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Nice Time Deli and Bin Bin Konjac report - PASS

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Nice Time Deli and Bin Bin Konjac report - PASS

Tuck | Jul 11, 2005 11:23 AM

On my quest to identify whether Takaraya was a ramen shop or not and finding that it wasn't, I wound up returning to Nice Time Deli after years. I remembered having decent mapo tofu last time, so I figured it would be a good meal.

Nice Time Deli focuses on Taiwanese cafe/home cooking food, I believe. The menu features many many items that I have never seen at a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant before - lots of innards, chitterlings, pigs feet etc.. It was a rough experience deciphering the menu because of the exotic dishes and because the staff does not speak English very well.

I had faintly remembered reading about a noodle and pork chop dish on Chowhound, so I ordered that. The thick noodles arrived in a pork bone-based broth, topped with a mound of ground pork and some fried shallots. The flattened, fried pork chop came on a separate plate. First impression - this dish is not for those watching their weight. The broth had a layer of oil glistening on top of the meat and noodles and the pork chop was shiny and oily. Not a good sign.

The noodle soup was decent as long as you ate some ground pork with every bite. I added ground chili paste to the broth which added that hint of needed salt. Without that, the soup base would have just been so boring. The pork chop was greasy (not expert fryers in the kitchen, I take it). The meat was pounded to a thin, flat pancake. The breadcrumb coating was crunchy but oddly sweet. (Is that normal?) Upon inspection of the 2mm of meat that I could see between the coating, I couldn't tell whether my next bite would be into fat or meat. The color distinction between the two was too fine. It was pretty much a crapshoot with only a 50% success rate (meat). The combination of grease oozing from the coating and the 1 or 2 bites I had of solid fat was enough for me to push the plate aside. I hate wasting food, but I really couldn't do that to my arteries anymore.

Disappointed, I decided to finally try the Bin Bin Konjac store across the way. I read the posted description of konjac about 5 times and still could not understand what it actually was. I know it is good for your health and good for dieters (I'm not a member of that group. That is just what they advertised.) but what in the world is it?!?!?! I blindly ordered again and chose the Green Bean Konjac shaved ice.

The only part of the dessert that I liked was the konjac - firm cubes of translucent jelly made of ???, tasting of ??? I think I just enjoyed the texture contrast. In addition to the green beans, they added red beans and some lime green pureed substance. All of it mashed together with the super-finely shaved ice either killed any taste or was just a mixture or 3 or 4 tasteless ingredients to begin with. I prefer the Taiwanese (?) shaved ice that comes with condensed milk and mochi balls. The konjac shaved ice, though refreshing, was tasteless.

2 disappointing dining experiments within an hour period. Bad night for me. Pass.

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