I've always been a bit suspicious about "Chinese food" in the UK and Ireland. I always imagined that a billion people could produce something more interesting than various permutations of chicken/pork/beef/duck/prawn with black bean, yellow bean, sweet & sour, etc.
Then I toured China in 2004, and was blown away by some of the food. "Water cooked fish" was my favourite - carp floating in an oily broth with the incredible hot/numbing combination of chilli and LOTS of szechuan pepper.
Since then, I've sulked and occasionally ranted about the dismal quality of the average "Chinese" takeaway in Dublin. And the couple of restaurants I've tried were no better.
Just back from a trip to NYC, and also found "proper" Chinese food at Little Pepper in Flushing. Tasty, exciting, and incredibly cheap. I honestly might move to New York just to eat there a couple of times a week.
So, now I'm sulking again, and reaching out.
Has anyone found "proper" Chinese food in Dublin, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter?
The main criteria by which I judge a Chinese restaurant menu now are:
1. Use of offal/interesting body parts (feet, intestines, ducks served with heads intact so I can eat the brains etc).
2. Fish dishes (no, not prawns), particularly those cooked with white fish.
3. Hotpots, soups/broths, liberal use of szechuan peppers (I realize there are regional differences and I can't expect everything).
It's not like the ingredients are unavailable. I've seen all sorts in that fantastic Asian supermarket near Wicklow St.