Any recent China Village reports?
Let me try again, with a title this time. Anybody been to China Village recently?
re: Prabhakar Ragde
Six of us were there last Saturday night. They were absolutely slammed -- every table taken, and a private party in the back room. And they seemed to be short-staffed. So it was quite some time before we got our food (we arrived about 7PM). Once the crowd thinned out we got good service.
Food was excellent. We got our usual West style fish (soup), and sesame bread. We also had very good ong choy and dry-fried green beans, and two dishes new for us: "house special chow mein" (with homemade noodles) (advertised on the whiteboard at the entrance), and "Family Style Crispy Tripe" from the regular menu. The latter was pork stomach, not beef tripe. It wasn't crispy, either, but it was delicious. The chow mein was soft-cooked, and very tasty, the noodles perfectly al dente. .
Corkage = $8 per bottle.
Two complimentary desserts (cold sweet soup with pineapple and rice dumplings) and a quarter watermelon.
Some of the other dishes on the whiteboard looked good, but we tend to stick to our favorites. The West style fish is a large dish for only six people to share, and it filled us up, so we didn't extend our comfort zone.
Over the past six months I've eaten at China Village a half dozen times or so. Dishes I remember:
Water Boiled Beef--still very tasty. Meat is surprisingly tender and serving is HUGE. Spicy, but not too challenging.
The cold rabbit appetizer--forget what it's called. So tasty. Lots of star anise. A PITA to eat because it's very bony. But it's worth it.
West style fish soup. Always tasty and GIGANTIC. Don't let the chilies fool you. This dish tastes like peppers w/out being very spicy at all.
The fish soup with tofu (name escapes me). The tofu is soft, like in soon dobu. The chilies stay IN this one. It's a very red soup, and almost reminds me of some Korean soups. Much spicier than the West style. I like it a lot.
I know we've had a couple of meat/veg stir fry dishes. They made little to no impression.
We've had the house special chow mein twice. It's good, but I prefer the chewier noodles at Shan Dong.
My students really enjoyed the Smoked Tea Duck last spring. I don't remember it well, but there was certainly nothing wrong with it.
re: Ruth Lafler
It's not as spicy as it used to be. This time, my nuclear family could drink the broth without choking on it. I have the feeling that this is one of those dishes that the new chef's heart isn't really in, but I could be reading too much into too little information. There are more duck options than there used to be. --PR
You mentioned the smoked tea duck -- we like that dish. However, they have a new version of it (on the whiteboard) and urged us to try it. They cut the smoked duck into pieces and cook it with chilies. We were not so impressed with it because some of the duck pieces were exceptionally salty, and the pieces had small bones in them.