starfish seafood linguine express set beijing china

Starfish: Shell out for lunch, plus a shucking good oyster lineup

starfish soup salad fruit express set beijing china
You’ll feel healthier after eating the soup, salad and fruit combo.

Starfish started two lunch deals in January. One is the “express set, costs rmb58 and includes a small soup, salad, fruit and a main. The other is the “chef’s set, costs rmb118 and includes an appetizer, main and dessert, with a choice of three for each. The deal runs Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 AM to 2 PM, and I stopped by just before Chinese New Year to “express” myself.

Before I get to that, an oyster update: Starfish covers a good swath of North America with its new lineup. The place has Kumamotos, Yaquina Bays and Olympias from Oregon, Standish Shores, Marionports and Onsets from Massachusetts, Moonstones from Rhode Island and Salutation Coves from Prince Edward Island. Plus, in a cross-ocean nod, a bunch of Gillardeau #2 from some place called France. To guarantee stocks, check ahead at 6416-5499 or info (at) starfishbeijing.com.

Back to lunch. The soup, salad and fruit arrived simultaneously and were fine. Fresh, healthy, the kind of stuff that should do a body good even if making it scream for calories. Nothing to write home about or even inspire an SMS. Etc. But what made this lunch something to type a post about was the seafood linguine. This dish arrived loaded with five kinds of seafood — salmon, halibut, clams, mussels, shrimp — a tiny fish market on a plate. Pretty much worth the price of lunch alone.

Good stuff and an experience made better by the efficient and polite staff. I will be back to try more dishes. But one weird thing about Starfish is how eerily quiet it is. On every visit, the music has been barely audible. Is this to emphasize the sound of the oyster tanks? Or because Starfish has the most noise-sensitive neighbors of all-time? Or because the vibrations from even moderately loud jazz have been known to make Yaquina Bay oysters explode? Someone get to the bottom of this!

starfish seafood linguine express set beijing china
Five kinds of seafood. A starfish has five arms. Coincidence?

See also: