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China Village dinner help

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Feeding around 45 high school students tomorrow night. 4 large tables. Group includes a few vegetarians, a pescetarian, two w/ peanut allergies (one serious), a couple who can't do hot food, and a couple of no beef folks. Though they are kids, many appreciate good food. All trust me to come up w/ something better than ordinary.

My plan is to offer a mix so that there is something for everyone, including dishes that I like. I am definitely ordering:

Cumin Lamb
Boiled Fish
Veg Chow Mien w/ Homemade Noodles
Rice Cake w/ Pork & Cabbage
Tea Smoked Duck
Orange Peel Chicken (I know...but it will make some kids very happy)

I also want:
A prawn dish (not spicy)
A pork dish (not spicy) Maybe the pork w/ dried bean curd or Hunan smoked pork w/ green beans, which I like elsewhere, but have not had at CV.
A tofu dish w/ no meat (not spicy)
A veg dish w/ no meat
Another veg or tofu dish w/ no meat (fully flavored, possibly spicy)

I am looking for suggestions for the above. Have you had anything good at CV that would work?

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  1. This probably isn't too helpful, but with a big multi-course meal like that, it sounds like just getting some simple sauteed greens would be a good option for one of the veg. dishes - are ong choy or pea leaves still in season? They may have something more interesting on the specials board, or if you just call ahead and ask.

    And this doesn't fit your list, exactly, but I'll put it out there that I really enjoyed their "Dong-po" style braised duck, which isn't a pork dish but is prepared in the manner traditionally used for pork belly. It was a bit unusual and quite good - really tender, not spicy. Anyway, I know you've already got the tea-smoked duck, so I don't know if that'd be too repetitive.

    Also, for full-flavored veg./tofu, their Ma Po Tofu is very good, but I don't know if it'd be the same if you asked them to make it without the meat (though I bet they'd do it).

    1. How about the fish soup, the one with all the dried peppers floating on top? They remove the peppers at the table when they serve it, but it's impressive and would nicely freak out the kids - though it's not super spicy once they remove them. I couldn't find it on the menu to tell you the name of it, but someone here will probably chime in.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        I love that fish soup, but I believe the actual soup is chicken broth-based, so might not work as a lone seafood option if the pescetarian is sticking to the letter of the law.

        1. re: abstractpoet

          That was exactly my concern. I love that fish soup, but it would be a shame if the pescetarian couldn't eat it. Also, having soup leaves the handful of vegetarians w/ nothing to do during that course.

      2. I would call Mr. Yao and talk to him -- he's very good at putting together a menu. Plus he'll probably be able to offer you a set price that might be cheaper than ordering individually.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I'm meeting w/ him after lunch today. Was just hoping to see if any other Chowhounds had tried and could recommend any dishes to fill my gaps.

        2. If I were taking vegetarians to China Village, I'd be sure to order the bamboo shoots, if they have them. They're little baby things, nothing like the usual I've had elsewhere.

          1. Get some of that stir fried cabbage (no idea what it's called on the menu), that was amazing. Get extra, because the meat eaters will want some, but it will be great for the vegetarians.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JasmineG

              How about Spicy Charred Stir-Fried Cabbage. Talk about perfect descriptions.

              http://chinavillagesolano.com/menu.aspx

              1. re: wolfe

                ditto on the spicy charred stir fried cabbage. and one of the soft tofu dishes in a pyrex plate can be made with less spice but with fish or veg.

              2. re: JasmineG

                Oh yeah, how could I forget about that cabbage? Big second on that.

              3. For vegetarians the charred cabbage is a must. I also strongly suggest the sauteed pea shoots and the baked tofu or clay pot with tofu.

                The orange chicken there is actually delicious. A thousand times better than the usual american chinese version. They also do a good walnut prawns if you are looking for something not spicy.
                My favorite dish there is the twice cooked fish fillet. Spicy but not too spicy and great flavor. I also love the fish soup.

                1. We like their pork shoulder, where they braised the whole shoulder. Very tender and flavorful.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Crunchyapple

                    I believe the one that you are referring to is #58 Hot & Spicy Pork Shoulder $15.95 for a large portion - enough to share among 6-8 as part of a multi course meal.. Comes with shanghai bok choy around the rim of the dish usually.