Hit this place again last night with a chow buddy and the food absolutely rocked.
There was a previous thread on this place here, but I had to start a new one as this place is really noteworthy: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/683183
We had the chicken ginseng soup which was delicate and amazing. Perfect dish to brave the fierce blizzard of 2010 ;-).
Also had the fried chicken plate. The fry job was a 10+, spot on perfect, and the HUGE chicken breast had definitely been marinated in something delicious prior to frying. Also had the Fried Chinese Red Wine Pork Belly over rice which was just awesome.
Both dishes were topped with a fluffy beautiful fried egg and came with braised winter melon and pork-sauce rice. The plates were HUGE, the food was sublime, a delicate touch on every single dish.
This place is an amazing new addition to what is already the best food neighborhood in Boston.
The owner said that they are Taiwanese and had previously run a restaurant in Quincy but that the city was knocking the building down at their old location. They said that because they did not want to compete directly with Jo Jo Taipei they decided to go with a more casual comfort food type menu. The owner's mom was in the kitchen and I have to say, that woman can cook. My personal criteria for a chow-worthy place is "can I figure out how the chef made this dish?" and in every single case I could not. This woman is a master, cooking modest homey Taiwanese food with the precision approaching a Michelin chef.
I keep flashing back to the delicate precision of the ginseng chicken soup, perfectly clear broth, just the right amount of ginseng bite, a few shreds of carrot, just right.
If they can keep the quality at the current price points this place is probably the best value for serious quality in Boston period. Even keeping price completely out of the equation this place is amongst the top restos in Boston. The food is just darned good!
They just opened a month ago, but my guess is that it won't take to long for word to get out about how good this place is.
The decor is sort of nouveau Asian hip with funky plastic chairs and colorful walls. You order and pay at the cash register and then they bring the food to your table. The vibe is sort of cool Manga cafeteria. In fact in my imagination I could almost see a few manga characters sitting down to a pork cutlet and oohing and aaahing about the food...
As the owners have a lot of experience in the biz I think they have the chops to deliver the goods long term. They said some of their old customers were already making the treck to Allston to hit up their new digs.
All in all, a wonderful addition to Allston, the food mecca.