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Five Chowhounds tried out the wares at this brightly-lit and lightly decorated outpost of the Peter Chang empire dedicated, in part, to Hubei cuisine.
Scallion bubble pancake
three layer doupi (Hubei)
dry fried cauliflower (our only small plate)
fish ball in pickled chili soup
pork belly with smoked tofu and pickled mustard green
farmer's stir fry of tofu skin, egg, leek, and green pepper (Hubei)
Hunan chicken chow mein
It was all good, high quality preparation. The star of the meal is, by far, the dry fried cauliflower. This is a MUST ORDER. Aside from that, it was a fine but unimpressive meal.
The bubble pancake is as nice as it has always been in a Peter Chang restaurant. Once you pop the bubble it is like any puri from an Indian restaurant, though it is well made an not oily. The sesame shoabing is a nice and light airy texture of puff pastry. The doupi is a zero with no flavor. One of the layers is diced mushroom, another layer is rice, and a layer that holds it together is a thick binder like in a moussaka, but remarkably flavorless. This was one of two dishes we tried that our server said was expressly from Hubei province.
The summer special of fish ball soup was very nice and powerfully peppery and pungent. The fish balls have no fish flavor, they are more textural than anything. Like the fish noodles at Grace Garden though not as satisfying.
Of the next two dishes, they seemed to perform a free substitution from the menu, and it was not in our favor. I think they didn't have any pickled mustard greens, or at least I could not detect them by look or flavor. The pork belly was not sitting on top of anything pickled or green, but what seemed like more marinated mushrooms. The smoked tofu in this dish was far too salty. And instead of leek in our farmer's stir-fry they substituted lots chinese celery that dominated this otherwise nice dish. Despite being labeled with two peppers on the menu, it brought no heat whatsoever.
The hunan chicken chow mein had good chewy noodles, a somewhat spicy kick, and even a background smoky flavor, but still comes under the category of nice but not thrilling.
Maybe our problem is that we didn't go with enough of the small plates?
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