Nine of us had dinner at Ho Yuen Ting last night. I really enjoyed meeting with other members of the Boston pack and putting faces (and in some cases, additional names) to the names. Attendees were: 9lives, Amy, Bob (who doesn't post but came with me), C. Fox (your faithful reporter), Ben, Rubee, Victoria (who doesn't post but came with Rubee), chuck s, and galleygirl.
We took our time over the extensive menu, glances interspersed with rounds of introductions as more people arrived. Ben helped by translating the Chinese page -- as much as he could insert into the conversation, anyway. Here's what we ended up ordering:
Battered, deep-fried spareribs
Squabs that had been cut into small pieces and dry-sauced, served with pepper salt
Deep-fried shrimp balls, served with (I think) duck sauce -- a sort of battered forcemeat of chopped shrimp (how do they keep them together?), which I really liked, though they were better without the sauce
Dried squid and shrimp with XO sauce -- another "dry" sauce; these were curled-up pieces of squid with a leathery texture, kind of like reconstituted squid jerky (there, I said it, OK?), and tiny, intensely salty & shrimpy shreds of shrimp -- delicious -- this was one of the more popular dishes on the table
Soft-shell crab with spicy garlic sauce -- another breaded, deep-fried item, as it turned out -- tasty, but I wish it had been served hot & crisp
Fresh conch with Chinese green -- only we were given the conch with onions instead, which was good, even if not what my tastebuds were yearning for. However, I got my greens fix with the...
Stewed green with mushroom -- one of the few "wet-sauced" dishes, young mustard greens with little straw mushrooms -- although I enjoyed the greens, the sauce was pretty tasteless
Fish belly with squash-that-turned-out-to-be-cucumber -- this was a kind of brothy stew with wedges of cucumber and deep-fried, soggy bits of unidentifiable fish part floating in it, plus various other bits & pieces (surimi, carrot, and pork among them)
Lo mein with pork
.and rice all round.
As you can see, I left it up to the omnivores among us to comment on the dishes I didn't try.
We were served by one man who bore our general confusion with heroic patience ("How many?" "We don't know." "Chinese or American?" "Well, uh, some of each...")
And a good time was had by all, or at least by me.