Umamiventure #7 : Pacificana, Sunset Park

This past Sunday we intrepid Umami Marters made the trek to Sunset Park for an Umamiventure visit to famed Chinese joint Pacificana. Although Pacificana is best known for dim sum, we threw caution to the winds and reserved a table for dinner.

Waving aside the free (maybe? we weren’t sure…) soda awaiting us at our table, we ordered a bottle of wine and some frosty Tsing Taos and got down to the business of serious face-stuffing. $30 and about 10,000 calories later, we were a happy group.


Our first main dish and the undisputed hit of the evening was Peking duck (above), chopped up and served right at the table. While the pancakes served with the duck were thicker and fluffier than most of us were expecting, the overall package was fatty-salty-deeeelicious and well worth the longish trip on the N train.

Pacificana is (as its name implies) all about the food of the sea, and we put its substantial fish skills to the test. Two kinds of crab (“Hong Kong Style” and “Ginger and Scallion”) were both tasty and fun, requiring a sizable amount of upper body strength to get at the sweet sweet (and occasionally spicy) meat within. We also devoured a whole striped bass (the time lapse between the before and after photos below is about 5 minutes) and a number of shrimp dishes. Crispy baby bok choys and some “pea leaves” (which I’d never had before) were good, too, and made me feel a little bit less like I’d just consumed my weight in fried shellfish.



Was Pacificana good? Yes indeed. Was it as good as Chinatown stalwart Congee Village, where dinner never seems to cost more than $11, no matter how much you eat? That’s a toss-up. The specter of Congee Village was certainly raised during dinner (as is pretty much inevitable whenever you’re discussing New York Chinese Food That Is Totally Awesome), but we never did reach a verdict on whether Pacificana’s substantial charms were really worth the higher pricetag. Either way, the trip was worth it—as head Umami Marter Kayoko’s fortune cookie wisely noted “a gathering of friends brings you lots of luck this evening.”


Pacificana Restaurant
813 55th St @ 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 871-2880

Past trips include:
Jackson Diner – 01/08
WINTERMARKET – 12/07
Sripraphai Restaurant – 11/07
Taste of Jackson Heights – 10/07
Red Hook Ball Fields – 06/07
Ocean Jewel Restaurant – 06/07

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6 Responses to “Umamiventure #7 : Pacificana, Sunset Park”

  1. kayoko Says:

    great post Elly! i totally agree on all points- the food was good, but didn’t blow anyone out of the water. definitely on the pricier side. the crab in the ginger and scallion sauce was my fave. in terms of value, Congee Village takes the cake. but it was truly fun- a wonderful gathering of friends for sure. and how often does one make it down to Brooklyn Chinatown?

  2. kayoko Says:

    great post Elly! i totally agree on all points- the food was good, but didn’t blow anyone out of the water. definitely on the pricier side. the crab in the ginger and scallion sauce was my fave. in terms of value, Congee Village takes the cake. but it was truly fun- a wonderful gathering of friends for sure. and how often does one make it down to Brooklyn Chinatown?

  3. Sonja Says:

    Omg I totally forgot to go what is wrong with me!

  4. Sonja Says:

    Omg I totally forgot to go what is wrong with me!

  5. kayoko Says:

    girl, we missed you!!! next time, for sure.

  6. kayoko Says:

    girl, we missed you!!! next time, for sure.

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