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After shopping at Mow Lee, Shing Kee http://www.chowhound.com/post/famous-... , I walked over to the new-ish Chong Qing Xiao Mian to grab a bite. No wait at 6 pm on Monday to take a solo seat at the long communal table in the center of the room. A pitcher of ice water was brought without my asking.
Started with suan ni bai rou (sliced pork belly in spicy garlic sauce), $4.95. Served warm, some of the slices were on the tough side but mostly tender. Saucing was rather one-dimensional and a little too sugary.
Then dandan mian, $9.95, that was the wet, soupy style. A large bowl swimming with creamy, emulsified broth stained red with chile oil, the skinny noodles had some bounce to them. The topping of ground pork, onion and zha cai was stone cold. I guess the kitchen expects the hot soup to warm it. Medium spicy, the broth was tame enough to drink without choking. I did not detect any ya cai in the mix. Some petite Shanghai cabbage hearts and white sesame seeds completed the bowl.
Both dishes seemed quite generic. With about the same spicing and heat level in both, I got tired of them fast. I did take the pork belly to go, and was charged 30¢ for a take-out container.
The place is popular so maybe I ordered wrong in not picking the signature dish. Favorites here?
Cong Qing Xiao Mian
915 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94133
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