A menu that draws from several cuisines: Lu (Shandong/Northern Chinese), Chuan (Sichuan), Yue (Cantonese) and Xiang (Hunan).
A basic and satisfying pork pancake (jing1 du1 rou4 bing3) nicely seasoned ground pork, layered with a decent crepe that could be slightly more crispy.
I loved the thick fatty pork skins on the home style steamed (technically should be called braised) pork shoulder (hu3 p2i yuan2 ti2) -- the right level of sweetness from the sauce, rich texture, the perfect gelatin quality and a marvelous counterpoint to the tender succulent meat.
Places like Anise could learning something from the homestyle hot diced chicken (ge1le4 shan1 la4 zi3 ji1). A wonderful spicy aroma from dry fried chilli, peppercorns and scallions, lending a bristling aura of complex spiciness to the perfectly deep fried pieces of chicken. Exceptional Sichuan rendition from a Northern Chinese chef.
The homey sweetness of chestnuts, moderate fruitiness of Chinese dates and the crunch and aromatic peanuts complete a deft stir-fry with chicken (zao3 sheng1 li4 zi4 ji1). Simple but eloquent.
A pleasant tea smoked duck (zhan1 cha2 ya1) with good smokey flavour and crispy skin, but would be better if it was smoked lower and slower for a slightly rarer meat.
A Cantonese-style wok baked beef (guo1 kao3 niu2) was exceptionally tender. Great execution.
Springy noodles made from mung bean flour are smooth, jiggly and delicious with pork stripes and julianned vegetables (rou4 si1 la1 pi2). A buddy of mine noted that the sauce was more vinegar based, with a hint of the airy qualities of sichuan peppercorns, suggesting a sichuan twist to a Northern Chinese dish.
The stir fry of chicken and fish in a nest of potato (que4 chao2 cui4 shuang1 ding1) was quite nice, but not above and beyond most Cantonese renditions.
A homestyle fish (hong2 shao1 yu2) was very good, deep fried and then cloaked in a slightly sweet dark sauce with scallions and mushrooms. Great texture.
Mushroom with vegetables (xiang1 gu1 bai2 cai4) was another simple dish that was executed skillfully, serious wokking at high heat.
Lightly chilled pea-flour pudding (wan3 dou4 huang2) for dessert.
Overall, excellent technique and flavouring. We left full and completely satisfied.
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