Jobee again-Taiwanese Restaurant
I hesitated to post about the restaurant because I haven't made up my mind about it, but since there has been posts about zhonzi, i figure i'd throw one in.
if you like the kind of zhonzi with peanuts, pork(sausage), black forest mushroom, and the yolk of a salted duck egg, then...there's a version of it at Jobee(on Howard btw Lafayette and Centre), the now-open, now-closed, Taiwanese restaurant in Chinatown. (the ONLY Taiwanese pretty much). Funny enough it's listed on the Taiwanese menu as Taiwanese Pork Dumpling (and there's a sweet version that i haven't tried), so unless you read Chinese and know the characters for Zhonzi, you'll probably miss it. The zhonzi is smaller than usual which makes the rice to filling ration better. It's served on the wrapper that's been trimmed, and on a plate, wih a side of the red garlicky sauce.
I ordered the rice vermicelli with Intestine, which was well cleaned and simply prepared with the characteristic fried shallots bits and finely chopped Chinese celery . The Taiwanese "Ba Wan" is listed as "Taiwanese Ball", and was again, prepared so close to how it should be, but was just too tough, and wasn't cut into four as is usually done, so i had problem cutting it, and even chewing it. . The red sauce the sauce is good. i asked asbout stinky tofu. They only have it for take out now, but due to a party the night before they were fresh out , so i couldn't get some to try.
Thanks HLing for this find! I stopped in today at lunch and tried the classic Taiwanese dish 三 杯雞 - San Bei Ji (Three Cups Chicken.) Listed at $8.95 on the menu they agreed to make me a smaller, lunch-size portion which came with rice, egg drop soup and tea. Although not quite as good as I remember from Taiwan, it was devoured with relish all the same. Juicy chicken cubes with the three cups (Soy Sauce, Wine and Sesame Oil) and ginger, garlic and basil. The bill came to $5.50 before tip. This was actually cheaper than the 17 lunch specials they offer from $6.25 to $7.95. Those must be huge portions. Friendly staff. I was tempted by the Mung Bean dessert but was too full. They issue you their standard paper menu upon seating with some Taiwanese specialties listed but have some 20+ more Taiwanese dishes listed on a separate menu that you really have to ask for. Did not see 雞 屁 股 - Ji Pi Gu on the menu, then I'd know I was really back in Taiwan! Maybe next time.
my browser can't see chinese characters at ths time, but Ji Pi Gu cam only mean "chicken butt", and no i don't recall seeing that on the menu, however, they've always been advertizing the Ginger Duck hot pot/stew, and Lamb cooked similarly, and I would think for that kind of dish, the butt will be intact. it just that it may not be quite the season for those winter Taiwanese specials yet.
the addy / contact for anyone else who was wondering:
3 Howard St
(between Centre St & Lafayette St)
New York, NY 10013
* Nearest Transit:
Canal Street (J, M, Z, N, Q, R, W, 6)
Grand St (B, D)
Canal-Church Sts (A, C, E)
thanks for the zhonzi tip, hling! i like the little ones -- they get more of the flavor of the leaf wrapping, too. :)
bigjeff, this place now has a generic chinese food menu. The Taiwanese menu seems to have lots of snacks, but with not so obvious english translation, so it's easier if you read chinese. I don't think they were able to survive offering solely Taiwanese food.
Cimui, thanks for the address. I wished the zhonzi had a piece of nice fatty pork, but maybe others will get lucky. i did like the salty egg yok, though. let us know how you did.