Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Quality Cafe, Chinatown, Boston (and Finale)

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Quality Cafe, Chinatown, Boston (and Finale)

Limster | Nov 11, 2002 11:47 PM

I just noticed that Quality Cafe brags about their hainanese chicken rice on their takeout menu. Anyone tried it?

Quality Cafe isn't a banquet equipped restaurant. There's a cafe quality to it -- it's more of an informal noodles, rice plates and Chinese small bites kinda place. And they also have claypot rice, which I got.

It's a very respectable version, though not one I'd rush to write home about. Still, there's absolutely nothing wrong about it, it comes with 2 types of Chinese waxed sausage, both standard and delicious, some average roast pork and two gingery stalks of chinese greens, all served on top of the rice that is cooked to order in a small claypot. A small bowl of soy sauce (lighter than what I'm used to, but perfectly fine) is also present, for mixing into the rice, which has a nice comforting familiarity to it. Afficionados of bibimbap on hot stoneware will like the crunchy, crispy rice stuck to the sides of the claypot (well worth the effort of scraping them off before they char too much).

Had dessert at Finale.

I got a creme brulee this time. It was fairly well made, and quite good -- fairly smooth texture, (prefer mine slightly heftier), pleasant vanilla flavor (though not too many specks of vanilla -- employment of some vanilla essence?), good caramelized crust (although my favorites have a slightly thicker crust). The accompanying berries were ordinary (maybe because they are somewhat out of season). At $8.95, fairly well made is not good enough.

After two trips, I'm inclined to think that Finale is overpriced (desserts average $10) and not worthwhile. The desserts are fine, but not as expertly made as a few other places (e.g. I really admire the dessert crew at Oleana) and certainly not sufficiently inventive or cutting edge. It's trivially easy to walk into a good mid range place and get better desserts for a lower price than those Finale.

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