Chowhounder Road Trip to Richmond!
Don't miss Tim Carman's article in the W.Post, Feb. 10, about CH darling Peter Chang's plans to stay in one place for a while, cook food, and start a Szechuan cooking empire.
The recent Saveur Magazine Top 100 (A mix of places, people, itmes, ingredients, from all over the world) lists Mama Zu in Richmond. Who knew?
not just about Chef Chang - also about our own John B! Richmond is a long haul for me, but I am still haunted by my meals from his TemptAsian days (OMG - those fish rolls in chili oil!...) and hope he is still there this summer.
I'm really excited about Chef Chang being in Richmond. I still can't believe I missed him when he was in Charlottesville a few years ago because SOMEONE didn't want to drive a mere 2.5 hours!
Went here last Saturday afternoon and there was already a decent crowd for a brand-new restaurant. Word gets around.
The food certainly did not disappoint! Your main problem will be deciding what to order and then ordering too much - a friend and I got an appetizer, vegetable dish, and two mains, which was absurdly more than we could eat. Total (pre-tip) was $65 which is quite the value for the food.
I didn't take notes, so my hazy, unpoetic recollection is:
Appetizer: Wontons in spicy oil. Garlic, red chili oil, and Sichuan peppercorn. An addictive start.
Vegetable dish: Basil/Garlic Eggplant - portion was large enough to be an entire meal; besides the eponymous vegetables there were some difficult to identify spices. Chinese 5-spice perhaps?
Duck Hotpot - "Chef's Special" and definitely the highlight. Comes out simmering in a pot, with (full) Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, scallions, shallots.
Garlic Pepper Fish and Tofu - it's not the name of the dish, but that sums it up - a layer of minced garlic, peppers, and spices on top of a layer of whitefish, with silk tofu underneath. The portion size was huge and could be a meal for two people.
An extremely exciting find and I hope the restaurant continues it's good work!