On Southeast Division Street, beyond the college-extension program and the Taboo porn store, lies Portland’s truest home of Cantonese cuisine. Wong’s King advertises the freshness of its seafood in a mosaic of expensive bubbling green tanks built into the restaurant’s walls, but the real extravagance is to be found not in the Spartan decor, but in the depth and breadth of the menu. Avoid the slightly off takes on spicy Szechuan entrees in favor of the more layered, rich tastes of the seafood or poultry dishes that consistently rank from good to stellar. The salt-and-pepper entrees are uniformly excellent, and the barbecue pops with flavor, not oil. Take your lobster fresh in broth. And don’t neglect to stop by (before noon, if you’re smart) for the clattering carts of dumplings, rolls and salted squids at dim sum. When you do, say no to each item before you say yes, in order to survey the field—as if you were a beautiful woman and the entire world your suitor.
IDEAL MEAL: Order one of the super-fresh vegetable dishes, to taste, alongside Lobster Supreme Broth and barbecue chicken or salt-and-pepper squid.