Now I'm not saying that Xing was a revelation, but it definitely does quite a few things right and I will definitely go back. This is not authentic Chinese food, so if that's what you're looking for, this is NOT the place.
First, lets start with the decorating. No Chinese grease hut, this. Red velvet on the walls and banquettes in the back, shiny black clad tables and a good energy. I went with a few friends and was pleasantly surprised not to find it crowded, stuffy or overly noisy. (Perhaps people are not yet ready to pay more than $4.00 a dish for Chinese?)
As for the important stuff, the food, I loved the cold string beans with garlic. This could have been a monstrously awful dish but it turned out to be crisp, blanched string beans topped with golden freid pieces of garlic and a little of the garlic-flavored oil. Yum! Crunchy and crunchier.
The Peking duck egg rolls were flat, and I could have sworn they were wrapped in flour tortillas and not regular Chinese pancakes. Also, no duck skin to be found anywhere! What's the point in that!?! Don't bother with these.
The salt and pepper shrimp were perfect and crunchy with just enough seasoning. I ended up eating these shells and all as the shells had been crisped by the heat to the texture of a potato chip (although, they were decidedly less so at the end of the meal... eat these as soon as they come out.)
Szechuan steak was a steak with a chili pepper sauce topped with Chinese broccoli, this could have been better seasoned and also had more broccoli. I liked the mix of flavors though and could probably reproduce this at home. Good, not stellar. Could definitely have been spicier.
We ordered the cashew chicken because I heard that Xing had a way with the American Chinese repertoire. Wow! The cashews tasted roasted and were still crunchy, and the chieck was identifiable as such as opposed to gristle that so often comes with Chinese delivery.
All in all, I'd go back. Also the bar space is stylish enough for a quick drink before a show or after one. The specialty drinks go from very good (watermelon bellini) to weird (Grean Tea martini). Interested to see what others think. I can totally see myself going here when I'm in a China Grill mood. (without CG's attitude and noise level.)
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