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eGullet Outing at Full Kee, Chinatown


hillvalley
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Stephanie and I had a wonderful evening, thank you. I came away with a renewed appreciation for the depth and variety of Chinese food. For me, and probably for most people, Chinese food gets reduced to a handful of Americanized favorites -- though I'll thrash anybody who denies that a carton of General Tso's is a box of spicy bliss -- closer to fast food than fine dining. It was a delight to sit down with people who enjoy food to really taste and appreciate it, and to sail off the map for a little while.

It is, however, a little odd to wake up with a craving for jelleyfish with shredded duck.

When I get around to it, I will start a new thread on the upcoming DcGullet picnic.

Great finally meeting you all.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Stephanie and I had a wonderful evening, thank you. I came away with a renewed appreciation for the depth and variety of Chinese food. For me, and probably for most people, Chinese food gets reduced to a handful of Americanized favorites -- though I'll thrash anybody who denies that a carton of General Tso's is a box of spicy bliss -- closer to fast food than fine dining.

I agree. It was refreshing to get away from the mu shu pork and egg rolls for a night. I especially enjoyed the spicy head on shrimp. The pork skin sucked though. It was like chewing on an old dish sponge.

Great to see you all again. I look forward to the picnic!

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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The only thing Full Kee really needs now is a liquor license (or at least a beer/wine one).

they probably had too many people either fall down those stairs because of that weird 1/2 step at the top, or smack their heads on the ceiling on the way down.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Dave and I had a great time as well. I can totally see now why people recommend congee as a hangover breakfast - nice combination of totally inert foodstuff with lovely salty porky bits at the bottom. Everything else we tried was great, particularly the dishes with vegetables in - even the turnips in the pork-sponge dish were good, once you got past the pork-sponge.

I think I'd be willing to give them a pass on the beer/wine license if they'd splash out on a slightly more powerful air conditioner - it was a little warm down there.

Bring on the picnic!

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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I think I'd be willing to give them a pass on the beer/wine license if they'd splash out on a slightly more powerful air conditioner - it was a little warm down there.

Bring on the picnic!

According to our waitress, it was broken.

I let Jsmeeker tell me where to eat in Vegas.

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Hey, that was fun! I did get a bit out of it downstairs with the heat and the smell of a petstore (really).

Food was....6 of 10 maybe. Frog was dissapointing since it was very hard to not eat bones. Oysters were excellent as was the soup.

Will be at 'Eat This New York' then BdC, if you are out say hi.

Edited by DCMark (log)
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Is anyone going to hear Jose Andres Saturday night?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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What's jose andres doing saturday night?

and many thanks again for the stupendous organizing skill, verve, and wit--I had a fantastic time, and am smacking myself upside the head for missing the oyster dish on previous visits.

not, however, smacking or otherwise berating myself for missing the froggies.

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He's going to be at the Saturday night showing of "Eat This New York" at Visions. There are different chefs for a couple of weekends I think.

not, however, smacking or otherwise berating myself for missing the froggies.

You got that right :smile: No Kermie for me.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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And now, the much promised photos. I am craving all that is pictured here, plus some jellyfish :smile: Never thought I would say that :biggrin:

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The much loved oyster caserole. You cannot imagine how big the oysters were. A good 3 inches long. It comes out sizzling. Just as you realize the sizzling is coming your way, the scent makes it over to the table. It's all you can do to restrain yourself. Ginger, scallions and oysters. Perfection.

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Heads on shrimp with hot peppers. Fried, I think and coated with salt. My only complaint was there wasn't much to suck out of the head.

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Pea leaves sauteed in garlic. Yummmm. The scent's similarity to illegal herbs was noted. Some thought it tasted like spinach, but they're wrong.

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I have no idea whose brilliant idea it was to order this, but I thank you. I think it was pickled cabbage and pork, but that's just a guess.

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eunny's soup. Given the cold and grey around here today, I could go for some right now.

And last but not least.....

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Back row: Mr. hannah, busboy, Mrs. busboy, bilrus

Middle row: hannah, turtleboy, Mrs. DCMark, DCMarck, Malawry

Front row: mdt, Al_Dente, babka, eunny

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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He's going to be at the Saturday night showing of "Eat This New York" at Visions. There are different chefs for a couple of weekends I think.

I went. The movie wasn't as great as some of the reviews in the Post made it seem like it would be. Frankly, I had very little interest in whether the folks looking to open the restaurant would succeed. I didn't find them very likeable. I did enjoy, however, listening to the thoughts of Ruth Reichl, Drew Neiporent and particularly, Sirio Maccioni, who is an absolute rip.

Jose talked a little bit about how to find good help, the importance of partnerships like he has with Roberto Alvarez and Rob Wilder, the differences in the restaurant scene between here and NYC (we have less numbers of restaurants here, but good variety with some high quality examples in each category, so he says), and he talked about the new restaurants slated for Crystal City this fall.

Afterwards we got some tastes, which I think are items he serves at minibar. (I'm only guessing at this having not been to minibar (yet) but have read about it here). Foie gras cotton candy, saffron gumdrops, etc.

But nothing could be worse than the guy in the last row of the theater who had to read outloud every time some kind of text showed up on the screen. That and he had to keep loudly making comments about many of the NYC restaurants that were shown in the film, as if he's the expert on NYC restaurants and none of us had ever been to the city before...let alone lived there.

I think Ann Cashion is doing the "post-movie Q&A" at a screening sometime this week.

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Fantabulous!

You guys look great! The food looks delicious!

What a blast! I suppose I should start planning the 1st Annual eGullet New England Lobster Bake for us all NOW!!! Maine is indeed the only habitable place in the country come August so start riding your bikes now so you'll be here in time... besides, I've noticed a few posters betraying their proxemity so WE can at least hoist a Gearys Pale Ale and tear into some steamers together. :rolleyes:

Great pix HValley! I have to try the oyster dish at top. They are very good here in the Gulf of Maine. Do I spy bean sprouts in that bowl as well?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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What a blast! I suppose I should start planning the 1st Annual eGullet New England Lobster Bake for us all NOW!!! Maine is indeed the only habitable place in the country come August so start riding your bikes now so you'll be here in time... besides, I've noticed a few posters betraying their proxemity so WE can at least hoist a Gearys Pale Ale and tear into some steamers together. :rolleyes:

Great pix HValley! I have to try the oyster dish at top. They are very good here in the Gulf of Maine. Do I spy bean sprouts in that bowl as well?

Becareful of what you offer. You never know who may take you up on it :wink:

Those are onions in the oysters. A ton of them.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Becareful of what you offer. You never know who may take you up on it 

If anyone can book a room in Maine around August I'd be impressed! We'll see what happens. Are you threatening to leave that sticky city and come slurp a few Damiriscotta Oysters with me? As you know, I'm an expert on 'em! :laugh:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I tried to hop over to the Busboy/DCMark/Turtleboy/esteemed spouses table to take photos of their food (Hillvalley and I had the only cameras, and we happened to be at the same table). I didn't taste all the dishes I snapped as a result, so hopefully others will fill in the blanks.

More photos:

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I think this was some kind of a duck dish.

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This was a deliciously garlicky frog dish. Somebody commented on how many bones there were, but Full Kee ain't the sort of place to debone your frog legs. You gotta go to Cafe 15 for that. These were quite tasty though.

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The infamous jellyfish and duck dish, laced with sesame seeds. Jellyfish is somewhat squidlike in texture...a little rubbery, a little slippery, a little sealike flavor. Quite yummy, I recommend it.

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The sizzling oyster casserole deserves another photo. We packed away three of these between the two tables and I think we could have killed a fourth easily. Behind you can see the remains of the preserved egg/pork congee we ordered (I didn't get a chance to photograph it when it initially arrived). I think there were several converts to this comforting, simple rice gruel among those who sampled it.

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The only dud of a dish, pig skin with turnips. See, it even looks boring! The Full Kee chefs oughta take a page out of Varmint's book.

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The stuffed eggplant wins my award for most attractive plate...the colors are captivating! Unfortunately, it never made it over to my seat and I forgot to steal a nibble. How was it?

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Oh, and Hillvalley: I suggested the sour cabbage and pork dish, and I too was pretty glad of its appearance. (I'm a sucker for anything listed as "sour" without the word "sweet" on a menu.) You can also get it with tripe or squid.

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If anyone can book a room in Maine around August I'd be impressed! We'll see what happens. Are you threatening to leave that sticky city and come slurp a few Damiriscotta Oysters with me? As you know, I'm an expert on 'em! :laugh:

I'll be in Boothbay in August, as I am every year. Definitely will be eating those oysters. When's the festival this year?

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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