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On Chinatown's fringes, a mystery meal


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On Chinatown's fringes, a mystery meal

Brian S | | Oct 16, 2006 02:33 AM

On the gritty eastern fringe of Chinatown, I found a restaurant with no English menu at all, but the Chinese menu had literally hundreds of dishes I've never seen. It looks like the humblest soup shop, with a few rickety tables and a wobbly stools. Concealed in back, an elegant dining room. I went in and ate in the soup shop. The owner seemed nervous to see me, but when she saw I could read a few Chinese words, she became very helpful, even showing me raw ingredients of dishes I asked about.

I ordered something with the same characters as one of my favorite casseroles. Imagine my surprise when out came a pizza! Oh it wasn't a pizza, but that's exactly what it looked like and for a while it fooled me. Then I realized that what looked like dough was really egg and I thought it was an omelet. But it wasn't. The egg was only a decorative fringe. The rest was a flat disc made of celery, chives and baby oysters bound together with a viscous slime so thick you had to cut it with a knife. That doesn't sound delicious, but it was. I'll be back. Lots of stuff on the menu I'm eager to try. I saw two dishes with pig intestines, two with goose intestines, six with frog. I don't even know if it's Cantonese or Fujianese. (I'd guess the latter.) Who knows what I'll get next?!?

Good Good Taste
13A Market Street