The wife and I went to this place based on a months ago recommendation by dickson for cheap and authentic, for lack of a better clichéd food word, Chinese noodles and such. It was a good meal and did not disappoint at all, so thank you to Mr. Dickson.
We were presented with two menus, one for standard fare and one for noodles. The standard menu, while good sized, has your basic selections you find in every Chinese restaurants in the suburbs. The noodles menu had some interesting choices and deserves more sampling that the two of us were up to on Saturday. About five minutes after we ordered, a Chinese couple sat down behind us and was presented with yet a third pink menu written strictly in characters. So special menus exits in the suburbs too, I guess.
We started with some pot stickers which definitely seemed to be made in house. Biting into one, the texture of the filling and the fact that it wasnt one cohesive piece of gray pork sausage which separates from the wall of the skin was my basis of judgment for this. A loose mixture of well seasoned pork and cabbage, the skins were thick and blistered on the outside, but soft and chewy inside. The soy and vinegar dipping sauce accented by a drizzling of chili oil made these stand out.
The wife chose the two combo braised noodles with roast duck and bbq pork. This came with a side of baby bok choy and a bowl of broth. The duck was a little disappointing in that the skin could have been cooked a bit longer and still had a bit more of the spongy fat than us gringos are used to. The actual meat was moist and full of flavor, so a small complaint. The pork on the other hand was outstanding. Rare are the suburban Chinese restaurants that use actual neck meat for this ubiquitous dish. Sweet, salty and fatty in a nice way. Meat candy!
I went with noodles with shredded pork and pickled vegetables. Rice noodles about the size of fettucini with salty broth, little chunks of pork and a mess of pickled snow cabbage for $4.50. Adding a few shakes of the Chinese red vinegar along with a spoonful of chili oil made this into a great bowl of soup. The pork had that sort of hard to place, semi smoky, cooked in a hot wok greasy goodness and the cabbage had just a hint of sour from the pickling process.
Another Chinese couple sat down next to us and was also presented with the pink special menu. Right as we were about to leave they were served some sort of appetizer not even remotely identifiable on our menu. The wife and I looked at the food with envy, looked each other with semi furrowed brows and decided we have to come back to dig into the special menu.
4663 Old Tavern Road