Taipei & Tokyo vs Chen Yang Li
Over the past year, I have heard a lot of Chowhounders say nice things about Chen Yang Li in Bedford.
After eating there a number of times, I've got to wonder what those people were thinking. I haven't once had a meal there that I was happy with.
Take their mongolian beef or chicken in black bean sauce for example. On first taste, these dishes were good. But then I noticed this bitter flavor that was out of place, amongst all the good flavors. I don't know what causes it, but I've gotten this flavor myself every time I've tried to make stir fry at home without using premade schezuan sauce.
Things only got worse from here. The last two times I went, I tried tangerine chicken and mango chicken. Oh my god. I know corn syrup when I taste it, and these things were chock full of it. The mango chicken was so sweet as to be inedible. The tangerine chicken if memeory serves was only slightly better, probably because of the sweetness being offset by the tangerine zest.
Anyway, I just don't know what people see in this place. Sure, it's fancy dining, and the waiters are attentive and nice, but foodwise, I've gotten much better at far less fancy chinese places.
Taipei & Tokyo for example, on the same road in Bedford, near the Wal*Mart, is mentioned here very rarely. Yet the food they serve is far better. (I know they have three places but I'd hardly consider that a chain.)
I ordered the the Chicken w/ Black Bean Sauce when I went there recently, and while I was at first taken aback by a lack of actual sauce, I realised it was plenty tasty enough without it, and the presentation was very nice as well, with a nice variety of vegetables and good bits of chicken and even a few little beans sprinkled in there for good measure.
And the next trip, I ordered the chicken with spicy sauce and that was even better and had enough sauce for my rice.
Also, it should be mentioned that these entrees were only $6.25 for lunch, and they came with tea, soup, and and appetizer chicken wing or egg roll. How can you beat that?