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Chow in SF Chinatown: Gold Mountain

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Chow in SF Chinatown: Gold Mountain

Melanie Wong | Oct 16, 2005 02:44 AM

When my folks were in town a couple weeks ago, we went back to Gold Mountain for dinner. There were four of us, including my brother. Once again, they were out of oysters, but we did snag some ho fun.

The dry-style beef chow fun was excellent, as good as our previous order of chow mein. The kitchen is really dialed into all the tricks that can make a simple dish like this great. The strands of rice noodles were thin, loose, and chewy with good wok flavor and just the right amount of oil to bring out the flavor of the charry and tender beef.

The mustard green, pork and salted egg was a little better this time. The greens were cooked longer and were more tender rather than overly crisp.

We didn't like the salt and pepper scallops as much. They were just a bit overcooked this time and not as sweetly fresh-tasting as a result.

Instead of the steamed eggs with dried scallop, we had the version with fresh clams, as shown below. My mother objected to the clams still in their shells, while I retorted that this meant they were live and as fresh as possible. Yet, I must agree with her that this wasn't as flavorful as the dried scallop version. It was also not as ultra-smooth since it had some air bubbles.

The star of this meal was the fatty bacon braised with preserved vegetables (kao yuk). The ruddy-colored sauce had the nuance of nom yee and so many other complexities. It might be the tastiest one version I've had in the States. The rind was meltingly soft and the luscious layers of fat just barely held together the meat on each slice. The meat was soft enough but not perfection. The preserved vegetables even seemed special and tasted fresher, if that's possible. I loved the wilted iceberg lettuce on the bottom which soaked up the wonderful sauce. My mother hates this dish on general principle, but even she admitted that her one mouthful of it was delicious. My dad lapped up his. William said he doesn't remember eating this before, and I told him he probably hadn't had good versions that would be memorable. He loved it too, but spoke for both of us when he admitted it seemed dangerously unhealthy to take a second piece. We sent home the leftovers of this and the rest of the pot of rice for him to nurse over several days.

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