Tag Archives: review

Shanghai Restaurant: Fortune Cookie

I hit the new Fortune Cookie restaurant last night for a quick dinner with colleagues.

First off, I know it sounds pretty crazy to think that American Chinese food had any place in, y’know, China, but after years of eating through the different regional and local cuisines of China, learning from Fuschia, Fiona and Carolyn, and more than a few Chinese history books, I can totally appreciate American Chinese Food as a cultural concept.  The devil is in the details, of course, and I worried a bit that we’d see Nuclear Orange Panda Express syle Orange chicken in kitschy digs with some puns on the menu.

well there is Orange Chicken, the place is a bit kitschy, and there are some puns / jokes on the menu, but all in all, I think Fortune Cookie is a place to admire.  The place strikes balance between acknowledging every american’s childhood memories of American Chinese restaurants and channeling the actual American Chinese culture and experience, where generations of families developed a new style of Chinese Cuisine that stands on its own and should command its own respect.  We met the co-owners while we were there; we got the impression that this is generally their mission, which is awesome.

The space has some elements of the old Chinese diner chic, but the place looks good.  They have Mai Tais, and the Mai Tai was really good.  We had Beef & Broccoli, Orange Chicken & Their Ribs.  All of it was really, really good.  Especially those ribs.  I will be back for those.  The Orange chicken was definitely not the Nuclear Orange variety, did not look deadly, and was really good. The orange flavor didn’t quite come through, but hey — it’s their soft opening.

Highly recommended, and someone tell me how the Dragon Bowl cocktail (enough for 5!) goes down.

Yeshari Xinjiangese Restaurant

Our neighborhood has a lot of dining options, from alleyway noodle shops to (the only) Applebees.  Beyond a really exceptional  Euro/American breakfast place, we’ve got at least one of everything.  We’re lucky.  Our current favorite spot is Yeshari.  Yeshari’s walls are covered in pictures of, and murals depicting the Northwestern province of Xinjiang.Yeshari lunchWe eat here a lot for a few reasons: the yogurt here is fuckng amazing, and made in house.  The yogurt here is in half a roasted pumpkin.  Hell fucking yes.  That noodle dish in the foreground? Noodles Xingjiang with smoky tomatoes, garlic scapes, beef and what might be just one loooooong noodle.  Around dinner time they’re making the noodles fresh too.  That dish to the upper left?  Oven roasted eggplant in a spicy, oily delicious.  On the right? Uigher Lamb Wontons and Xinjiang beef and potatoes, both so inundated with cumin and coriander they dance as you chew.  Throw in that pot of Milk Tea.  Boy are we happy we learned how to ask for the sweet (tián) kind, not the salty (xián).  Not pictured, my favorite thing about this place, and Xinjiang in general–Sinkiang Black beer, the best beer made in China I’ve had so far.

I’m partial to other dishes there that aren’t in the photo, such as the mutton puffs; girlie loves the lamb kebabs on rods of red willow.  Also awesome: we’ve yet to be punished by the promised belly dancing.  I guess we don’t eat at peak hours.

Yum.

Yeshari Xinjiang Restaurant
147 Nandan lu (near Xujiahui station)
Xujiahui, Shanghai, PRC.

Shanghai Phomission #1: Aniseed

A few weeks ago a brilliant plan was launched on twitter to search Shanghai high and low for the best Pho available. While it may seem silly for a guy like me, so fresh to the city, to search for a non-native food, but I was simply following around friends on an adventure. A fun adventure.

Our first trip was to Aniseed, a restaurant near Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s campus toward the edge of Xujiahui and Gubei. Girlie and I had ventured to Aniseed the week before and found it delightful, though no one in our party had ordered Pho.

Our first crew of tweeps was @chabuduo, @lovince, @sdweathers, @jason_sch and lil ole me. I’d continue to identify them by twitter name but I think it looks funny when I sprinkle ‘at’ signs all over otherwise easy-to-read prose.  Then again, I’ll just drop the at signs.

Chabuduo thought ahead and made up scoring sheets.  We had a grand time knocking back the TsingTao and realizing that, rather shockingly, though we all wanted to discover great pho, only one of us had actually been to Viet Nam.

On both of my visits to Aniseed, the owner was there, shepherding people through their meals with a smile and bilingual advice on the menu, though she did recommend essentially everything.

As this was our first go around, I’m not going to build big tables and run stats on the surveys, but here are the ‘overall results’:

Broth Overall: 4.75

Noodles Overall: 5.4

Chil(l)i Overall: 4.7

Service: 8.6

Though I was a rather forgiving grader that night, upon reflection I was not at all impressed with the broth, which lacked any real character to differentiate it from standard white bone beefstock, nor did I find the plate of addons–chil(l)i, basil, beansprouts and lime–of particularly compelling quality, and they didn’t give us any cilantro.

Nevertheless, with enough poking and prodding at the staff, we got enough extra herbs and chil(l)ies to make a tasty bowl of Pho, and they kept the beer flowing.  Witness:

That’s a bowl of Pho I prettied up for the camera.  I don’t expect to meet well presented pho, but it doesn’t take much work.  Here’s Chabuduo’s chil(l)i infested broth.

Thanks to Chabuduo for taking the photos and everyone for coming!

Aniseed
189 Guangyuan Xi Lu,
Xujiahui
near Yishan Bei Lu

Lincoln Restaurant gets lucky

Lincoln Restaurant
3808 N Williams No. 127
Portland Oregon, 97227
503.288.6200
Tuesday Saturday, 5:30 – Close

 

 

 

Barney Gumble: 40 dollars!? This better be the best damn beer ever.. [drinks beer] You got lucky. 

 

 

 

 

I could leave it here, my opinion of Lincoln, a newish restaurant on N Williams.  The food is straight forward–almost to a fault–and excellently prepared from fantastic ingredients.  But damn, that seemed expensive.  

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