I'm the foodie in the family, but my wife gamely accompanied me to Jeng Chi today. I am not very experienced at authentic Asian, but I've had a lot of duck lately (FCB and Joy Luck on Coit) and I love Sichuanese across the street from Joy Luck.
We sampled wonton soup and dumplings. The soup was great. I ordered dumplings boiled with pork, shrimp, and leeks. That was a little bit adventurous as there were definitely some strange flavors at different stages in the chewing. Slightly fishy finish, but the taste my wife called "cleaning fluid" occured somewhere in the middle. I will go back for these, but I would like to hear recommendations on cooking methods and ingredients.
Two entrees were Beef/cumin sauce and chicken/garlic bean sauce. The chicken was spicy and tasty, but I wasn't excited about the shape or texture. The unidentified rubbery things (mushrooms?) in with the chicken were really good. I've only had bean sauce once before and DW never. She chop-sticked her way through about half the chicken, not asking for a fork even when a nearby diner had one delivered.
I love the lamb w/cumin at Sichuanese, but this beef dish was even stronger with the spice and especially the grease. I loved it, but the rice was needed just to calm the cumin down a bit.
We left there and decided we had room for dessert somewhere else and wandered into May's Ice Cream. Not too ice-creamy in there! If I had done my homework before we went, I would have known what to expect at May's, and I certainly wouldn't have taken DW in there. She's squeamish. What I now know is "stinky tofu" was disagreeable to me and overwhelming to her. She turned green and whispered to me that she had to get out- NOW. I managed to do a fast recon on the buffet, but the place was packed and I didn't see any ice cream buckets. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to eat shaved ice, or anything else, in this authentic Taiwanese place, but my curiosity about adding beans to shaved ice is piqued. Is there another place in the area with this treatment? TCs?
We laughed and went to Afrah's for gelato where DW ordered TWO scoops of the peach flavor before announcing that it tasted like "a jolly rancher" and not finishing it. It did taste like candy. I think we were expecting more of a natural peach "Blue Bell" experience.
Fortunatley, I always get coffee flavor gelato and know exactly what I'm getting. I did sample the Arabic cream and will probably try that next time to see if I can identify those flavors.
Thanks to this board for helping us find this great neighborhood. We'll make that drive again to see if we can get the good stuff on our table. I hate when I'm out of my element and you look around the restaurant and realize that your dishes are not what the regulars are ordering.