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03/08 China Village,Berkeley/ Albany: Laughter ,and Preaching to the Choir

opinionatedchef | Mar 24, 200809:16 PM

So I'm up here in Elk w/ my takeout China Village food at lunch, and I am laughing. I am imagining some of you laughing with me, because i was quite confused about the identity of 2 of my dishes. I brought up many items, some to be eaten cold, some to be reheated. Today I did cold items because I was hungry and lazy. Many hits for sure. Actually, while little bubbles of delight were escaping my lips in between bites,I said to myself that the vegetarians (who can afford to eat out) in Berkeley must be among the luckiest in the U.S.

#15 cuke spears w/ sesame were very refreshing and tasty

Truly outstanding were the:
#150 stirfried charred cabbage
#139 eggplant family style
#19 cold peanut noodles w/ pork

so what was funny? well, i was staring at and trying to figure out- 2 confusing dishes.
(Me to myself):" oh this must be the conch- thin slices of striated rose and white, like octopus, with leeks. Hmmmmm, this is odd; why the gelatinized juices? conch has gelatin?.....hmmm it tastes kind of bacony.".......
and next,as I faced the other dish:"well, they must have given me the wrong thing. what are these curly chewy light green things that look like cockscombs drowned in a sea of szechuan peppercorns? is this chitlins? or seaweed? it certainly isn't the smoked pork with leeks dish I ordered......."

so, are you laughing yet? needless to say, the 'conch' was actually the Smoked pork w/ leeks (#53) and the 'cockscombs' were the Cold conch salad,#2. I wouldn't order either again, certainly not the conch.
In Cambridge Ma. the wonderful Taiwanese restaurant ,Mulan ,has a much better Smoked Pork w /Leek that is made w much less fatty pork belly w/ slivered leeks ,wrapped in griddled flat bread/pancake cylinders.

i really enjoyed #181 dessert , the griddled flatbread ('pancake') filled w/ bean paste. Nice crunchy combined with creamy savory/sweet that is very refreshing compared to heavy butterfat type western desserts.

this was the first half of our big order. i'll report on the other items later this week. what a
terrific place; thank you CHs!.

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