Read full review
2010-01-05 477 views
Was invited to a birthday dinner of a family friend who has been a "historic" customer with this restaurant. This is my second visit, and the dishes that I had are mostly different.雜錦冷盤: The presentation is worth mentioning - all ingredients were finely sliced and laid out like a fan (as you can see). I especially enjoyed the beef shank which was not too tender. Dig to the bottom of the center and find hidden treasures of marinated silken tofu, pig tongue, and pig intestines. We ordered this las
雜錦冷盤: The presentation is worth mentioning - all ingredients were finely sliced and laid out like a fan (as you can see). I especially enjoyed the beef shank which was not too tender. Dig to the bottom of the center and find hidden treasures of marinated silken tofu, pig tongue, and pig intestines. We ordered this last time as well. A refreshing start to a Pekingnese meal, like a "Chinese salad"!
Sheep stomach: Surprisingly not too overwhelmingly "sheep" tasting, extremely tender, and a nutritional collagen rich bonus! Chives and garlic helped to ward off the otherwise pungent sheep taste. The boiling process and time it took to cook resulted in a mild, almost sweet-tasting broth.
窩燒肘子: roasted pork belly: Fresh and crisp skin, just-charred giving a slight smoky flavor. Caution for cholesterol/fat overload! Inner flesh was a lot like beef brisket - fluffs, and not greasy. Cooked in its own meat, the pork was just slightly salted and not marinated.
Kung pao shrimp: I enjoyed it because I love shrimp. But nothing especially worth mentioning. Battered and deep fried. Not spicy, unlike the usual "kung pao" one would expect. But shrimps were fresh. Although the color looks promisingly vibrant, I thought it was neither sweet nor sour enough. Sauce could have been thicker.
雞鍋翅 Chicken and shark's fin in casserole: practically boiled whole chicken and lots of shark's fin. The soup tasted very mild; there was A LOT of shark's fin though. it was the non-sticky kind that separates like a brush.
Baked buns for dipping into shark's fin soup: quite special and a rare find, because most Chinese buns are steamed. I think baking and earthen ovens are used more extensively in northern cuisines (including pekingnese) - the bread was not yeasted, which makes it quite dense, but I really enjoyed the outer baked, slightly crunchy layer.
Peking duck: Meat was succulent, not too greasy. Paper-thin wrap served with cucumbers, leeks, and sweet bean-based sauce.
鐵皮魚時魚: "Reeves shad" in english: apparently quite a rare breed, related to herring, the shad originates from somewhere in China and is now "on the verge of extinction" due to recent depletion; it seems have no negative impact on Spring Deer however, being easily available at a price. The fish was huge, about 15 inches long (I'm guessing), and the juice it was cooked in went well with the flesh and the overall taste of it. It had a lot of fine, prickly bones though. The most flavorful and juiciest parts to eat were the belly, and the back - aim for the top and bottom. Even though the fish head didn't look very luscious, I am fond of eating fish heads (especially steamed Chinese garoupa) and therefore had it - it only proved my guess correct. Trust me, go for the belly.
炸醬麵: thick hand-pulled noodles with ground meat (pork?) sauce, wok-fried with julienned cucumbers and chives. Sauce was quite dry and lacked flavor, but the noodles itself was hearty, albeit a bit greasy, a bit like "Shanghai fried thick noodles"
火腿 braised with napa cabbage (jun bark), broccoli and bok choy: I like broccoli, but found it a bit strange as I don't think it's frequently used in Pekingese cuisine. It wasn't overcooked too, so it had a nice crunch and retained its nutritional value! The ham was quite lean and a bit salty.
豆沙包: Not worth mentioning. A bit disappointing as well. The bean paste filling somehow tasted suspiciously like jujube! Or maybe I'm just biased as jujube is used quite often in Pekingnese cuisine. The bean paste was quite sweet as well. I have had fried egg white puffs "goh lik dou sah" here before and definitely would prefer that over these 豆沙包.
Black sesame tong yuen in almond paste: Tong yuen was fine (what do you expect), but I thought the almond paste and tong yuen combination makes the dessert a bit over the top! The paste was very thick but didn't taste sweet, so it was a bit gross to think I was drinking cornstarch-water.
Overall a pleasant dinner, and while the food lacks "elegance", and there is certainly room for improvement in little hiccups, I would recommend this restaurant especially for "real" Pekingnese cuisine. Service is always quick in this bustling cramped restaurant, and make sure you make reservations if you are desperate to eat there - its reasonable prices translates to high popularity and frequent business.