Last year I tried a couple of dishes I’d never even heard of (and once upon a time would have been completely turned off by). Despite their descriptions, I decided to give Loco Moco* and Spam Musubi** a try — traditional Hawaiian dishes served by Ono Grindz at Asian Food Fest at Washington Park. It was that fateful May in 2016 when I fell in love with both, and have since been on a journey to try them wherever I can around Cincinnati.
In addition to Ono Grindz, I’ve been fortunate to have tried Spam Musubi (which is a bit harder to find) at Quán Hapa, while Loco Moco has proven to be a little more popular and a dish I’ve had from Quán Hapa, E+O Kitchen, and now Pacific Kitchen, an Asian restaurant in Montgomery serving up dim sum and fusion (flavors from the Pacific Rim, including Indonesia, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Korea, Tongo, and the Philippines) by Chef Michael Ly.
Pacific Kitchen is located on Market Place, a bit off the beaten path more commonly known as Montgomery Road. I’d been wanting to check it out for months but unfortunately don’t make it up that way very often. It was when we made the trip to check out March First Brewing and The Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati, we decided to make a night of it. When we arrived around 9pm on a Friday, there were plenty of open seats in the large restaurant.
To start, we got the Siu Mei, steamed shrimp dumplings similar to shumai we’ve had a number of other restaurants around town. I’d known for months what I was getting, but after perusing the enormous menu (there were three pages of appetizers and seven pages of entrees), BK ultimately decided on the Pacific Pork Belly Sliders, a build-your-own pork belly bun dish. Like the menu, our meals were huge.
The menu items weren’t cheap, but we got a lot of food for our money, so at least there’s that. Service was good, too, I really liked the atmosphere, and there was plenty of parking to boot. Looking for a good, different Asian meal for a special occasion in the Montgomery area? Check out Pacific Kitchen.
8300 Market Place Lane
Montgomery, Ohio 45242
Saturday, 11am–10:30pm (dim sum, 11am–3pm)
Sunday, 11am–9:30pm (dim sum, 11am–3pm)
Grab dinner before seeing a comedian at Go Bananas Comedy Club, also located in Market Place off Montgomery Road.
*Traditional loco moco consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy, though there are many variations ranging from street food to more gourmet options.
**Popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii composed of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese omusubi.
Featured image: detail of Loco Moco, including white rice, two steak patties, two eggs, Spam, and Rey’s [Maualuga] special brown gravy.