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Non spicy dishes at China Village, Albany

I had posted on another thread about a Chinese Restaurant with a private dining room in Oakland. Since the focus of question has change considerably, I am starting a new thread. We have tentatively booked a dinner at China Village in their private dining room for 20 people. I know this is a Sichuan restaurant and I usually try to order in line with what a restaurant specializes in. However for this meal we will be a majority of non adventuresome eaters and need to steer away from the spicy food. Plus we don't eat pork. That pretty much rules out most of the dishes I have seen recommended. Any other recommendations? Can we still have a good meal?

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  1. I would consult with the owners. For a private dinner you'll need to work with them anyway. They will be happy to make suggestions.

    That said, the wok-charred cabbage is delicious, and not spicy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      We are meeting with the owner tomorrow, was hoping to come in with some ideas. Cabbage sounds great, thank you!

      1. re: elliora

        As has already been mentioned the hand cut noodle chow mein is excellent and non spicy. Many of the vegetable dishes are not spicy like Pea shoots, stir fried string beans, "A" vegetable. The westlake soup, which comes topped with chiles which are then removed, is not spicy. Also pork with rice cake. The braised pork shoulder, one of their must have dishes is not spicy.

        1. re: Ridge

          Unfortunately, they don't eat pork, which eliminates a lot of good options!

          1. re: Ridge

            You are confusing West Style Fish (which is topped with chiles which are then removed) and which is not very spicy if the chiles are removed -- you could even ask for them to leave off the chilies!
            You wrote "Westlake soup" but that is a completely different dish, a beef-based soup which is not spicy (I've not had it at CV).
            BUT the best advice is to talk in advance with Mr. Yao (the owner). You might ask for hot sauce on the side for those who want it. And you can pre-order everything.

            Among mild dishes we enjoyed the "Chicken Soup with Creamy Sweet Corn" .
            Also "Sliced Chicken Breast with Wine-Lees Sauce "

      2. Re: no pork, would I be correct in assuming that seafood is fair game?

        2 Replies
        1. re: hyperbowler

          Seafood is fine, not everyone eats it but we definitely want at least one fish dish and possibly another seafood dish, depending on how many total dishes we wind up ordering.

          1. re: elliora

            Just because "not everyone eats seafood" does not mean you shouldn't order seafood dishes. Same with the spicy dishes - you do have a some guests who can handle the spicier food, no? One or two? A spicy dish or two for them can be ordered that others might be tempted to try a nibble.

            One of the joys of communal Chinese dining is having a wide variety of dishes across different preparations.

        2. I did something similar for a smaller group (about 12) about 10 years ago at CV. We didn't work with the owner, we just showed up and ordered.

          We had a very, very good meal, because some people who wouldn't normally have "adventurous" dishes had a fork or two of things they wouldn't try, but there was plenty of Chow Mein, Lemon Chicken, ordered & consumed. The very low price meant people ordered willy-nilly, which was fun. I had a few forks of the other dishes, and confirm they were well executed, everyone said they had fun.

          That's a decade in the past ---

          In the past, CV denoted on their menu "Classic" dishes, by which they mean "Chinese-American dishes prepared in the Classic Chinese-American way"

          On the current menu I see very few "Classic" dishes, but there are a few. Lemon Chicken isn't among them....

          2 Replies
          1. re: bbulkow

            There is a lemon chicken breast dish on the menu, though.

            The cumin lamb might be a good choice -- it's highly-seasoned but not hot.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Really? I just looked and must have missed it. It was surprisingly good. Anyway - the CV guys are great and I'm sure a "mixed group" will have fun.

          2. they have a decent version of tea smoked duck. their chow mein with the hand cut noodles is good and would probably suit the non-adventuresume. their menu is multi-regional and includes plenty of dishes without chilies and Szechuan spices.

            1. I don't see this on the current menu, but the crab and rice cakes is a very good non-spicy dish. It worked well for non-spicy eaters. Also, the bamboo shoots are very good.