JoJoTaipei Report 9/18/11
Made it here today for some special menu items and some regular menu things. Huge menu. There are very few CH comments on this spot so i am offering these simply for fyi.
--3 cup chicken
--(fried) rolled pancake with scallion and roasted beef
--beef curry pockets (deep fried wonton triangles)
--pea pod stems sauteed
--mini buns (soup dumplings)
--braised pork w/ steamed bun (steamed white bun ‘hamburger’ filled w/ [too]dry pork and some very unusual crispies and green mixture)
inedible for us( more fiery than anything I’ve had at any Boston szechuan restaurants, even though waiter said he would get it less spicy for us):
--cold sesame noodles
--braised beef with tofu pudding (a daily Special)
This last dish would, i think, be an excellent entry in the 'hottest/spiciest’ search of a recent CH thread.
JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
BTW, the owner of JoJo has a restaurant in Chelmsford (Szechuan Chef), that mostly caters to Americanized Chinese food customers, but there is an "secret" authentic Taiwanese menu and they will also prepare nearly anything on the JoJo menu.
i wanted to try it because of the 'tofu custard' (i love silken tofu) but this dish and the sesame noodles were the only things i have ever left uneaten, intact save one bite, in my long life of restnts.:
BIG bowl of red chile color
top- crunchy bits of fried dough
next down- shredded braised beef with chiles and stuff
bottom of bowl- layer of yellowish semi liquid tofu custard
that's the last thing i saw, officer, before i passed out.
JoJoTaipei Report - I was there last night (1/2/2012) and coincidentally - I ordered the beef with soft soy-custard on the daily special list (mentioned by opinionatedchef above as --braised beef with tofu pudding (a daily Special).
It was outstanding -- very spicy (not for the faint of heart) but wonderfully tasty and amazing textures. If you like having spicy dishes which are hot and make you sweat/cry this is one to put on your 'must try' list. Even though it is hot and spicy - you still taste the beef and and the really soft creamy tofu custard (granted - it is pretty tasteless all by itself so it needs to be the counter-point to the sauce for the beef). I hope they keep this one on the regular menu forever.
I noted that four or five of the other tables around me had equally amazing dishes that people were enjoying. Interesting bubble teas, ricey/bean desert pudding looking dishes that a group of students were delighting over as well ( I could not finish my dinner so I was not going to even contemplate desert on this visit). I suggest going with a few people so you can order up a bunch of dishes and share them since there are so many interesting looking choices. Looking forward to a return visit.
IT was absolutely wonderful. Separately, for the "I love it hot fans" there was a Chinese food truck that parked in front of 500 Tech Square (Main Street Cambridge) each day, it still might be there, and it has a dry fried spicy chicken dish that is amazing - I used to eat it about once a week because it would become addictive (okay so maybe I ate it twice a week :-)
I've liked the beef with soft tofu, too. To me it was hot, but far from the hottest thing I've ever had. (Any dish with Sichuan peppercorns will numb your mouth a bit after a few mouthfuls and the perceived heat level will go down. You just have to persevere with it for some minutes -- and damn tomorrow's torpedoes.) Cambridgedoctpr asked upthread if the dish was just h, or h&d. I'd say definitely the latter. It's not as complex in flavor as some other hot dishes I've had, but the textural contrast of the crunchy fried bits on top, the very slight chewiness of the beef, and the soft, silky, custardy tofu underneath is excellent.
I would agree FoodDabbler -- both hot (not the hottest dish I have eaten by a long shot -- but it is pretty hot) and absolutely delicious. IF you can't take the heat -- it would not be fun to suffer through it to try to find out if it is delicious. As far as pure heat and fire -- I once had a lamb dish at one of my favorite Waltham Moody Street Indian restaurants that was made "extra hot" at my friend's request -- absolutely it was as as hot as anything I have put in my mouth - almost painful beyond belief ( I could not eat it) and it was amazing to me that it did not melt through the copper kettle dish in which it was served.