Anyone who has ever had to listen to someone from the New York metropolitan area whine about food, when we’ve moved to another part of the country, knows how annoying we can be. When my family plans a trip back to New Jersey our plan starts with a list of all the food we need to eat while we’re there. Pizza, bagels, a good diner breakfast and of course, Chinese food. Without seeming provincial, I just haven’t eaten any of these items in Florida that have come close to my home state. That is before last night.
I grew up being able to go into Chinatown with friends for the real deal. Walking down the stairs into a ground floor restaurant like Hop Kee in Chinatown was something we just accepted as our right. We were so spoiled! So when a friend and member of The Culture and Cuisine Club suggested a road trip to a Chinese restaurant I was skeptical. Seriously skeptical.
Was I ever wrong! The best pork fried dumplings I’ve ever had, fantastic hot and sour soup, the list goes on and on! We ordered so much food, we were like drunken sailors, and we laughed hysterically when it all arrived. But was any left? Only the dark meat and carcass of the Peking duck came home with me, which will be made into a duck stock today.
In the haze of a Chinese food hangover this is what I remember eating: Roast pork chow fun with black bean sauce, Lobster Cantonese, sesame chicken with broccoli, Peking duck, moo shu pork, a curry hot pot, beef with broccoli and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. It was all served family style on a big glass lazy Susan in the center of the table which Cynthia controlled like a card dealer in Vegas. It was an unbelievable feast, and I’ve taken a couple of pictures to tempt you. The restaurant is named China Yuan, on Armenia north of Waters. Here is the link, enjoy! http://www.chinayuanrestaurant.com.