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Shanghai "Lion's Head" Hits the Big Time

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Shanghai "Lion's Head" Hits the Big Time

Jim Leff | Sep 9, 2012 08:35 PM

It's always amusing when a foreign dish is perceived to have achieved crossover appeal. Indians assume gringos pine for samosas. More than one Colombian restaurant with no other English signage touts "our famous 'plato montanero'". Dow Myu (sp?) used to be a hip Cantonese order, but now they expect gringos to know it. Pad Thai, mofungo, tapas, and sashimi are all widely perceived by their host countries to have crossed over (Ovaltine, however, remains an insider/extremely hip order in most Chinese cafes).

I've had two Lion's Heads this month in an otherwise pandering suburban Chinese-American restaurants. The first was pretty good. They hadn't used tender throat meat, they hadn't mixed in tofu for softness, and they were timid with the star anise, but it was generally pretty authentic. Tonight's was served buried under a pile of glass noodles, slices of roast pork, and bits of sauteed chicken, had no star anise at all, but was definitely in the shape of a meatball.

Hey, the gringos like Lion's Head! Now we know!

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