China Village [Albany]
It seems like China Village has been very consistently good lately. We have been going almost every weekend. They have a new dish which is particularly addicting. It’s on the specials list. I think the name is dry fried spicy fish. The numbing-hot combination of Sichuan peppercorn and red chili perfectly matches the delicate fish. It goes really well with their sesame flatbread. The owner was joking with us last weekend that we always order the dish and that he has one customer who orders it several times each week.
Tonight we popped in for a quick bite which was so yummy: Sauteed pea shoots with garlic, fish with hot bean paste, rice and "classic" chicken chow mein. The pea shoots were by far the best dish; but they were all very generous portions and tasty plates.. I guess I just wish they could all be served at the same time because between just two people, we can't really eat ta whole plate before it gets cold. Tonight, the pea shoots and rice came first, then the chow mein, and then quite a bit later, the fish (our vegetables and chow mein were then cold).
Sounds very ma la!!
I remember enjoying their pig's ear and ma la beef tendon (these are probably on the snacks or appetizers section of the menu), so a dry fried spicy fish sounds right up my alley! I think they have a version of this with chicken as well that's quite good.
This sounds great. How does it compare with the twice cooked fish fillets which is one of my favorite go to dishes there?
Tried the General Zhang's spicy beef for the first time. Beef tendon, Sichuan peppercorns, fresh and dried chiles, boiled peanuts, onions, tofu, delicious.
What cut is "beef tendon," anyway? Is it big fat tendons from the legs? These were good-sized chunks, couldn't figure out what they were at first.
re: Robert Lauriston
Beef tendon is really the tendon from the legs. They are usually very gelatinous and not very meaty or fatty. Kingdom of Noodles (18th and Irving) in SF makes a fabulous beef tendon noodle soup with giant chunks of the stuff and hand-pulled noodles. I'm hungry just thinking about it!
I can't believe they weren't on my radar until I joined Chowhound. So many wasted years... Here's what I've ordered in the past month. I've had a few uneven dishes, but the good aspects immensely overpower the weaker ones:
spicy cabbage: this was a complementary dish placed on the table before I ordered for dinner last night. It was fantastic, and I don't remember seeing it before. Do they regularly do this and is it on the lunch menu anywhere?
#58 hot and spicy pork shoulder: excellent and a conversation started with the people at the next table
#127 west style spicy fish filet soup: the best Chinese soup I've ever eaten. The leftovers didn't taste nearly as good the next day.
#125 village special lamb w/ cumin: good, but not enough spicing. I prefer the one at Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant.
#151 dry cooked bamboo: a bit fibrous, but the dish grew on me, and seemed to improve as a leftover the next day.
#199 village special seafood noodle soup: $7.95 for an excellent soup with freshly made noodles? Are you kidding me? Best buy in the house.
#206 szechuan style spicy cold noodle w/ chicken: I consulted Chowhound during my dinner to see if I should send these back, and based on a few descriptions of these as "chewy," I concluded that they're supposed to be this way. The noodles were extremely chewy, and seemed like fresh pasta that was uncooked. The color of the cross section was uniform last night, but as I eat some leftovers for breakfast (heh), I'm noticing that a few have a white uncooked cross section. On the upside, the dish was otherwise great. What are other's experience with these?
#215 sesame puff bread with spicy meat: the bread was a bit old and stiff, but the topping was outstanding. I wound up eating the meat by itself, and saving the bread by dunking it in the #199.