Recently "Cynsa" and I met for lunch at the newly opened Jiangnan Cuisine. She had already been there before, and I hope she'll tell us about her first tastes there.
In order of service, we tried:
Wuxi style wontons, $8,95, these dumplings were plumper and meatier than the version served at Taste of Jiangnan on Clement. The cleansing broth was more intense as well. Some beautiful baby Shanghai cabbages, slivers of black mushroom and scallions were garnish. By the time I'd finished my five-wonton share of this bowl, I was pretty full already. My favorite dish of the meal.
Homemade meatball in sauce can be ordered as a $6 rice plate or ala carte for $3.95 as we did. Tender as a baby's bottom this single big meatball was so succulent. The brown sauce leaned toward more meaty than sweet.
Listed as fried chicken breast on the $6 lunch rice plate menu, this is actually two cutlets made with boneless thigh meat. Panko-crusted and greaseless, the dark meat was nice and juicy. The chile mayo had more kick to it than average.
Braised chicken legs are two for $4.95 on the ala carte menu or available as a lunch rice plate. Unlike the chicken cutlet, these drumsticks seemed parched.
Sweet and sour Wuxi spareribs, $12.95, were in the same sticky, sweet brown sauce as the chicken. By now the sugar was starting to build up in this meal, and I did not enjoy these much.
We were comped dessert --- mochi balls in rice wine syrup. These were on the softish side, and actually seemed less sweet than some of the brown sauces.
Our waitress was quite sweet and kept our teapot fulll. Her personality reminded me of the very hospitable sisters at Taste of Jiangnan when it first opened. She said that she and the chef came from there. They have Carolyn Phillips' new cookbook, _All Under Heaven_, on display because the author visited them at their earlier restaurant.
While we erred in ordering too many dishes with similar saucing, one can eat quite well at Jiangnan Cuisine for not much money. I look forward to returning to try more on the menu.
3420 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121