Chinese Food This Friday...behind the Orange Curtain
Calling all Sino-expert Hounds...
I'm tasked with a Chinese dinner for eight food & winos this Friday.
We'll all be in the OC...the SGV and even Westminster is not an option. Probably Irvine is as far north as I can get them.
Chong Qing Mei Wei?
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and especially to Porthos for his initial suggestion of Sam Woo and specific menu items.
It was a great dinner which was a challenge to engineer after a 10-course Cal-French dinner the night before in LA with too much wine. I feared some would shutter at the mention of more food.
But you gotta eat sometime!
So we had a restorative Cantonese dinner of:
- Geoduck sashimi
- Roast Duck
- Lobster with scallions and ginger
- Steamed southeast asian cod (amazing, not the large red rock cod, but a small and considerably more expensive green and grey scaled fish)
- Pork Shank with spinach
- Congee with geoduck foot
- Green beans with XO sauce
- Pea tendrils with brown garlic
- Lotus root with mixed veggies and mushrooms
Paired the meal with champagne, an old Gruener, and burgs.
Service was amazing. Our friends say it was the Chinese meal ever had in the OC...even those who had been there before.
Also heard through the grapevine that Sea Harbour is due to open an Irvine location sometime in March/April on Jamboree.
Again, thanks to all.
Chong Qing Mei Wei, Sam Woo is so white bread. AJ's across the street is good, but I don't know if they have wine. I'd rather get the quality Chinese food and worry about fine wine later.
Great Chinese food and great wine seems almost oxymoronic to me, great Chinese food and great beer makes more sense. I wouldn't want the flavor of the food competing with a really good wine. Are you going to get quality wine at SW?
I don't know about wine, but Chong Qing Mei Wei is (IMO of course) the best Chinese in OC,
Could be I'm just partial to the style; Chinese food is very diverse across regions and I love the chili spice of Szechuan/Hunan food.
Best of all, I've never had a bad piece of fish there and fish at Chinese restaurants is usually a huge gamble.
Plus there's a J&J Bakery a few doors down.
I'd go there.
Hard to pair wine with spicy food which is why I didn't suggest Chong Qing or Little Sheep. You'd be doing more Rieslings. Not sure what the winos have planned.
Regarding fish, the fish at Sam Woo are alive and swimming in tanks so there is no better guarantee that the fish is fresh at Sam Woo.
Porthos was correct to play the odds. Actually, we have an all mag French dinner the night before in LA and there will probably be some dregs to finish off the next day.
We are the only diners from LA; everyone else lives in the OC.
They usually go to China Garden and we just want to try something different.
It's a tough crowd. A mich* chef, a non-mich* chef, two from the wine industry, one winemaker. It's a forgiving crew...with long memories.
Sounds like Chong Qing is more like Chung King in the SGV. Can't wait to try it. But brought one of the chefs the pig ears in chili oil and he barked about how could one possibly taste anything through the spice. I love them!
Make sure you get the whole roast duck then. They'll love it. Should also go well with your reds.
Also a large whole steamed live red rock cod will be a hit. They'll have to navigate the bones but they should be used to that.
Swing them by the seafood tanks in the back to see what else they would like. Maybe geoduck sashimi, or live shrimp simply boiled if they have them.
Other interesting items for these industry types include pork belly with taro and steamed ground pork with salted duck egg.
I like the Cantonese roast duck
Winter melon soup
Steamed chicken in supreme broth with mustard greens
Steamed red rock cod
Braised pork shoulder on spinach (similar to pork pump at Mei Long Village)
Lobster or crab in ginger and scallions
Beef brisket and daikon in clay pot
Pea leaves with garlic
The menu is massive. These are just a few favorites.
Have not tried the pea shoots with 1000 year old egg. I like the taste with browned garlic. But that wouldn't be a bad idea either. Depends if they want simplicity or something cool like thousand year old egg.
The Peking duck is decent, the Cantonese roast duck is what they are known for.
The deep fried fish filet is a cop out. Probably tilapia. Get the steamed whole rock cod. Deep fried tofu is okay. There are much more interesting things on the menu.
The live seafood is what you want. It will drive up the price of your meal like mad especially if you get the live king crab steamed with garlic. But the live king crab steamed in garlic will be sure to please and be sure to send your bill over the top at $40/lb for 8-10lbs (what I find to be the ideal weight to give the most meat in the legs).
It will pretty much guarantee you that visa though ;-)