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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mr Zhang's Karaoke Restaurant

Initially I wanted to have Chinese hot pot for supper but when my friends and I saw that the price was $25 per person, we decided it was too expensive and tried this new restaurant.

It seems that Northern Chinese food is quite popular. I'm not sure if it's because there are a lot of new immigrants from China and not from Hong Kong or it's a trend but many new restaurants are popping up that serve this type of food.

It was a bit chaotic when we walked in. The hostess/server asked us for "how many?" 3 times. That made me worried that she would serve others before us. She did tell us to sit in their waiting area but we didn't for a two of reasons...1) I was worried we'd lose our spot. The hostess never took our name, as she did for others so I was worried she'd forget us. 2) the room had no lights, so you sat in the dark and had boxes all around it. It look like a storage area.

We ordered salty shredded tofu with spicy sauce. I didn't like it very much. It was like taking a block of tofu and cutting the sides off then julienning and marinating it.

We also order beef tripe and tendon in spicy sauce (I like the Chinese name. It's husband and wife. 夫妻x片 - I can't see that word so can't replicate it. Maybe someone can give me the full name). That was really really good. A bit salty but acceptable. I like the tendon pieces as they were large enough to enjoy the texture but not so much, you get sick and nauseated.

In the background is the tofu shreds and foreground is the tendon dish.

We also order Country Style fish. I really like this a lot. I really enjoy seafood so fish makes me happy. I wasn't sure if you were suppose to eat everything, including the head. I looked around and others did, so I did too. Wouldn't know that you were eating the head since it's deep fried and crunchy. BUT, I didn't like eating the eyes because it was like biting glass-not that I've eaten glass before.

You probably wonder why I ate the eyes. I was curious. When my mom was very very young, remembered staying with her grandparents and enjoying fish eyeballs as a delicacy. Well now my mom can't stand it and any food that is too exotic but I thought I'd give it a shot. Nope, I won't be enjoying fish eyeballs soon. I guess it'll have to be one of those knowledge/tradition that gets lost.

This next dish was called Sichuan chicken (sorry, I can't remember the name). Anyways, it tasted good if you like eating chicken bones and onions. This dish had no meat. I felt it was a total rip off. How can you call it chicken when it's mainly bones!!!! I'm sure they used the meat for other dishes. Too bad I don't remember the name you stop you from having this dish!!

Then we ordered Beijing Fen Pei or Mung bean salad. It was good but not the best. The mung bean noodle had a nice chewy texture and sauce was ok. It was a little bland.

This next dish sounds disgusting but probably the best that night. It was Spicy sichuan Fried Pork Intestines. Yes pork intestines sound disgusting, but what do you think proper sausage skin is made from? Pork intestines!! Anyways it's deep fried so its all good. Plus the spicy seasoning and crunchy celery made it enjoyable.

But, Sichuan peppercorns are a killer.

Sichuan food is known to be spicy. It's a type of spicy known as numbing (麻辣). It's really is numbing if you had too many peppercorns. Your tongue and lips feel as if you dentist just you a needle to numb your mouth. The first time my friend had real authentic Sichuan food, he thought his mouth was having an allergic reaction!!

Anyways here's a picture of the Spicy Pork Intestines.

I thought it was cool that the restaurant had flags outside. It reminded me of Beijing and China.

Final Thoughts:
Hmmm... This restaurant was ok. I liked it and wouldn't mind going agin but I think there are other places that are better. Plus so many new restaurants with the same type of food, I think I'd like continue trying new ones.

I will say that the service by all the staff except one was excellent. Even the hostess, despite being a little chaotic was very friendly. I don't see such good service often enough in a Chinese restaurant. For reason of service, I actually would go again!

Why it's called a Karaoke Restaurant is unknown. I think the "waiting room" was a karaoke room but no one was using it or singing. Plus I can't imagine me eating the fish head while singing nor would it be too nice to be eating while belting out tunes. Though, I know Asia has lots of them. 

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