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Jan 4, 2004 11:28 PM

NYE China Village chowdown report

  • r

I'm going to be brief and let others chime in.

12 hounds gathered at China Village to say goodbye to a great year of chow. I conferred with the co-owner, Mr. John Yao, and using one of the set banquet menus as a jumping off point, came up with the following:

Village six cold plates
Sauteed Prawns and scallops w/tender greens
Dry Cooked Shredded Pork
West-style soup
Beer braised duck
Chen Du Crab
Fire Blasted Mustard Green
Steamed Whole Mandarin fish
Chen du Two Delicacy (dumplings in chili oil and sesame flat bread)
Eight treasure rice (dessert)

This was a nice combination of familiar favorites and new-to-me dishes.

For example, I'd never had the West-style soup before, and it lived up to the raves other hounds have showered on it. Also a revelation were the dumplings in chili oil -- they made me want to go back and try the dim sum offerings.

At the end, we asked Mr. Yao to bring out the chef so we could thank him for all the delicious food we and other hounds had enjoyed this past year. He came out wearing his chef's coat from when he represented China in the 1999 Bocuse d'Or competition.

I hope we can make a chowhound NYE dinner an annual tradition!


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  1. Ruth,
    Where did you all go after the dinner? Did you find a bar for some drinks or did everyone just go home?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Arlene

      Everyone just went home -- I think we were all sated from the food and just wanted to kick back. At least one person did head off to a party. I went back to my sister's, hung out for a while, but actually got home by 11:55, I think I was asleep by 12:05.

      However, if there had been a movement to go bar-hopping, I would have made the effort. We could have started at Britt-Marie's, just a few doors up the street.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I'd like to go back there one day. If I told the waiter I wanted Fire-bursted intestines would he know what I was talking about?

        Anyone know how to pronounce it in Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin)?

        1. re: Arlene

          I think if you really want the crispy stuff that Derek loves you have to ask for the dry-fried crispy tripe. There have been several reports of confusion over what you get when you order using the "fire-bursted" language -- there are two different ones on the menu and the waitstaff doesn't seem to be able to make sure you get the right one when you order in English.

          Having the name in Chinese would be a big help. Maybe Ting-ting can supply it -- anyone seen her around recently?

    2. I took photos of the dishes that were new to me...perhaps they've been reported on by others.

      The pork with bamboo shoots is deceptively simple. Yet, the silky sweetness of the pork shows the hand of the master in selecting the prize cuts and his timing at the wok. Beautiful blend of textures.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        We've not had good results with the tea smoked duck or Peking duck here, so Ruth tried the next duck-ish thing on the menu, beer duck. Simmered for several hours in the claypot...didn't Mr. Yao say the pot had three bottles of Tsing Tao in it? The spicing was mild to medium with the tart-type of wet hotness. I found the meat just a bit too firm. Those who are scared of bones should probably not order this dish.


        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Think these are called spicy won ton with hot oil sauce on the menu. The eager chopsticks belong to Michael Rodriguez. I waited a little longer to serve myself and did find that the surface of the dumplings had dried out a bit. But the taste was really marvelous.


          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Mr. Yao offered us the option of double, live Dungeness crabs stir-fried with ginger and scallions or Cheng Du-style shown here with a blizzard of roasted dried peppers. To me, the slight bitter of the chilis wiped out the sweet flavor of the crab. I enjoyed the salt & pepper crab I'd had here a few weeks earlier more.


            1. re: Melanie Wong

              A lagniappe of "tiger skin" chilis from the kitchen, named for the striations on the roasted skin of the peppers. When Mr. Yao told us that these were hot peppers, the Greek chorus said in unison, "where's Nick?"