Had an amazing dish of steamed pork belly with rice powder at Spicy and Tasty.
The rice powder is toasted and cooks up kind of like couscous. Slices of fatty pork are steamed with the rice powder and get very tender and impart some of their richness and flavor to the rice. Some kind of sweet potato is in there too. It arrives on a plate all dome-shaped, like it's just been unmolded from whatever vessel it had been cooking in. Steamy, rich, comforting. It reminded me of some kind of steamed Christmas pudding, minus the hard sauce.
At first I couldn't find this item on the menu (it's not listed under "Pork" for some reason). And when I asked the waiter if he had "Steamed pork with rice powder", he said no, and directed me to a dish of twice-cooked pork. I said that I'd rather wait til my dining companion, HLing, arrived, a few minutes later. The waiter gave her no problem when she ordered the dish. Maybe it was a language thing? Anyway, I'm sure if I'd just found the dish on the menu and pointed to it, it would have been fine.
We also got a cold dish of thin slices of very fresh and tender bamboo dressed with chili oil. It woke up the palate nicely and primed me for the heavier dishes that followed. I have yet to order a dish from the cold appetizer bar (in the front of the restaurant), that wasn't really good.
Also ordered was a dish of firm tofu cut into thin strips stir-fried with a large amount of chives (the thicker, more scallion-like kind). It was a beautiful tangle of bright green and beige, with good 'fresh-from-the-wok' flavor.
The one blemish on an otherwise very enjoyable eating experience was the cold appetizer counterman's loud and prolonged hawking. Not the sort of sounds you want to hear coming from the guy who just made your food. But it was late, and we were among the last people in the restaurant, so maybe he just felt comfortable around us?
Can't wait to go back again. Would love to hear about other hounds' favorite dishes.
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