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Jan 19, 2008 11:34 AM

China Village last night

We went to China Village last night for our first dinner there this year. It had been awhile since we had been there last. Usually when we eat at China Village we tend to order meat dishes like the village special lamb and the tea smoked duck with chili. Last night we were craving seafood and ordered Crab with Chinese rice cake and the Village special prawns. As an appetizer we ordered LXB (shanghai dumplings). China Village is usually delicious but last nights dinner was one of the tastiest meals ever. The crab and shrimp were both phenomenal. The crab was impeccably fresh and the meat was very tasty. It went sublimely with the toothsome rice cake and ginger sauce. The shrimp were savory, spicy and delicious. The LXB can be variable at China village but last night they were perfect.

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  1. Nice report. I assume the crab was in its shell? What are the village special prawns like? Is there a lot of sauce?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      If it was served with Nian Gao, I'm guessing the crab was shelled.

      1. re: Dave MP

        The crab was cracked but still in the shell.
        The prawns had a very thin and spicy crust. They were dry fried and served with slivers of garlic and lots of whole dried red peppers. In my experience, fried prawn dishes at Chinese restaurants are usually very underwhelming. To me, this dish at China Village was the epitome of how good fried prawns could be.

        1. re: Ridge

          In that case I'm wondering what the "rice cake" the crab was served with was. Was it oval-shaped rice "pasta" (nian gao) or something else?

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            It was oval shaped rice pasta. Very tasty. There were also thick slices of ginger root and other sliced vegetables.

        2. Thanks. This is the second positive report about a crab dish at China Village

          China Village
          1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

          1. My daughter's boyfriend took her and me to CV for the ma po tofu with crab on Sunday. It wasn't on the menu board but "spicy tofu and crab" was (or some such). I asked about the ma po and they said, "It's the same thing!" So I said to the owner, "You mean you changed the name and charge $2 more?" He cracked up and gave it to us for the old price. BTW: I thought it was reasonable at $2 more and definitely would have gotten it anyway. With rice, it serves at least 3-4 people even if nothing else is ordered.

            Also, besides the xao long bao and pork dumplings in spicy house sauce (garlic!!!!), we had A-greens (delicious, ? on the menu--it was suggested by the waiter who was still laughing.) and Chinese donuts, which were not sweet but tubular crispy fried dough that tasted great with the crab sauce.

            5 Replies
            1. re: lintygmom

              The A choi was probably not on the menu -- it's a seasonal green. Perhaps one of the most useful tips I've learned from chowhounds about ordering Chinese food is to always ask what seasonal vegetables are available and what they recommend as best that day.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                You're right! a-choi. A wonderful green but they called it A (as in the letter) greens to us at first. I forgot he said a choi later. I used to cook it when we went every Saturday to the Alemeny FM when we lived in the city. Now I would go back just for them.

                1. re: lintygmom

                  I think "choi" just means "greens" so they were using the terms interchangably. I would guess you could buy them in Oakland Chinatown in season, and also at the Old Oakland Farmer's market (Friday morning), which has a much bigger selection of Asian produce than other markets.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I've always ordered this as "A" vegetable, as translated by my Taiwanese friends.

                    1. re: LPCagain

                      Yeah, that's what they said. I always bought "chois" like bok choi, tat soi, een choy, kat choy. Always with a little Chinese grandmother at my elbow telling me how to cook it and pulling any inferior bunch out of my hands. All at the Alemany farmers' market, still the most amazing assortment and the most helpful folk. We used to go every Sat when we lived in the City.