Was reading a great discussion about multiple menus and delicious pork dishes at this restaurant on a different thread, and was puzzled by the whole multiple menus thing. Then I went back for lunch yesterday and realized that 1) the reason the multiple menus never registered with me is because I always head straight for the small white check-off box style menu and 2) I always order the same thing (XLB and one of the rice cake preparations). Maybe I'll try 1 or 2 other things as well (stir-fried green veg of the day, one of the other xiao chi items) , but those are my stand-bys. So I'm compiling a list of the dishes people named, and adding my own - hoping other people can chime in. Bonus points if you know which menu it's from and the Chinese name (or the English name the way it's written on the menu).
Ruth Lafler - pork joint; lion's head meatballs; XLB
Joel - pork with bean curd (fatty bacon chunks in savory brown sauce with bean curd skin tied in knots)
two cents - small pork meatballs wrapped in gluten, served in brown sauce; shredded pork with shredded tofu; pork belly with preserved vegetable; diced fish with pine nuts, celery, wolfberries.
Robert Lauriston - reports a general gestalt of porky goodness, but names no specific dishes
Mine (off the small white menu):
rice cake with pork and preserved green vegetable - I like this preparation more than their Shanghai-style rice cake (with brown sauce), which was much greasier. They cook their rice cakes just a degree more al dente than I like (I prefer the texture at Spices 3 - prefer their Shanghai-style in general), but really love the homey flavor of the pork and preserved vegetable combo.
from the large, folded green menu:
vegetarian goose (sheets of braised bean curd skin wrapped around shiitake mushroom)
zha jiang mian (on the white menu, I think listed as "noodles with meat sauce") - they use skinny noodles for this (I prefer the chewy knife cut ones at Shandong) - I liked the base of the sauce - good, deep bean paste notes, not as sweet as Shandong's - but didn't like the way the chili was incorporated. Don't know if there's a technical way to describe this - the chili in this sauce seemed raw and shrill, hit immediately, looked and tasted like chili paste (the kind meant for stir-frys) had been mixed directly into the sauce. In this sauce, I like deep, mellow chili notes that sneak up after sweet and savory components have dissipated. I'm still going to eat the leftovers for lunch, though.
you tiao, fan tuan.