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China Star (Fairfax) -- The Real Deal

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China Star (Fairfax) -- The Real Deal

Marty L. | Feb 23, 2004 05:05 AM

Went for dinner last night. Yup, it's very much up there with Joe's Noodle House for sichuan -- to this untrained observer, anyway.

Ordered the Chen Cang Beef with "Pancake," the Country Chicken, the Crystal Shrimp, the fried smelt appetizer (called "Dried Fried Small Fish"!), and the Steamed Buns w/Chicken Flavor (actually, with chicken itself), which were a pretty good, interesting take on shanghai-style steamed buns, but with chicken rather than crab or pork.

Everything was terrific -- including the little plates of amuse-like (or panchan-like) veggie appetizers that they bring to the table. (Loved the bean thing.) Moreover, there were numerous temptations at adjacent tables (e.g., some fish dish, Ya Cai w/Pork in Hot Pot, Kung Pao Chicken, Spicy & Sour Squid roll, and "Sauteed Vegetable of the Season," which was chinese broccoli). And a very long, intriguing menu. What is "Corn w/Pine Nuts"?! "Pumpkin Cake"? "Asparagus with Fresh Lily"?

Definitely calls for a group Chow meal (or seven). So what's the story for lunch? I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I think from what they told me that the sichuan menu *is* available at lunch, in addition to the Americanized buffet (and a very large, separate, standard-issue Americanized cantonese-light menu).

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