February 22, 2013
The long history of Chinese cooking in America has evolved toward the sweet and syrupy. By contrast, in India, where the fusion is known as "Indo-Chinese," the flavors that emerged over the last century from the Chinese community in eastern India have veered toward high-voltage spice and sour. Take my new favorite vegetarian dish, which is becoming more common in Philadelphia-area Indian restaurants: Gobi Manchurian. The cauliflower florets are crisped in a seasoned corn batter, then sauced in a mahogany slick that could be mistaken for General Tso's - until you take a bite.
February 22, 2013 |
Going for Gobi The long history of Chinese cooking in America has evolved toward the sweet and syrupy. By contrast, in India, where the fusion is known as "Indo-Chinese," the flavors that emerged over the last century from the Chinese community in eastern India have veered toward high-voltage spice and sour. Take my new favorite vegetarian dish, which is becoming more common in Philadelphia-area Indian restaurants: Gobi Manchurian. The cauliflower florets are crisped in a seasoned corn batter, then sauced in a mahogany slick that could be mistaken for General Tso's - until you take a bite.
January 6, 2011 |
Once again, top New Year's resolutions include eating healthfully and sticking to a budget. At Veggie Lovers, the 3-month-old Chinatown vegetarian eatery, you can be resolute on both your waist and your wallet. The owners are husband-and-wife team Fenni Gao, who runs front of the house, and chef H Liang Huang, who has cooked in several vegetarian Chinese restaurants in New York and New Jersey. They are, indeed, passionate vegetarians. One of the restaurant's missions is to teach people the healthful attributes of a meat-free diet.
January 24, 2010 |
Did we really need to rediscover our inner chow mein? I didn't think so. After all, who ever thought we'd see that bland bomb of Americanized-ethnic cooking in a new restaurant - it's so mid-20th century. But just when I thought we'd arrived in a new era of sophistication in our approach to international flavors, embracing authenticity instead of hosing it down, along comes the unfortunately named Chew Man Chu, Marty Grims' campy purple wok-bar in Symphony House. This pan-Asian eatery not only distances itself from the apparently intimidating flavors of nearby Chinatown (" very ethnic . . . hard to understand for part of the Caucasian market," Grims has been told)
November 22, 2009 |
In China, what does not kill you (or leave you clutching your tormented stomach for days) tastes amazing. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture in May, I embarked on a three-month internship in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, to design a pavilion for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. Until then, my experience with Chinese food was limited to General Tso takeout and my roommate's rice cooker. To say dining in China was a shock to my system is an understatement.
January 26, 2006 |
When my husband, David, and I lived in New York City, like most New Yorkers we picked out our favorite Chinese take-out restaurant. Once we had deemed that the tiniest and stuffiest takeout in our neighborhood was also the one with the best General Tso's chicken (No. 24, all white meat!), we became two of the many regulars of a true wok-king wizard, a man from Hong Kong whose mercilessly permed hair added half a foot to his tiny stature. I never knew his real name. He argued that since we would not be able to pronounce it, it mattered not what we called him. So we agreed upon Mr. Afro-Perm, or AP for short.
September 4, 2003 |
It's tough to look fabulous on an empty stomach. Even the young and the beautiful need to eat. No wonder upscale dining is trendy in clubs across the country - from Lotus Bar in New York to Tantra in Miami's South Beach and Six in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Philadelphia region isn't behind the curve, with hot spots such as Denim on Walnut Street and Mixx in Atlantic City's glittering new Borgata hotel delivering food that ranges from good to downright memorable. These gastro-lounges are out to satisfy everyone, serving sophisticated cuisine earlier in the evening and interesting appetizers and finger foods as the DJs crank up the volume.
May 9, 2002 |
As someone who eats out for a living, I've spent as much time with servers over the last few years as I have with my own family. That may explain some of the gripes I've been known to issue. But I've had plenty of good experiences, too. Here are a few of the outstanding servers who helped make those meals memorable. Jim Miller has come a long way from his first job at a Big Boy, where he delivered food curbside and made change from a belt. At the Fountain Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel for 19 years, he has become one of the city's best servers, caring for customers with uncanny instincts.
March 4, 1998 |
It's time for dinner, and you want Chinese. But your pal wants Japanese. No problem. Lotus Oriental, a friendly neighborhood Chinese restaurant in Marlton, boasts an expansive menu that bridges the culinary gap between China and Japan, offering diners their choice of the two cuisines, sushi and all. Lotus, which also has restaurants in Cherry Hill and Turnersville, is on Route 73. We started our meal with a spring roll ($1.25) - a nod to yet another Eastern neighbor, Thailand - and pan-fried dumplings ($4.25)
December 26, 1997 |
The trademark of a true Mummer in a string band is a dogged inability to agree on anything. Topics of contention are limitless. String band members love to argue over who has the best band and who's the current King of the Mummers. They'll also beef about the best place for Chinese food. The point is best illustrated after you learn what happens after locking four string banders into a room. You get five opinions, soon as they get out! So to get the string banders to focus on one eatery, Big Fat Friday called on the string beaners at Chun Hing restaurant in West Park.