Five of us had a quick lunch on Sat. prior to a lecture at the Chinese Culture Center. We sampled the famous rice clay pot and were not disappointed. I ended up ordering the meal, as my husband and I arrived first, and we were told that the clay pot took 25 minutes to prepare. We were served a complimentary soup with beancurd skins (fu jook), then had the following: a large chicken, mushroom & Ch. sausage rice clay pot, mustard greens with fish balls, salt & pepper fried stuffed bean curd, stir fried lettuce, and a special fish that the waitress recommended - it looked like a whole fried fish covered in a brown sauce, but upon closer inspection, it was ground meat and fish, shaped into a fish with head, tail and fins, fried and then sliced. This last dish was really tasty and fun to imagine. Everything was excellent - the bean curd was expertly fried and spicy with little slices of jalapeno as garnish; the mustard greens were tender and sweet, even my husband who hates that veg. admitted it tasted good. The fish balls with it were flavorful (they are not really "balls", at first I thought they were lumps of gluten, but were definitely fish). My only quibble was that the rice in the pot was not as well sauced as I would have liked, probably because the ratio of rice to meat was higher. They separated the meats from the pot in order to serve us the rice. The chicken was thigh meat, so it was tender. At the end, the waitress put clear broth into the clay pot, I think she said fish broth, and we had a bowl of pan bottom rice with it. Before tip, bill came to $51. We agreed to come back to sample the raw fish salad. One of our party also commented that the taro dishes are a specialty.
After lunch we went to the Yi Xing teapot exhibit at the CCC and heard a lecture on tea, quite interesting.
We also noticed that in front of the Portsmouth garage elevators, people were setting up a Chinatown Night Market. What is that/has anyone been?