I just came back from Funky Broome for dinner tonight and I have to say that I prefer the food there over New Green Bo. Not only is the menu a little more eclectic, but the ingredients are fresher and the flavors a little more distinct.
Tonight, we ordered the razor clams in black bean sauce, the scallops with squash melon in XO sauce, the sliced fish with winter melon and dried scallops, and the sizzling beef (recommended by the waitress). The razor clams were excellent--perfectly cooked, slightly spicy, drizzed with sesame oil, and topped with scallions and cilantro. I was able to pick out each individual flavor despite recovering from a cold.
The scallops with squash melon and XO was good too. The squash melon was coin shaped, about the same size as the scallop, and provided nice textural interplay. The XO sauce could have been more flavorful though.
But the winner tonight was the sliced fish with winter melon and dried scallops (a soup). This was one of the best dishes that I've had in Chinatown in a while. The broth was rich and slightly smokey from the dried scallops, dried shrimp, and shitake mushrooms. The fish was perfectly cooked and the melon nicely picked up the flavor of the soup. It was served in a mini wok so you could sample the melon at different degrees of cooking. Awesome.
As for the sizzling beef, it was tender, had a good smokey flavor to it, and there were about 8 large slices. Nothing stunning, but very tasty.
To be fair, I have to admit that a previous visit to Funky Broome was hit and miss. That time, we ordered the salt and pepper pork chops (excellent), the beef with ginger and scallions (nothing special), frog bamboo rice (sounded better than it tasted), and sauteed fish and squid strips (excellent). The fish and squid strips were fried and then sauteed with chinese chives and several other shredded vegetables. Excellent texture and flavor.
I was dissappointed by New Green Bo though. I asked the waitress (in Chinese) to recommend a few dishes. She suggested the fish in spicy brown sauce, the braised pork in brown sauce, and the clams in black bean sauce. The fish was prefectly cooked (which came as 2 whole fish) but surprisingly, the brown sauce had little flavor and never imparted its flavor to the fish. The braised pork was excellent but the portion was a little precious. The clams were just sauteed with onions and came in this sea of black bean sauce. It was not a pretty sight and the clams were not the freshest of clams. We also had the soup dumplings. Those were very good and you could taste the freshness of the dough. They weren't nearly as oily as the ones at Joe's either.
I know I didn't try the signature yellow fish wrapped with seaweed, but the waitress didn't recommend it for some odd reason. The menu at New Green Bo did not really jump out at me. Meanwhile, the menu at Funky Broome teases me with interesting combinations of ingredients and solid cooking. I took a take-out menu and I'm already pouring over it to plan my next visit there.
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