Author Topic: Tasty China  (Read 49082 times)

Offline Elijah Snow

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #135 on: December 08, 2010, 08:48:00 AM »
Ate there about a week ago and the man himself was still prowling the dining room, looking like someone's disgruntled grandfather. Everything was fantastic.

Offline Hrothgar

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #136 on: December 08, 2010, 12:39:34 PM »
We plan to go to the event on the 18th.

Although I've been lax in posting here, we've been to TC twice in the past month or so: Once with KoPP and my immediate family, and most recently on the Saturday evening following Thanksgiving whereupon we took no less than 18 friends and family. On both occasions Chang was in evidence and "spoke" to us through a translator. Seemed incredibly gracious and eager to please.

I've forgotten exactly what all hit the table with KoPP, but it was a very good meal. The Thanksgiving mega meal was even crazier, as you might expect. Unfortunately, a couple aunts and uncles and some family friends confirmed their Percy status by ignoring our ordering advice and getting, I kid you not, a plate of plain, steamed broccoli, steamed whitemeat chicken and vegetables with sauce on the side, rice, steamed potstickers, and hot sour soup. Then they had the temerity to grumble that the food "wasn't very good." Thankfully, they were at the far end of the table (although my brother got stuck down at their end -- poor guy). At our end we had my parents and our more worldly aunt, uncle and cousins (several of whom have been to China multiple times), and they deferred to us.

Much wine was consumed. A rundown of what I rememember:

- Couple plates of cilantro fish rolls. Good as ever.
- Dan dan noodles with pork. Also great like always. Little bit of ma la.
- Hot and numbing beef (like the hot and numbing beef rolls minus the lettuce and herbage). Good flavor, but little to no ma la.
- Ordered a bowl of baby wontons in red chili oil, tried it, and immediately ordered a second. This is drastically different from the last time I had it. Much less greasy, with more tang to the broth. Spicy and comforting at the same time, and so many layers of flavor. Very popular.
- Cumin beef (I think). One aunt, who is a prodigious cook and traveler (including many trips to China), could not get over the use of cumin, primarily in this dish. Blew her mind. She was loving it.
- Two plates of crispy chicken. You can dismiss this as tarted up orange chicken if you like, but the unique preparation with the thin fried shreds is good as Hell and as addictive as crack.
- String beans with olives and ground pork. Never disappoints.
- Two (possibly three) plates of dry-fried eggplant. Not much needs to be said here. Some of the out-of-towners, even the picky ones, were losing their shit over how good this was. Even the China vets and San Fran native were now declaring this some of the best Chinese they'd ever had. When I heard about the thicker "onion ring-style" coating, I thought I wouldn't like it. But I think I actually prefer it.
- Ma po tofu: KoPP had tipped me that this dish was better than ever and he was absolutely correct. I had to talk some folks into it because there were only a couple of other tofu fans at the table. I'd ordered it once before at TC and was a little put off by whole szechuan peppercorns swimming among the tofu. Crunching down on those obliterated my taste buds and ruined one of the main attractions of this dish -- the silken texture of the bean curd. No longer. This was silky and seductive with an incredibly comforting, well seasoned sauce. Maybe my personal favorite of the night.
- Only interesting dish to originate at the other end of the table was chicken and three mushrooms. Not bad, but a little cornstarchy for my taste.

I'm sure there are a couple dishes I'm missing. At the end of the meal, my dad, a TC veteran and one of its biggest fans, asked if Peter Chang would come out so we could thank him for the amazing meal. He did and the table gave him a round of applause. My dad told him (through the translator) that we sincerely hoped he would be putting down roots and Chang insisted that he was here to stay. He went on to talk about the new restaurant, saying that it would be open in a few weeks (which now appears to be true).

The old Olive's location is literally two blocks from my office. We used to go there for drinks and office holiday parties before it closed up shop. The food was terrible and the drinks not much better, but the place does have very nice ambiance. Since I first heard Chang was opening a second spot "near Ray's on the River," I felt pretty certain this was going to be the location, because there are only two or three spaces along Akers Mill/Powers Ferry where it could have conceivably gone in. When I saw roll-off dumpsters appear outside and landscaping work begin at the long-moribund building, my suspicions were all but confirmed. Work continues apace. I can't believe I'll be able to walk to a Peter Chang restaurant for lunch in a few weeks.  :o
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 12:43:07 PM by Hrothgar »

Offline KoPP

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #137 on: December 08, 2010, 12:49:55 PM »
The wontons in red chile oil used to be my go-to starter, but in the Chang-less days, it got nasty and muddy. When it's on, the 'broth' is an increasingly translucent depth of crimson, with those tasty wontons swimming about. I'm hoping it's getting back to basics.

I think the ma po tofu is one of the better dishes available nowadays - textures play a part in it, but you're right - I'd have to munch down on a peppercorn.

I'll be there on the 18th - save me a seat.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #138 on: December 15, 2010, 08:34:18 AM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #139 on: December 15, 2010, 09:56:31 AM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.

Offline Barnum

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #140 on: December 15, 2010, 01:43:42 PM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.


I think it's particularly interesting that he didn't answer the question.

Offline totm

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #141 on: December 15, 2010, 02:23:29 PM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.


I think it's particularly interesting that he didn't answer the question.
I was going to post essentially the same thing before I went and read the interview and then canceled out of my reply.  Read it all the way to the end.
"It's your last day on earth, what is your final bite to eat?" Eric Ripert

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Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #142 on: December 15, 2010, 02:33:21 PM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.


I think it's particularly interesting that he didn't answer the question.

This is how stuff gets miscontrued through selective editing. The last question was:

Q: So it sounds like you want to stay in the Atlanta area for a while at least?

A: I decided to stay here.

Offline Barnum

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #143 on: December 15, 2010, 02:53:06 PM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville.  

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.


I think it's particularly interesting that he didn't answer the question.

This is how stuff gets miscontrued through selective editing. The last question was:

Q: So it sounds like you want to stay in the Atlanta area for a while at least?

A: I decided to stay here.


Not sure it's a matter of selective editing, both questions are in that story with him giving a non-answer to the first one and seemingly saying "I decided to stay here" when pressed again with a very similar question.  Without being there and understanding what all was said that didn't make the story (as well as the wild card of a translator), it's nearly impossible to read too much into it.  The only thing that is indisputable is his history of not staying in one place too long.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #144 on: December 15, 2010, 03:08:23 PM »
http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/12/15/peter-chang-the-enigmatic-chef/

Here is Gene Lee's latest post where he interviewed Chang.  There are some definitive answers regarding his new plans in Atlanta, Tasty China, and the restaurant in Charlottesville. 

"Q: Are your long term intentions to stay here in Georgia?
A: The long term goal for me here is to open three more restaurants in metro Atlanta."

Oh great.  Another P.(F.) Chang's chain.


I think it's particularly interesting that he didn't answer the question.

This is how stuff gets miscontrued through selective editing. The last question was:

Q: So it sounds like you want to stay in the Atlanta area for a while at least?

A: I decided to stay here.


Not sure it's a matter of selective editing, both questions are in that story with him giving a non-answer to the first one and seemingly saying "I decided to stay here" when pressed again with a very similar question.  Without being there and understanding what all was said that didn't make the story (as well as the wild card of a translator), it's nearly impossible to read too much into it.  The only thing that is indisputable is his history of not staying in one place too long.

Actually, the only indisputable thing is that he makes tasty food!

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #145 on: December 15, 2010, 08:45:18 PM »
Actually, the only indisputable thing is that he makes tasty food!


I would not count on the uniform tastiness of the food if he meets his goal of opening three Peter (F.) Chang's in metro Atlanta.  He can't be everywhere at once.  Why don't chefs/restaurateurs understand that it's impossible to clone a chef-driven restaurant without losing something.  Once upon a time, I had a really amazing meal at Emeril's in New Orleans.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #146 on: December 15, 2010, 09:18:20 PM »
but i said HE makes tasty food..not the restaurants he opened make tasty food ;)

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #147 on: December 16, 2010, 07:45:14 AM »
but i said HE makes tasty food..not the restaurants he opened make tasty food ;)

Oh, I wasn't disputing your statement.  Just adding a caveat.

Offline Hrothgar

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #148 on: December 16, 2010, 11:41:30 AM »
Tasty China definitely dropped a peg after Chang left, but even then it was still better than 95% of the Chinese places in town because of the influence he left behind. So even without him in the kitchen, his restaurants are an asset.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: Tasty China
« Reply #149 on: December 16, 2010, 05:27:24 PM »
Tasty China definitely dropped a peg after Chang left, but even then it was still better than 95% of the Chinese places in town because of the influence he left behind. So even without him in the kitchen, his restaurants are an asset.

Now I can agree with that Hrothgar.  We ate ate at TC several times when Chef Chang was not there.  It was good but not incredible, when he is there honestly I think it is incredible.  Certainly there are dishes that I don't rate highly because of personal tastes, but it is by far the best Chinese place I know of when Chef Chang is there.  

No, I have not been to his part of China, but I've been to China, and I have eaten my way through the Chinatown in San Francisco a couple times.  I have not been to Chinatown in New York City.

I would guess Chef Chang's style and menu would be off-putting to about 90% of people that said they like Chinese food?  Those rare seasonings and methods are what attracts me to his food.  

.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 05:43:48 PM by Mike GadgetGeek Stock »
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