Visited by President Obama in 2012, this already famous Chinese restaurant doubled in popularity. In the heart of Chinatown and open all day long, I visited at 04:30pm for a late lunch/ early dinner.
One big room, dozens of tables covered with white cloth, Chinese art decorates the walls and several crystal chandeliers provide some light. It’s a dull space with no music, dark colors and unsmiling waiters.
Wearing green outfits and working like machines, the waiters throw the food on the tables with no finesse. Shouting from the kitchen, they look as if they are fighting when they’re just discussing the orders.
Food is authentic and traditional... good enough:
- Mongolian beef, a bit salty, not the best quality of beef - not chewy but slides unpleasantly under the teeth.
- Sishuan prawns are good enough, a generous quantity of prawns that are saltier than expected.
- Egg rolls are no more than fried spring rolls stuffed with cabbage. An excess of oil but an interesting crunch.
- The Peking duck is different from any I've had before. Served with Bao bread, half a duck comes with seven baos and hoisin sauce on the side. The duck and the bao blend well together, embraced with the hoisin sauce altogether gives a great result.
Didn’t leave impressed, a casual Chinese that lacks detail, finesse and style. I’m not sure why President Obama insisted on coming here.