The chef from China Star and then Temptasian cooked up a rollicking good meal for 6 Chowhounds today at lunch.
This is what we had, everything ordered from the Chinese only menu, translations graciously provided by James G:
Appetizers - all cold
15) Quick boiled peanuts - good subtle flavor, a favorite
13) Bitter melon (as best as we could tell) everyone loved this
16) Pork in Garlic Mud - I've seen this dish before even from other chefs, basically pork belly slice in an ochre sauce, spicy with some peanuts crushed on top. Good stuff.
12) Sichuan Pickles - the above three dishes were all salty and spicy, this was the same but three times as salty. Disappointing.
11) Immortal Old Duck Pot. Lots of misplaced modifiers here. Turns out to be a soup in a hot pot. Nice broth with some surprises, such as loofah and dried scallop.
4) Boiled fish - a typical water-based dish (guess I learned something from Melanie Wong) with savoy cabbage comparable but not as good as H-20 at Joe's Noodle House.
20) Dried Bamboo Shoot Meat Stew - the meat turned out to be more pork belly, served in a brown gravy. OK. I would not order this again.
14) Chen Cang beef in Buns. In my half-dozen times eating this previously, was always a great dish, worthy of praise. Very good, but was not as hot/cumin-y/salty this time around.
Special) Tofu-Rice Ball. Not on any menu, but suggested by the chef. Maybe the hit of the meal, a creamy ball of tofu with chive and scallions mixed in, covered in warm rice.
All told, some good heat. but nothing as fiery as the sliced lamb in sizzling pot at China Star, plus we are still searching for an amazing sauce like fish in sour mustard at TemptAsian. Certainly worth more investigation.