B and L and I were there for "brunch weekend" today. They've expanded the dining area significantly from how it was in at least the place before last in this location. Maybe 8 tables, with room for 20-ish? And full at noon on a Saturday.
Taiwanese Style Congee - My first congee, actually, and I'd expected it to be more porridge/custardy, somehow. This was a yummy rice soup with bits of chicken and shrimp and mushrooms and possibly some maybe-best-unidentified other things. Non-neophyte congeers will have to provide more-informed commentary.
Steamed bun with roast belly pork - I expected standard dim-sum-style buns with pork in them, but these buns were flat, more pupusa-shaped, and then wrapped taco-like around a few pieces of roast pork with some pickled veggies and sprigs of green stuff. Very delicious, and at least one culinary level above what I was expecting.
Scallion Pancake Beef Spin - I think that's what the menu said. Thin scallion pancake rolled around extremely tender thin slices of beef (more roast-beef like than in the similar thing I've eaten many times at MuLan) and more scallions. The burrito to the pork buns' taco.
B had some fruity tea. I had a "Sea of Magic" drink, mostly because I didn't know what it was and the waitress didn't know what the fruit was in English, and even after conferring in the kitchen all she could say was that there's a fruit called "Sea of Magic". This turns out to be kiwi, or some Chinese thing that, when blended with ice, looks and tastes like kiwi. I was a little disappointed it wasn't something stranger, but I love kiwi fruit, and I don't remember seeing it on the fruit-shake lists anywhere else I've been recently, so I was pretty pleased.
L ate nothing, but she is 8 months old and this shouldn't be taken as a criticism. She enjoyed looking at people, a flinging her stuffed turtle under the table.
So: one visit, small sample, but yum, and we'll be back.
One small physical note: several of the tables have, instead of chairs, very narrow benches. We didn't find them uncomfortable, but if you came intending to lounge, you might be challenged.
(Also, I apologize for relying on Mexican metaphors to describe Taiwanese food.)
beef + chinese watercress. not very spicy, but good.
crispy chicken w/ basil -- I found it delightfully tender, but mrs black bean found it distressingly tender,
dinner (based on recs from CH!)
egg pancake -- rolled up pan-fried egg + pancake -- well fried, but I was hoping for the non-rolled up street food version I remember from taiwan -- anyone know what I'm talking about?
pipa tofu -- fried shrimp + tofu balls -- super soft texture with a crispy batter coating. really well fried
leek chive pork dumplings -- similar to dumplings on good days at MuLan + QingDao
re: black bean can
Hey, yeah the street vendor food is and maybe you'll get my pingyin but its called "Ooh-Wah-Jen" it's a cornstarch pancake where they put down some taipei cabbage put on the cornstarch mix throw in mini oysters and then an egg, it's topped off with a sweet and spicy red sauce. Actually I believe Wisteria serves it, it's a Oyster Seafood pancake. Back a few years ago they served it and it was awesome.
I am having some car trouble and not certain if I will make it to East Cambridge today. However, I did a bit of calling around, confirmed they are open and got the phone number.
Hours: 11-10:45 (not certain if closed certain day)
569 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA
Although Mulan is not far away (and anise), its wonderful to finally get a decent chinese restaurant in that space and something I think the neighborhood was missing. I created a places entry for them since they aren't recognized by google.
569 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141