A mob of us descended on Zhi Wei Guan for dim sum on Sunday. The blue awning still says Zhi Wei Guan, and that's the easiest way to find it, so I'm going to call it that for now!
A little googling reveals that Zhi Wei Guan is also the name of a well-established restaurant in Hangzhou, so I'm guessing that's its name, but they might just say "Hangzhou restaurant" to English-speakers. That said, I might just start calling it the Magic Kingdom of Dough, as advertised in the window.
And we did indeed have our share of dough, mostly in noodles, a little in dumpling wrappers. We erred in not trying some of the breads, but we'll rectify this soon enough...
We started with cold Sesame Noodles
Then two types of "juicy buns" (Xiao Long Bao.) One had pork; another had pork, shrimp and mushroom filling.
I liked the flavor of the pork buns (didn't try the shrimp version) and overall liked this preparation, although the wrappers are a little thicker than I see as ideal. That said, they held-together, which is not always the case with the more paper-thin, delicate wrappers at Dim Sum Garden. So on one hand I'd like them to be thinner, on the other I appreciate that I was actually able to get the soup-filled dumping into my mouth... There's not quite as much "soup" inside as at Dim Sum Garden either, but still overall, the had good flavor and were quite enjoyable.
"Stir Fried Ground Meat in Chinese Chili Sauce" (Zha Jiang Mian)
I liked this a lot. This dish is very good a few doors down at Nan Zhou, and Szechuan Tasty House offers something like it, but this one certainly ranks up there as one of the better ones.
I'm not exactly sure of what these were called on the menu - was it the "Emerald Shrimp Pork Water Chestnut dumpling"? Andrew? Katie?
Hangzhou Duck Noodle
Intense, sticky, sweet sauce, tender duck, noodles: automatically a new favorite thing to eat. I was caught dragging my finger through the sauce left on the place a few times.
Lamb in Oyster sauce - at least I think
that's what it was... it's the only lamb I saw on the menu, although this didn't seem like any oyster sauce I'd ever had.
Whatever it was, it was quite delicious. The only downsides were that it was a very small bowl, really maybe three or 4 inches on a side, and the lamb was very boney, so there was not a ton of meat to be extracted. But what there was, was very good.
Pork Tongue with Chinese Herb Sauce
I liked this a little better when it was not
in a noodle soup, but the tongue itself was very good. And I might have just been getting tired of the noodle soups... maybe it's fine this way!
Pork Stomach Noodle in Ginger Scallion Sauce
It's dangerous game trying to get pork "belly" rather than pork "stomach" when the translations are a little vague... So this was indeed the stomach, not the fatty meaty belly. But in a way I'm glad we finally got this, I'd been wondering if I'd like it. And it was OK, not my favorite thing in the world to eat and I doubt I'd order it again, but I'd eat it if the situation arose.
Sweet Soup with Osmanthus Flower
I'm normally not a big fan of these dessert soups, but I loved this one. There were fresh lychee, tapioca pearls, some sticky dumplings filled with black sesame paste, and the sweet fragrant petals of Osmanthus flowers. Really very nice.
I don't think we succeeded in getting a full overview of their offerings, but we got a nice taste of several of them, and I generally liked what we had. It's different from most of the other places in town, and has a few more things that bear investigating. How did we not get the "Pet's Ear Shaped mini dough soup"?!?! The house "super bun"? the "Yin-Yang bread"?!?!
Oh, wait, I know, let's go back!
The staff was very nice, especially in the face of our suddenly taking over almost the whole place and clamoring for food. The chef even came out at the end and took a picture with us, so I guess we didn't annoy them too much!
three of our crowd missed the picture, out on a hunt for cash, or behind the camera, but this was most of the gang. See you all back there soon to try the rest of the menu!
Edited by philadining, 09 June 2008 - 04:14 PM.