Chowhound dinner at Pacifica Cafe
Thursday night (12/8/11) at 8pm, join us at Pacifica Cafe in Gaithersburg, MD for an authentic Chinese meal. We will order the eight treasure duck in advance. I will be leaving by car from the Dupont Circle area, so if anyone needs a ride please let me know. This will be a unique opportunity to order some rare dishes in a group setting.
Do not respond on this thread. Send me a PM. As always, everyone is welcome.
A small group of us ordered two huge dishes in advance plus added three more items from the standard menu. We started with the Eight Treasure Chicken and the Braised Pork Leg, special ordered. From the list of Shanghainese dishes on the menu, we chose the Seaweed Infused Fish and the Bean Curd Wraps. We also got an order of sauteed water spinach and garlic.
Clearly somebody in the kitchen is highly skilled. I was particularly impressed with the regular menu dishes which showed great flair. The fish was heavily breaded but light enough to float to the ceiling, or so it seemed. Arthur Treachers eat your heart out. The bean curd wraps were large yet moist and airy with a delicate sauce that still had some punch to it and a kick of salt. Bravo on both counts.
The special order dishes were delicious. The pork was a bone-in shoulder with a red soy gravy that showed complexity despite the Shanghainese tendency toward the sweet. I adored the sauce.
The deboned and stuffed duck was full of delicious items like chestnut, cashew, lotus seeds, sticky rice, and lots more. I've only had this dish once before, at Grace Garden. I think the GG version might be a bit better. Althought it is not a favorite of mine, it is a rare treat for a group of hungry Chowhounds.
The standard menu beckons.
Too bad it is on a weekday. You know what might be fun... to do Grace Garden with a bunch of Chowhounders. I went once but I wasn't terribly happy because I think I mis-ordered, and did not order a number of the specialties that require advance notice. A group of CH, particularly those with a developed sophisticated pallate for this kind of food might be a real eye opener... if others are interested I'd certainly try to join in...