executive chef Erik Soukaphay, the architect behind all the dishes we’ve shown here. He came out and had a drink with us before going back to his…architectural duties. Kudos on an awesome dinner:
85 Fortune Dr Suite #329, Irvine, CA 92618
Tel: (949) 788-9218
Photos by Marc Kharrat