Ma Po Tofu with Crab at China Village [Albany]
Had this yesterday. It was incredibly delicious with an amazing amount of crab from one plucked fresh from the tank, the silkiest tofu I'd ever had, wide slices of ginger and scallions and, of course, lots of spice. At $24.95 it served us as a main dish for lunch and then for my dinner that night, my breakfast the next morning and also for lunch. In addition to the crab we had pork dumplings in homemade spicy sauce, xao long bao (which are always delicate, so delicate that I can't taste much when they come with the spicy items. But my daughter loves them) and spicy tan tan noodle soup, which has sauteed crumbled pork on top, a few bok choy, and dark and complex spicy/sesame broth.
If you're a crab + spice lover, get there while they still have this dish!
I'll just tack on here for the archives when crab season starts up again in a few months.
Here's a photo of the ma po tofu crab from my birthday dinner with family in April,
I'd been lusting after this since first hearing about it at the November chowdown. And lust-worthy it is. The seasonings are ratched back a bit from what i'd expect in traditional mapo dofu to harmonize better with the crab's delicacy. This was a big specimen, at least two pounds, and maybe 2.5 lbs, with lots of sweet, tender flesh.
The night's other big hit was the Dong Po duck,
When I said to Mr. Yao that I was looking forward to trying it for the first time, he corrected me, insisting that I'd had it before. At home later I discovered that I had indeed tried this braised wonder and posted on it here, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4396... . A little scary that he's keeping closer track of my likes and dislikes than I am!