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Melanie Wong | May 2, 200409:17 PM     8

During our last heat spell, I stopped by Mai’s for a bowl of barbecue chicken and imperial roll bun for a cooling lunch. While I used to patronize the branch on Union Street before it closed, this was my first time to the Clement Street location.

The 5-spice chicken had been one of my favorite orders, and the de-boned leg atop the fine rice vermicelli was equally good. A bit more done than it should be, but still carefully seasoned, moist and tender with a nicely browned and crisped skin. The imperial roll was quite formidable with larger than usual girth. Packed tightly with all kinds of goodies, the wrapper was well-bubbled and airily crisp. The vermicelli were de-starched somehow and hardly stuck together at all. A nice touch was that they’d been broken into smaller lengths so that it was easy to mix them with the salad on bottom of the bowl and pick up just a mouthful in the chopsticks. The nuoc cham dipping sauce/dressing had a big dollop of chili sauce in the center, giving it a spicier kick than many.

I had a lemon soda, and was pleased that a pot of hot tea was also served. Total was $10 and change, inclusive.

Link: http://chowhound.com/chowmarket/index...

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