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Qingdao Garden dinner (long)

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Qingdao Garden dinner (long)

Aromatherapy | Apr 14, 2004 06:18 PM

Last night’s Shangri-la outing was inspired by a chow dinner last month at Qingdao on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. Apologies from the hound who was going to post, but better late… There were 10 of us as I recall, allowing a real pigout. Consensus: Excellent meal. Details (a little fuzzy, other hounds please chime in):

Boiled water dumpings: Pork and leek, pork and string bean, and vegetarian leek. Much has been said here about these dumplings; I’ll only add that the gingery pork & string bean, which I hadn’t tried, are a new favorite.

Fried [pork] dumplings: Smallish ovals. Really good. Nice mix of crisp-fried and tender wrapper.

Leek pie: A light pastry around the same leek/tofu mix as in the leek dumplings, fried and sliced.

Sweet and sour cucumber: Batons of cuke in a vinegar/sugar marinade with some chili flakes. If you’ve had Wang’s version, I think these are less pickled. Big hit.

Shredded green mustard: julienned crispy white vegetable. A bit sour and spicy? I remember I liked it. Our best guess was it’s mustard stems.

Shredded potato salad: Okay, kind of bland. Crunchy coarsely shredded potato, some scallions.

Bitter melon salad: Wow. Very bitter. Most of us couldn’t manage much of this. Pretty neon green color.

Tofu with preserved egg: coarse dice of tofu, wedges of egg, light dressing. Nice fresh tofu.

Smoked fish: bone-in cross-cut ovals, slightly sweet and smoky.

Spiced sautéed sea conch: I recall it being rather salad-like. Bits of fried conch with a lot of bean sprouts. I was one of the last to get the dish, maybe I missed something? I remember it was very good and not at all what I’d expected.

Crispy butterfish: On the large side for butterfish, and not as crispy as on other occasions, but that’s a quibble.

Pork with cilantro: This must have come near the end, I have a vague memory of it being pleasant.

Zhongqing fried hot chicken: Buried in a platter of aromatic toasty dried red chilis, boneless (this is new) morsels of fried dark-meat chicken with a light crispy coating. Slightly sweet taste. Not as hot as you’d think, but those craving fire just have to munch a little chili. The sort of candied garlic slices were as good as the chicken.

Eggplant Peking Style: Stir-fried eggplant with a little pork. I remember liking it but no detail.

Chinese vegetable with black mushroom: Dried shitake and cabbage, as I recall. Excellent version.

Shredded pork with dried bean curd: What is elsewhere called “smoked” bean curd. Don’t know how it’s prepared but I like it. Good, tasty version. Not spicy.

Qingdao Garden
2382 Mass. Ave. (near Davis Sq.)
Closed Tuesdays
617-492-7540
Sun-Mon, W-Rh: 11:30-10:30
F & Sat: 11:30-11:00

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