After my awesome dining experience at Dadong Kaoya in Fall 2009, I decided to treat my hostess to their delicious Peking duck near the end of my research trip. I chose Peking duck because she hasn't had it since moving to Beijing. I also wanted to try dishes other than the Peking duck this time, and that's much easier to do with a dining companion.
We ordered Chef's Dong's Braised Eggplant. This version of braised eggplants is a sweeter variation. My favorite preparation of braised eggplant is the briny version with diced salted fish in as clay pot. However, because it's a much heavier dish, you have to pair it with copious amounts of white rice to tame the flavors. Dadong's braised eggplant is a lot more refreshing and is void of grease, which is amazing in China.
Silly me insisted on ordering shrimp and insisted on the deep fried dish. It was a bad move on my part as it was poorly prepared. Instead of a light, crunchy batter, we got a wet skin-like batter. The sauce that coated the shrimp made it worse. It was some kind of rice wine vinegar sauce that tasted like mustard but not quite. I really didn't understand what the chef was going for in this dish.
Deep Fried Prawns
The next dish was the super adorable "Steamed Egg" with Crab Roe. We each ordered one (28 RMB / $4.50!!!). Although the egg looks like a soft-boiled egg, I think it's actually made from steamed eggwhite with a little bit of broth. The "yolk" is the crab roe. The light broth and lightly seasoned bok choy complemented the deliciously rich "egg."
Steamed Egg with Crab Roe
Steamed Egg with Crab Roe
S and I are both tofu lovers and were immediately drawn to the "Two Flavor Bean Curd." One flavor was the tender bean curd with mei cai (preserved vegetable) and the other is yuzi bean curd with spicy XO sauce. I have no idea what an yuzi bean curd is. It tasted more like steamed egg custard than tofu. Both were awesome.
Two Flavor Bean Curd
Tender Bean Curd with Soy Sauce
Meicai and Yuzi Bean Curd with XO Sauce
S approved of the Peking duck! She was also amazed at how lean and ungreasy the duck was considering how most dishes in China are greasy.
Duck Broth Made from Duck Bones
S was so excited about dinner that she was surfing the net for pictures of what other diners have ordered in the past. She said that she really wanted to try a cotton candy dessert she saw on someone's website. I'm not a cotton candy type of person, but S had been such a gracious hostess so I obliged. See how happy she was?
Cotton Candy for Dessert
I admit that it was really fun to eat and that the added surprise in the middle of the cotton candy ball made the experience even better.
With a Candied Fruit Inside!
And Stuffed with a Red Date!
Free Fruit Plate