Asian Court update
I went recently by myself for dinner, and it appears that they are getting a handle on all three issues that detracted in previous visits. The pacing of the meal was no longer "everything comes out at almost the same time in semi-random sequence", the wait staff seemed to have settled into a reasonable groove, and by requesting "very spicy" I was able to get a dish that was denoted with the chili pepper on the menu to actually have some nice zip to it.
In short, it seems like Benjamin, the young fellow who works there who reads this board, has conveyed our collective feedback to the management, and they are actually responding. There's still improvement to be made, but compared to my previous experiences at dinner time, they are making significant strides in a good direction.
I think that as time goes on and they get more feedback, they may fine-tune things even more. I'd suggest that as you try the place, post your reactions, and your suggestions. It does seem that they are listening.
See other threads for comments on the dim sum service, which is already pretty good, especially considering the lack of local competition. I think dim sum and dinner experiences are still different enough that they should be considered separately, and right now, I'd say the dim sum is still the better of the two.
Wife and I went for dim sum a few weeks ago, we both enjoyed. In fact, we went to Jesse Wong's Hong Kong for dim sum the week after to compare, she preferred the flaovrs of Asian Court. Personally, I liked the variety of Jesse Wong's better, but it's nice to have Asian Court around.
Went back for a couple more visits. The lack of spicing, and the almost total lack of non-brown-sauce options on the Chinese menu leaves me puzzled. I'd expect little or no spice heat if the chef was Cantonese, but if so, where are all the subtle clear or white sauced dishes typical of Cantonese cooking? Maybe the chef is from Hunan or Szechuan, but has been directed to turn down the heat to the point of blandness.
Am I just consistently ordering the wrong things?
We went today because we didn't want to drive all the way to Grace Garden. We left very satisfied. I was very excited at first as I was told they had Ong Choy and I hastily ordered it only to find out later they had just run out (this ALWAYS happens to me at GG, too, my SO was dying from laughter.) Btw, they get Ong Choy shipments from New York every Monday and Thursday. The traditional vegetables are all off menu, and the "owner lady" (that's what we call her) helped us choose between the various offerings.
We opted for a spicy preparation of Ong Choy with shrimp paste. She warned us that the shrimp paste was strong, and we responded "that's how we like it!" Later, we had to subsititute snow pea tips for the ong choy, but the preparation remained the same. We also ordered another off menu item, the seafood pan-fried crispy noodles. (The menu lists a version with chicken, beef, and shrimp.)
I felt like the noodles were done very well, crispy on both sides, and the seafood and chinese brocolli were cooked well. It looked like it might be bland, so at first I tried adding some chili oil and pepper. But the dish was better with the delicate flavors left alone. The snow pea tips were just out of this world. The shrimp paste flavor was not strong to me at all, and they had sauteed the leaves with sliced green and red chili peppers and ginger. Please don't hurt me, but I thought this dish was better than any vegetable preparation I'd had at GG. (Although I have yet to try the bok choy with salted fish bits at GG.)