Restaurant Review: Aberdeen

Seafood specialties reign at this dim sum destination



Chinese Comfort Food

Seafood specialties reign at this dim sum destination

 

When someone mentioned checking out Aberdeen, I assumed it was a steakhouse. When I called for a reservation and the voice on the phone had a French accent as thick as pot a feu, I thought, “A French steakhouse.” So I was taken aback when I arrived in Harrison to find a Chinese restaurant specializing in dim sum and seafood, until I remembered that Aberdeen is the name of one of the most famous restaurants in Hong Kong, a multi-storied barge anchored in Hong Kong harbor.

 

The Westchester version is a grand place, though, like the original Aberdeen, a little worn around the edges—and perhaps not the most elegant restaurant. The décor is pretty much what you’d expect in a traditional Chinese restaurant: crisp tablecloths, some Chinese art on the wall, every waitperson in starched uniform. A nice touch is the elegantly presented chopsticks that look like ivory. Classy? Yes. Yet when we ordered a lobster special, the crustacean was presented in a Tupperware plastic bucket (to prove it had just been plucked from a tank and was alive and kicking), not some elegant tureen. Still, it returned from the kitchen arranged like a Martha Stewart photo on a bed of Chinese noodles, the shells cracked so the meat could be had easily, flavored with lots of fresh cilantro.

 

Aberdeen specializes in dim sum and seafood, and the dumplings are exceptional—pork, shrimp and vegetables in diaphanous, multi-colored pastries with a single red-hot dipping sauce.

While the restaurant focuses on Cantonese dishes, it does offer Szechuan and Hunan specialties. However, the Szechuan shrimp, which though quite good, was too mildly spiced. Another excellent Aberdeen specialty is Dungeness crab, offered with noodles and garlic. And there’s a Caribbean touch, sliced conch like you’d get in the Bahamas.

 

That’s where I find Aberdeen a little contradictory. Here are Dungeness crab from the American northwest, Maine lobster and Bahamian conch, but none of the other adventurous “new” fishes found on trendy restaurant menus such as Chilean sea bass or Arctic char. Instead, Aberdeen sticks largely to old standbys like sea bass, which tend all too often to be farm raised.

 

Still Aberdeen offers a standard of cuisine well above what you’d expect from a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, but at reasonable prices so it’s a bargain. There’s hardly a dish on the menu over $21.95.  So what if it’s not as adventurous as the new crop?  Chinese comfort food may be what the clientele wants, and Aberdeen was packed every time I visited.

 

ABERDEEN

3 Barker Ave, White Plains

(914) 288-0188

 

HOURS:  

Lunch, daily 11 am-3 pm

Dinner, daily 3-10 pm

 

PRICES:

Appetizers: $2.50-$12.95

Entrees: $9.95-$21.95

Desserts: $3.50