Friday, December 23, 2011

Warm Wishes to Our Dear Friends and Customers for the Holidays

glitter graphics

Come and join us for lunch or dinner if you want something different for your holiday meal. Reservations recommended.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prix Fixe Year of the Dragon Menu/$20 per person

2012 Year of Dragon Special Prix Fixe Menu
$20.00/per person
not including tax and gratuity

A great way to sample a variety of our signature dishes at a fixed price. Suitable for small parties who like to share entrees at a meal. Check out the menu after the jump!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Results of Past Polls

November Poll Results 
Blog Poll Results: Should Coffee Be Served in a Chinese Restaurant?

Yes (42%)
No (57%)


October Poll Results
Should there be dining time limits in a busy restaurant?
Yes, some people take too long with their meals without consideration for others. (33%)
No, I'm a paying customer and I should not be pressured to eat quickly. (66%)


July Poll Results
Will calorie labels in restaurant menus change your food choices when you eat out?
Yes (32%)
No (56%)
Maybe (12%)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dish of the Month - REAL Vegetables

It doesn't matter that Congress has declared pizza as a vegetable for school lunches, if it has two tablespoons of ketchup spread over a slice.

Obviously, ketchup is NOT a vegetable. It's a condiment that's high in sodium and the bulk of its calories come from sugar. There's no doubt that we all enjoy having it on our food, but this decision is still shocking and outrageous. It compromises the nutritional standards for our children and is a slap in the face for the fight against obesity.

As local business, what we can do is remind our customers and readers that it's ever more important to ensure that your own children are eating right, even if others who should, do not. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Should Chinese Restaurants Serve Coffee?

Have you ever been in a Chinese restaurant and longed for a cup of coffee? This paragraph in a business article gave some food for thought:
Tempest in a Teacup
Even though it is more common today than it once was, many Chinese restaurants still stick to the tradition of refusing to serve coffee and, similarly, rebuffing requests to add milk to a cup of tea.
The reason is cultural in two respects. First, tea plays such an important part in Chinese culture that it is a staple of every meal, and tinkering with tradition is a no-no.
According to ESL Monkeys, an online guide for language teachers, there also isn't much after-meal chitchat in Chinese culture, something Americans do by unwinding with a cup of coffee.
"Once the meal is over, you will notice that all the guests will leave promptly," the site advises those teaching English abroad. "This is contrary to the western custom of lingering over a cup of coffee. In fact, most Chinese restaurants will not even serve coffee, so be on your way!"
This needs some clarification. First of al, the article is WRONG about the Chinese not being social after a meal. We LOVE to sit and chat for ages (hours if possible) amidst a pile of empty dishes and glasses on the table. It's just not a practical thing for anyone to do if they're pressed for time during a work week.

Secondly, yes, it's a cultural thing that the Chinese drink tea at a meal but not because they're so rigid that coffee is an absolute "no-no." It's because tea is great as a palate cleanser. Family-style dinners, where a group orders 5-6 or more dishes and share the food, are the norm in practically all meals. To differentiate between the tastes of each dish, we drink tea in between bites or dishes. Coffee has a distinctive and strong flavor which does not work to reset one's tastebuds. So it's not that the Chinese don't like coffee, it's just that by the time they're done with six or more dishes, the desire for coffee is probably the furthest thing from a diner's mind.

Let us know: Should coffee be served in Chinese restaurants?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are open during throughout the week, so give yourself a break from all the cooking. Head over and join us for post-Thanksgiving meals that don't have any turkey in sight! Also, safe travels to those of you heading out of town!

Monday, November 21, 2011

WGA Highlights: Seafood Banquet

The response for our seafood banquet has been wonderful - we've had to organize it three times now. Take a look below at some of the dishes served. You can also check out the whole menu here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dish of the Month - Pan Fried Turnip Cake

Also known as lo bo gau, this is a favorite dim sum dish for many. It's made primarily from shredded radish and rice flour, but often added are dried shrimp, Chinese ham and other vegetables like carrots or onions. This results in a nice, savory flavor, and the contrast between the soft, smooth interior and crispy outside layer makes for one great bite after another.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Home Run 10k, 5k Race on October 16 hosted by Hebrew Home of Greater Washington

Seven Seas will be participating in this fun event by providing post-race food for everyone. Take part in a charity event while spending a fun day out with the family.
Who: The Home Run race benefits residents of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, a Charles E. Smith Life Community.
What: Registration and packet pick-up begin at 7 a.m. at the starting area. Race day registration is $40. Participants will receive a t-shirt. There will be prizes, post-race refreshments and family fun!

When: October 16, 2011. 10k starts at 8:30 a.m., 5k starts at 8:45 a.m. and fun run at 8:55 a.m.

Where: Race will start from the area behind Federal Plaza, right by where Seven Seas is located.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dish of the Month - Oyster Omelet

Hugely popular in Taiwan as a street food item, the oyster omelet is filled with small oysters and thickened with potato starch. We add bok choy to ours and top it with ketchup for an added twist. The regular price is $18.95, but we often have a half-off special, so keep an eye out for that!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fruit Carving By Chef Li

Chef Li is our go-to guy whenever a client wants food art carved from fruit. A native of Taiwan, Chef Li trained in Taipei before coming to the United States to start his career as a chef. Before joining us, he worked at the Twin Oaks estate in Washington D.C., which is the home of the Taiwanese Representative to the U.S. When not cooking or carving animals out of fruit or vegetables, Chef Li makes a mean bread pudding and to-die-for blueberry jelly dessert.

Contact us if you're interested in more information on Chef Li's carved fruit platters!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Look Inside in Our Kitchen

All of our crucial ingredients are fresh, shipped by local suppliers from farms across North America. These scallions, or green onions arrived this morning and are being prepped by our good man, Consarlo (See later pictures in this post.) They're the same ones that will be used as garnish for your wonton soup and whole fish braised with garlic sauce.

It's easy to clean and prepare stalks of scallions.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

NYC Restaurants Paving the Way for Time-Limit Rules on Diners?

On the MSN online column Bites Today, the columnist posed this question:  

"What's more annoying at a restaurant, waiting desperately for a table as diners take their sweet time finishing up, or missing out on your last bite as hurried waiters yank away your plate?"

Apparently NYC diners prefer the latter. Time limits on dining is making headway in NYC restaurants, even in the most upscale ones. The New York Post reports:

"Table time limits — whether openly acknowledged or gingerly hinted at — are becoming de rigueur for popular eateries packed with voracious eaters vying for seats. But what’s shocking foodies all over town is that 60 percent of diners now support such time limits during peak hours, according to a nationwide poll by Zagat."

What do you think of time limits on dining? Will this trend be likely to take hold in D.C.?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guess the Fish

We had a special shipment of seasonal fish last week and they got snapped up within days. Hopefully, we'll soon be getting more of these delicious fish again.

In the meantime, take a look at the pictures of our shipment! Can you guess the types of fish? Answers are at the end of this post.

1. Saltwater. White flesh, dry and delicate. Lives along the bottom around rocks or other bottom features. Best grilled, baked or in fish chowder.

2. Saltwater. Firm, tasty white flesh. Notorious bait stealer. Best as boneless, skinless fillets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Off to Williamsport for Little League again...

Seven Seas once again provided food to the hungry Little Leaguers of Taiwan after their match against the Canadian team. Although they didn't advance beyond the preliminaries, the team was in good spirits and proud to represent Taiwan. Better luck next year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recommendations for a Great Chinese Meal

Every now and then, we all have trouble deciding on what to order in a restaurant. Edward Shen, Seven Seas' owner provides suggestions for a family-style meal in this clip from a half-hour documentary on Chinese cuisine. The episode is part of a series called "Beltway Bistros," written and produced by George Ramick.

View the full video:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Join Us for a Wu Xing Dinner

Seven Seas Restaurant requests the pleasure of your company at our exclusive dinner banquet. The ancient Wu-Xing mantra and Chinese health techniques will be emphasized through a gourmet feast in an elegant banquet atmosphere.

August 11, 2011 at 6:00 PM
$35.00 per person, includes 13 courses

The Wu Xing theory involves elements found in nature. Chinese cuisine relates to Wu Xing elements through the colors that each element represents. Certain colored foods are beneficial to designated organs in the body.

You can derive benefits from five colors - red, yellow, green, purple/black and white - with a daily consumption of fruits and veggies For this reason, they are important components of the Wu Xing (literally translates to Five Elements) diet. To achieve balance in the body, each color component must be represented in a meal.

Enjoy a slideshow of the dishes that will be served:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peking Duck: The No. 5 Best Food in the World

Delicious and juicy Seven Seas' Peking duck. Served with shredded green onions, pancakes and home made hoisin sauce.
CNNGo recently released a list of top 50 best foods in the world. We're ecstatic that the Peking duck made it to the No. 5 position! Other Chinese delicacies that made the cut are egg tarts at No. 16, stinky tofu at No. 41 and chicken rice at No. 45.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Dessert with Many Names

In this sweltering heat, what can you do with a large block of ice?

Make snow cones of course!

At Seven Seas, we prefer shaved ice dessert. While snow cones consist of crushed ice, a shaved ice dessert has a finer, snow-like texture. This helps to absorb the sweet flavorings like brown sugar syrup and condensed milk. A well-made shaved ice dessert should melt upon contact with the tongue almost instantly.

Toppings like grass jelly, sweetened red beans, mung beans or fruit are added to give some variety to the texture of the dessert. In Taiwan, some vendors add ingredients like green tea, chocolate, strawberry or milk before freezing the ice.

This dessert is highly popular all over the world. Many countries have their own version of a shaved ice dessert. In Mandarin, it's known as Bao Bing (Pronounced bow-bing.) Locals in the Philippines call it halo-halo, whilst in Mexico, it's called raspado. For a list of shaved ice names in other languages, see the end of this post.

In the pictures below, Seven Seas' server Vicki shows us how she prepares Fruit Bao Bing, an item from our brand new shaved ice dessert menu.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Food News

Restaurant calorie labels aren't changing diner's eating habits.Federal regulators are finalizing plans to require chain restaurants to carry calorie labeling on their menus. This is part of a national effort to to fight obesity by guiding diners to make healthier eating options. However, a new study shows that the labels are not changing people's dining out habits. Researchers theorize that dining out is seen as a treat, which is why people choose to ignore nutrition in favor of their comfort foods.
What do you think of calorie labels in restaurant menus?

Flooding dampens Mississippi oyster season.
An article in the Washington Post reported that due to the flooding of the Mississippi river, the state's oyster season is in doubt. Oysters are dying because freshwater from the river is threatening the oysters' saltwater habitat. State officials suggest that canceling or restricting the October to April harvest will give the oysters a chance to recover.
Although we love to eat oysters and all types of seafood, sometimes it's crucial to be aware of news about our food sources. By making informed choices, we can help to prevent future problems with our seafood supplies.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is Underground Dining?

Designer cupcake boutiques. Food trucks. Korean tacos. Pop-up restaurants. These are some of the food trends that have swept the D.C. Metro area in recent years.

But here's one trend you probably don't hear of very often - underground dining.

These underground restaurants, or supper clubs operate in the home of the chef’s kitchen, or even in offbeat spaces like museums, parking lots or alleyways for larger groups. For discerning diners who are constantly in search of something new, this type of dining could be exciting and rewarding. Chefs are often inspired to host these underground dining events to introduce guests to experimental dishes that use exotic ingredients, or perhaps present an age-old family recipe in a more private setting. While you still pay for your meal (like contributing to your share of the cost at a potluck), you get the bonus of a dinner party setting with like-minded foodies.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kitchen Experiments

Experimenting with ingredients outside the world of Chinese cuisine can sometimes be eye-opening. Whatever the outcome, it's all in the spirit of trying something new.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We Love Taiwanese Food

Dishes served at the latest Washingtonian Gourmet Association meeting:

Edward tells the crowd about Taiwanese food.

Fried squid balls.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Recipe for Sizzling Mussels

The summer time is all about sun, sand and outdoor fun, but what we at Seven Seas love best about the summer is the abundance of sea catch. We will be bringing a variety of fish and other types of seafood to our tanks soon, so keep an eye out!

Meanwhile, here's a recipe for you to try at home!

Sizzling Mussels Recipe

Sizzling Mussel
   12 - 16 Mussels
   1/2 Cup Basil

   1 T. Cooking Wine
   1 T. Mashed Garlic
   1 T. Mashed Ginger
   2 T. Butter

18"x18" Aluminum Foil (one sheet)
A set of Iron Plate and Wood Tray

You can also use a cast iron skillet, but make sure to add some water to the skillet to avoid damaging it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jumbo Soft-Shell Crab, Tilapia and Cobia Fish

Hey everyone! Fresh, jumbo softshell crab JUST landed on our premises. Special-$18.95 for 3 pieces. Only from Monday to Wednesday, hurry over!

A new shipment of live tilapia from our local Virginia fish farm supplier is also in:

You should also try the cobia fish, a delicious white fish and personal favorite of Seven Seas' owners:

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Blog and Cobia Fish

It's a pleasure to introduce the personal blog of Corinna Shen, co-owner of Seven Seas Restaurant. In her blog, "Wok with Corinna," Corinna talks about Seven Seas news and introduces the latest dishes that she and her husband, Edward are working on. As founder of the Washingtonian Gourmet Association, a new social-foodie group, she will also discuss topics covered in meetings and provide a forum for people to ask questions and share ideas.

Here is one of her recent posts about cobia fish:

"The first time I ever tried "Cobia" fish (海鱺魚) was in 1994 at the International Boston Seafood Show. A native Taiwan seafood company was distributing sashimi Cobia pieces.
Edward (my husband) and I both were surprised at the taste and quality of the fish. I still remember the sweet taste of Cobia fish then.

Not until March this year Seven Seas started to carry live Cobia fish from Virginia Cobia Farms. I was surprised again because the Cobia in Seven Seas tank was 40 pounds smaller than the frozen Cobia fish in Boston. The version of the steamed live Cobia was amazingly delicious with its firm texture and excellent flavor. I was convinced that I want to promote the awareness of this Cobia fish.

Read the rest of her post on her blog.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekly Specials at Seven Seas

Steamed flounder with ginger and scallions washed down with some premium sake sounds like a great meal, mmm...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Food Blogger Marie Nguyen Likes Our Food!

We recently hosted Marie Nguyen, food blogger of LunchingInTheDMV for a leisurely afternoon meal. Marie and her boyfriend visited us before this luncheon, and even back then she had some very kinds words to say about us.

On this second visit, here's what she had to say:

As much food as their was, I didn't feel gross afterwards. The food is high quality, not heavy and all tasted unique. I learned a lot about Chinese culture, what authentic means via a "heart ruler" (how a dish measures up to your childhood memories of your mom's cooking), was introduced to the rarely seen Taiwanese fish Cobia, and just little things about how a restaurant is run. Thanks again to the Seven Seas family!

Thanks Marie! We had a nice time lunching with you. Come back soon!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Washingtonian Gourmet Association at Seven Seas Restaurant

King oysters, woodears, shiitakes, enoki and beech. If you're a fan of gourmet mushrooms, you'd be familiar with those names.

Last Monday marked the first ever gathering of the Washingtonian Gourmet Association (WGA) at Seven Seas Restaurant. Approximately 20 people gathered to hear Seven Seas' owner Edward Shen discuss the nutritional value of locally farmed mushrooms. He also demonstrated how to use them in every day cooking. Guests were then treated to a seven-course sampling of mushroom dishes cooked in a variety of styles.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spare a Thought to the Natural Disaster Victims in Japan

As the Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off, let us be enamored by the beauty of these transient flower trees that were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo as a symbol of friendship in 1912.

Let us also remember that gesture of friendship and send prayers, donations or words of support for a speedy recovery and well-being of everyone affected.

Donations can be made to:

American Red Cross or text the letters REDCROSS to 90999 to make the $10 donation.

International Medical Corps or text MED to 80888 to donate $10 to relief efforts.

Save the Children or text “JAPAN” or “TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10.

Doctors without Borders To donate, call 1-888-392-0392.

Mercy Corps or text “MERCY” to 25383 to donate $10.

Salvation Army or text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dish of the Month - Triple Delight Noodle Soup

Another one of our popular items from the noodle soup menu. Flank steak, locally sourced chicken and jumbo prawns with vegetables and yellow noodles in a flavorful dark broth. It's already delicious as it is, but you can add some chilli paste for an extra kick. Yum!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thanksgiving in February

Seven Seas is participating in a charity program called Thanksgiving in February to help aid hunger relief in Montgomery County. We are donating 10 percent of our Tuesday, February 22 sales to this cause. Come and help raise those funds by dining with us! Click on the banner below to find out more information on this program.

Thanksgiving in February
Proceeds will benefit the following local charities:
Bethesda Cares
Bethesda HELP
Community Vision
Damascus HELP
Gaithersburg HELP
Germantown HELP
Interfaith Works
Manna Food Center
Olney HELP
Rockville HELP
Shepherd's Table

Did you know?
  • In Montgomery County, nearly 25% of residents are at-risk for hunger because of the high cost of housing, health care, utilities and other necessities.
  • 29% of homeless people in Montgomery County are children.
  • Almost 1/4 of all homeless people have jobs, but don't have enough money for a place to live.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seven Seas' Corinna Shen on the Kojo Nnamdi Show WAMU 88.5 FM

Seven Seas' co-owner Corinna Shen was on the Kojo Nnamdi show this afternoon! Together with Kojo and DC food critic Todd Kliman, Corinna discussed Chinese food, culture and the ongoing Year of the Rabbit celebrations. Listen to Corinna on the Kojo show online!

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 Menus

We've got some special group menu offerings for the Chinese new year celebrations this weekend. Check it out!

If you prefer not to share, we've also got a set menu for an individual meal. For $18.95, you get:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Always Searching for New Ideas

Taiwan held its' first ever Gourmet Taiwan International Conference in December 2010. The conference brought 200 participants together to exchange food innovation and business ideas. Our husband-and-wife Seven Seas management team attended the event. They're looking forward to using ideas they learned from for the upcoming Chinese New Year party at the governor's mansion in February.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chinese New Year is on February 3, 2011

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. Rabbits are people born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and of course, 2011.

Rabbits are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at doing business. Being conscientious, never back out of a contract.

What are you doing for Chinese New Year? We have party menus that will be posted soon!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thank You for Your Support!

Dear Friends,

Wishing you every happiness and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being our customer. As a token of our appreciation, here's a $5 coupon to use at Seven Seas the next time you visit us.

All the best to you and your family!

Seven Seas Restaurant Staff