I hadn't been since shortly after the Times review and I couldn't find any other recent reports. I went with 6 Chinese friends. We had:
Pumpkin pancakes--definitely not as good as before, somewhat tasteless and greasy.
Fish soup with sour vegetable--delicious, delicate, impeccable fish.
Mao's pork shoulder--delicious, much better than before
Shrimp with very peppery salt--terrific, we were all sucking the heads
Dried beef with white pepper--a star of the meal, very spicy, very intense
Kong xin cai with furu (ong choy with fermented tofu)--a nice contrast, simple and fresh
Smoked duck---way better than before, the best I have had in many years
Hunan BBQ whole fish--a big disappointment. The fish was not perfectly fresh, the many vegetables were good, but too oily, the vinegar taste was too pronounced. Everyone was getting the spicy steamed fish head, and so will I, next time.
Water cooked pressed tofu (Shui zhu xiang gan)--this was fabulous, maybe the best tofu dish I have ever eaten. It was misnamed, not "water cooked" in the usual way, but rather dry, very intensely flavored, and utterly wonderful.
The big pot of chicken (not spicy version)--basically a pot of good simple chicken broth full of bones cooked at table with tofu ad lots of veggies. OK, but not something I would get again.
On the whole, I think it has gotten better, even much better: but the old specialities are not as good as before, at least not last night. Still jam packed, very boisterous, lots of beer.