Came here with a large group during the soft opening. This is some real deal Sichuan food – complete with Xiao Long Bao!!! Portland is not known for having quality Chinese food, but this place is filling in the gap. The clientele was mostly Chinese, and this place was packed for having just opened! The service is fine. Tea is complimentary. I am a huge fan of this place and will be back for sure.
Note: photos are mostly of half-eaten dishes 🙂
Broccoli with Garlic Sauce and Dry Cooked Green Beans
“Sliced Beef in Spicy Hot Gravy” ( Shui Zhu)
Mapo Tofu with Ground Pork
Xiao Long Bao – pork and shrimp
- Shrimp and Pork Xiao Long Bao: YUM!!! I could eat these all day!!! If I ever come here alone, I will sit at the bar and get a beer and an order of Xiao Long Bao for my meal. These are just like the ones I had in Shanghai – thinner wrappers than at Kung Pow. I can’t compare to the ones at Shandong because I’ve never had them. One day. Xiao Long Bao is one of my very favorite foods. Meat and gushing hot soup all in a tasty bite of saucy dumpling. Next time I will have the pork only.
- Lamb Dumplings: These were fine, but did not blow me away. Kind of plain compared to everything else on the table. Will not reorder.
- Broccoli with Garlic Sauce: Good. Rather plain. Quite al dente. Still tasty, but if I am going for a simple veggie dish I would prefer the green beans.
- Dry Cooked Green Beans: Yes!!! Simple, but flavorful. Cooked just right. This is on my list of regular dishes to order.
- Shui Zhu (“Sliced Beef in Hot & Spicy Gravy”: Heiner told us that this dish is typically the spiciest dish on the table when you get it at a restaurant in Sichuan. It was quite spicy, but not to the extent he expected. It definitely needed rice with it! It had great strong flavors of hua jiao and la jiao (sichuan pepper and chili pepper). I very much enjoyed it but it was not one of my favorites.
- Green Onion Pancake: I was not expecting to be so wowed by this simple looking dish! It was kind of reminiscent of a Chinese quesadilla. If I was there with one other person ordering and could only get 2-3 dishes, this wouldn’t make the cut. In a big group, however, this is a lovely dish to include! It really complimented this meal by offering such contrasting flavor (and texture) to the other dishes.
- Mapo Tofu: This was surprisingly fantastic. The Sichuan pepper is the star of the show. The dish is fragrant and acidic and numbing and spicy in a way that doesn’t make your mouth burn. Bummer for the vegetarians – the tofu is covered in meaty sauce (ground pork). I would happily repeat order this next time I come here.
- Sauteed Chinese Yam (Shan Yao) (not pictured): Okay. Unmemorable. I wasn’t wowed by any of the Shanyao I had in Shanghai, and this dish was exactly like those dishes. Comes with a little bit of carrots, snow peas, and wood-ear mushrooms.
Conclusions: This is where I am coming the next time I crave Chinese food. And probably the time after that and the time after that. I am so excited that this place has arrived in Portland.
November 2016 visit notes:
- Tyler does not like Sichuan pepper
- Eggplant with Green Beans = very good. The dry cooked green beans are better but if you are limited in how many dishes you can order and want both eggplant and green beans… This is where it’s at
- Had the Xiao Long Bao pork only (as opposed to shrimp and pork) – very good. No preference between the two.
December 2016 visit:
Preserved Vegetable with Sliced Fish Soup (sour!!!! good though. very intense)
Trying to figure out wtf was in the preserved vegetable soup (still not sure…)
Salt and Pepper Prawns with Sizzling Rice ….
- You have the option of getting these with the peeled or unpeeled. WHYYY oh why would anyone ever order these unpeeled? Since my dad is a little crazy and wanted them that way, I went along with it in the spirit of trying new things, but no, absolutely not. They might have been good if it had not been for the unpeeled-ness of them, but that was a barrier for me.
- Those sizzling rice things are delicious. Also very salty.
Fried rice. Very good.
Tofu Hot and Spicy Dried Pot (good but not that memorable. spicy!)
Sweet Corn and Pine Nuts Dessert
- A hilarious menu item
- Tastes like what it looks like
- Do not recommend
- General Tso Chicken – good for that greasy Americanized Chinese food taste. Better to stick to more special Sichuan dishes at Duck House though
- Pork buns… very good but would rather just eat more Xiao Long Bao