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China Village - Heavenly

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I finally got around to trying China Village. Heard a lot. Finally gave it a go. Ordered Ma Po Tofu and Sesame Flat Bread. Couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. I think I was in heaven. The flavor of the sauce was unlike anything I had ever had. Not sweet, not sour, not tangy. Just smooth and rich flavor with a real burn from the chilies. I drank lots of tea to soothe my taste buds. The bread was rich and fluffy. A real treat dipping it in the sauce and eating the tofu. Would go again.

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  1. Thanks for your report! I need to get back there sometime soon too...

    Dave MP

    1. I'll put the tofu on my to try list. Love that sesame bred.

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      China Village
      1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

      7 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        It's the Cumin Lamb that's the best!

        1. re: Kim Cooper

          I've heard a lot about the cumin lamb. Could someone describe it?

          1. re: Glencora

            China meets the middle east. Thin, dry-cooked lamb, jalapenos, onion, cumin, garlic... A little gamy, almost like something you imagine you'd get from a pot on a caravan through the high desert.

            I like CV's version a lot, but in the case of this specific dish I actually prefer Classic Sichuan in Millbrae. It has a little more gusto.

            1. re: Deeg67

              Thanks. So not saucy, eh? It's hard to imagine, so I'll just have to try it.

              1. re: Glencora

                In terms of moistness, it's often similar to the filling of a cheesesteak (minus the cheese, of course).

                1. re: Humbucker

                  The dry cooked lamb at China Village is one of my favorite dishes also.
                  We went to China Village last night. Unfortunately it was somewhat disappointing. A big problem I have with several of the restaurants on Solano, including Vanessa's Bistro and Bui, is that they can be so damn inconsistent: delicious one night and a huge disappointment the next time you go. I usually think of China Village as very reliable but last night one of the dishes fell flat.
                  In a previous review I effusively praised the Crab with Chinese rice cake:
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/481024
                  Last night we ordered this dish and it was hugely disappointing. The crab itself tasted good but the sauce was completely bland and cornstarchy. It lacked the delicious ginger and wok-char flavor of previous visits. Had this been the first time I ordered this dish I would never order it again. In retrospect I wish I had said something to the owner who was there but I am reluctant to do that unless something is truly terrible.
                  On the plus side the LXB (shanghai dumplings) and village prawns were very good.

                2. re: Glencora

                  China Village's version is wetter than most other places. Some people like the drier versions more, but I actually prefer the China Village version more -- I think it has a better balance of cumin and lamb flavors than the drier versions, which tend to lose some of the meat flavors in favor of char and toasted spice.