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According to my waitress, Yamafuji (1190 North Main St., Providence, RI) released a new Sichuan menu this past Monday.
Dumplings in spicy sauce were done excellently; plump must have been the word of the day. I tasted coriander, ginger, and pork in the filling, with the wrappers deliciously toothsome. The sauce was a well-executed sweet-spicy mixture which also included sesame paste, adding a nifty off-the-tongue texture. The portion was generous, with 8 large dumplings per order.
House special five-spice beef noodle soup was a surprise, in a fantastic way. Slightly oily, the five major spices were: ginger, ma (Sichuan peppercorns), cilantro, sesame, and garlic. The beef was tender, though a little dry, and the noodles were slightly overcooked by the hot broth at the end. The chef showed a great deal of control in his use of ma; my tongue was tingly but not distracting, with the flavor a solid supporting base. I couldn't finish the bowl after eating the dumplings, and I'm not shy in my voluminous appetite.
My meal came to $15 before tip.
There is an entire section dedicated to "Song and Tang Dynasty Specials" which look beautiful.
I haven't tried their sushi, and don't know if I intend to. The menu is a tome, and if the other dishes are as well executed as my meal tonight, I will be busy for a very long time.
I'd suggest giving this place a try. I've eaten just about everywhere in providence she Cranston, and this is the first exciting and delicious meal I've had in a while (well, except for the chong-gol at Ichiban, another great find).
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