Ok, well with Easter coming up I thought I'd post this one...rabbit always comes to mind at this time of year. Went to New Taste of Asia (again!) on Tuesday night. There were some specials on the board, including smoked rabbit and spicy bamboo shoots. Those were in English, but when I asked I heard also a highly recommended spicy crab dish that was noted in Chinese characters.
Before any of our orders came however, the waiter brought out bowls of water for each table. Then chunks of apple coated in molten caramel and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The idea is to dip the chunks into the water, the caramel then hardens into candy and the apple on the interior stays very hot and soft. Fun.
Spicy bamboo shoots were really tasty, with a hint of Sichuan peppercorns, and some spicy bean paste. They were shredded and irresistable. The smoked rabbit was great, and beautiful mahogany color on the outside and the still moist meat lightly infused with a salty smoky flavor. Really excellent job at that.
The standout was the crab dish. These were about four blue crabs (I think) chopped, coated in cornstarch and stir-fried (just as in stir fried lobster, etc.), and then sauced. The sauce was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten with seafood, and I'm not really sure what it was. Similar perhaps to the Wenjun shrimp sauce at Sichuan Garden, but didn't have the pickled turnip and so on, and just had an amazing spicy savory flavor. It was really messy as crab tends to be, but worth it. After we finished that the chef came and asked me what I thought of the sauce (fantastic!) and he said it was a very special one which is hard to find, a specialty of the Shanghai area in China. I will return for more of this.
All around another great night at this jewel of a restaurant. As I was heading home from my dinner at Seafood Gourmet last night I was thinking back to this dinner and was reminded of how different dining experiences can be...from the tasty and predictable to the unkown and sublime. In my past, sadly, the latter had been lacking in the realm of Chinese food, but it's there for the taking now. Ain't food great?!