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Boston Area

Joy Luck Cafe, Needham ?...

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Joy Luck Cafe, Needham ?...

Heathen & Spells | Feb 11, 2005 04:49 PM

Last saturday on Ming Tsai's PBS cooking show ("Simply Ming") (Mr. Blue Ginger) he visited the Joy Luck Cafe, Needham where his friend Kenny Chang is the chef/owner. Apparantly, he is a master at making sweet and sour pork. (probably other sweet and sour entrees as well). His sauce had honey in it and all natural ingredients- I don't remember what he added to create the reddish hue of the sauce. It seemed so wonderful to me. As a kid I loved sweet and sour- especially shrimp but I found as a grown-up this preparation to be much too sweet and rather sickly tasting. Mr. Chan's made me think that perhaps, like my experience with vanilla ice cream that his sweet and sour dishes I would love. As a child I loved the vanilla ice cream sold in cups w/ a little wooden spoon (essential to the experience and my sense-memory of) from the Italian peddlars w/ little yellow carts that were in Riverside Drive, Manhattan in the 88th street playground in the 60s. I know that the icecream had fake vanilla flavouring- vanillan but I remember it as fresh and magical tasting- almost a bit coconutty if you know what I mean. Then when I tried Ben and Jerry's vanilla as a grown-up, especially, the original formulation before the specks were added to it, I had the "ahaaa ahhh" joy of tasting my childhood vanilla icecream, sense-memory intact but w/ the adult version. Little kid vanilla icecream but for grown-ups. I had the feeling that The Joy Luck Cafe's sweet and sour dishes might do a similar thing...I did a Chowhound search, both types, and could find no info on this cafe. It also just looked like a very pleasant and welcoming space w/ a good food vibe in general. Has anybody been, and especially been and tasted the sweet and sour pork or other sweet and sour dishes?...

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