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China Village at last - what mustn't I not order?

z
zenduck Jan 19, 2006 06:11 PM

I'm finally going to get to China Village with three companions on Saturday night. I've seen so many effusive posts here on a multitude of dishes - help me focus on the absolute Don't Miss dishes!

  1. c
    chocolatetartguy Apr 13, 2007 03:10 PM

    Having just come back from lunch there, I would say get neither any beef stew dishes nor the classic pork water dumplings. My Szechwan beef stew noodle soup contained little actual meat (perhaps a cooking-stylistic choice) and the broth substituted a lot of chili for actual flavor. I like heat, but only applied to an already tasty broth. I left behind half of the noodles and soup. The pork dumplings were unremarkable with not much broth inside. I found the dipping sauce to have an odd flavor.

    In all fairness my Tuesday lunch there (it's next door to my accountant's office) was really good. One of my favorite Chinese dishes is curry chicken and CV's version had a lot of depth of flavor. I also liked the soy/sesame? dressing on the little salad.
    I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday, but disappointed today (my favorite Chinese diss?)

    I prefer San Tung, Great China (not so much lately), Great Wall, all where I find the flavors cleaner..

    1. a
      anniebananie Jan 19, 2006 11:07 PM

      village special seafood noodle soup
      village special lamb
      pork shoulder cooked for 14 hours
      sesame flatbread
      whatever greens are recommended

      2 Replies
      1. re: anniebananie
        r
        Ruth Lafler Jan 20, 2006 01:38 PM

        I was disappointed with the village special seafood soup last time I was there -- one of the dishes that I think has deteriorated since the original chef left. Still, if you never had the earlier version, the current version is quite good.

        I agree with most of the other recs. Has anyone had the Chengdu shrimp lately? My favorite cold plate is the sliced pork in spicy garlic sauce.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          s
          SLRossi Jan 23, 2006 12:51 PM

          FWIW, I find the soup has a lot of variability in how flavorful the stock is. You can;t order it an depend on it being like it used to be, but sometimes it is. I actually had one of the best I've had only weeks ago.

      2. j
        Joel Teller Jan 19, 2006 10:48 PM

        I think we are referring to the China VIllage in Albany, on Solano Avenue.

        Get these:
        homestyle chicken (it is a cold "appetizer" dish)
        sesame bread (for four folks, one order could replace rice)
        lamb with cumin
        West style spicy fish -- although it is a big portion; one order provided a bowl of soup for each of us at a dinner for twelve.
        Ask the waiter what green veg is in season. Recently we had "A" choy and "yo choy" -- both excellent.

        On the menu you will see many dishes listed as "classic". Stay away from these -- they are the usual run-of-the-mill sweet and sour pork etc.

        Only one problem with this place -- our favorite dishes are so good that we order them each time, so we never get to try new things.

        1. r
          Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2006 08:29 PM

          My favorites:

          Szechwan home style chicken
          West Style Spicy Fish
          dry-cooked bamboo shoots

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Robert Lauriston Apr 13, 2007 02:53 PM

            Another favorite as of this week: the cold conch appetizer. The conch is sliced paper-thin and tossed with green onions in a light spicy dressing.

          2. m
            mise en place Jan 19, 2006 08:19 PM

            the spicy boiled beef we had was excellent, especially sopped up with the doughy sesame flat bread...mmm

            1 Reply
            1. re: mise en place
              s
              SLRossi Jan 20, 2006 11:07 AM

              Second this!

              The nondescript Fish in Claypot is also excellent.

            2. a
              anna Jan 19, 2006 06:46 PM

              I think there are a few China Village in the Bay Area. Which one are you inquiring about?

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