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Restaurants & Bars 28

Qingdao Garden - New Item Recommendation

Kenji | Jun 30, 200701:58 PM

First, let me get my biasses out of the way: I like everything I've tried from the pink sections (which designate the restaurant's specialties) of Qingdao Garden's menu. Also, I really like most (with the exception of cream- and butter-heavy, New England-style) seafood stews.

Okay, there's a new item on Qingdao's menu. I believe it is named: "Boiled Fish Fillet in Fiery Sauce." Of all the delicious items I've had at Qingdao, this one was perhaps most exciting to me. It is presented in a large bowl; I think most Americans would consider it a stew. As I ate it, I thought, "This is like a Sichuanese take on Cioppino" -- though I emphasize that there is one type of fish and a lot of vegetables (cabbage, and another item which I guess is the "Chinese celery" which appears in a few places on the Qingdao menu). The sauce or broth is reddish, thick, and is indeed fiery; I am accustomed to spicy food but this had me sweating and blowing my nose after a few spoonfuls. But there's a lot of different peppery tastes going on simultaneously here; there's complexity to this beautiful dish. I have had it twice now and I can already say I'm totally addicted.

Oh -- maybe non-Qingdao regulars should mention that they like very spicy food before ordering it.

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