Tag Archives: Chinese

Poong Mei (Spring of China)

Cuisine: Chinese
4720 Reed Road, near Reed and Henderson.

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Poong Mei Asian Bistro is the restaurant also/formerly known as Spring of China. The owners realized that the original name was misleading as their offerings span Chinese, Korean and Japanese, but the transition to a new name seems to be very gradual. We were told that Poong Mei means successful in Chinese, tasty in Korean and beautiful in Japanese and the owners thought that all of these were auspicious for their business.

The menu is divided into Chinese/ Western, Chinese, Korean/Japanese and Korean and there are some interesting selections in each. Our interest was piqued by a rumor that they made their own noodles in house, which indeed they do – there is a whole page devoted to them. They also make their own dumplings from scratch.

The restaurant has a little more of a Korean feel than Chinese, especially when we were presented with a banchan-like selection of kim chi and  pickles.

The dumplings are available steamed and boiled. On the advice of our server we opted for the steamed. The dumplings were large, and the dough on the thicker side, but both the filling and the dough were obviously freshly made. The filling was pork with vegetables and was fragrant with ginger and with flecks of scallion. My understanding from the menu is that the boiled dumplings have a thinner skin and there are 15 in the serving.

The same filling is used for the pork buns. As you can see the portion size for both is very generous and certainly good for sharing.

We wanted to try the noodles and opted for zha jhang myun – hand made noodles with chopped vegetables, pork and shrimp in black bean sauce. The black bean sauce had more of a fermented smoky flavor than the store bought versions – it was pure umami. The texture of the hand made noodles was good, but the dominance of the black bean sauce made it hard to discern their flavor.

Salt and pepper crispy squid is one of our favorite dishes at Yau’s and we decided to order it for the sake of comparison (and because we can’t resist crispy squid). They were more battered and crunchy than Yau’s and were utterly addictive.

The last dish we tried were the crispy tofu balls with bok choi and ginger and garlic sauce. The tofu balls (which contained shrimp as well) were really good and a pleasant variation on the usual tofu preparations. While the outside was crispy the inside was deceptively light and moist. Perhaps a dish that could win over tofu skeptics. 

Poong Mei has enough range in its menu to please both fans of American Chinese food and more intrepid diners with everything from sweet and sour chicken to boiled pork feet, sea cucumber and jelly fish.

Little Dragons

Cuisine: Chinese
1508 Morse Road (Morse and Karl)
Open 7 days a week. Sun-Thursday 11-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 11-11pm
Lunch specials 11-3pm, Dim Sum Saturday & Sunday 11-3pm

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Like many Chinese restaurants Little Dragons has a split personality. On one side it has a busy take-out counter offering standard Chinese-American fare with Kung Pao, Orange chicken and General Tso representing. On the other side a more authentic Chinese menu with such exotic ingredients as sea cucumbers, conch and balsam pear (bitter gourd).

We opted for some of the more standard offerings from the Chinese menu: snow pea leaves (the menu calls them leeks) sauteed with garlic, spicy crispy tofu, and double fried cooked pork.

The double fried cooked pork, made with slices of pork belly, was unsurprisingly greasy but very flavorful. The belly was stir fried with carrot, cabbage, onion and bamboo shoots, and seasoned heavily with 5 spice powder and hot oil. Good with steamed rice.

I love snow pea leaves and am always pleased to see them on a menu. Little Dragons’ version seemed as much steamed as sauteed and with very little oil, lots of garlic and very fresh tasting. A good antidote to the pork belly.

The tofu with snow peas and pak choi was sound but unexceptional.

The only disappointment of the batch was the scallion pancake which was overly bread-y and insufficiently scallion-y. The typical scallion pancake should almost resemble an Indian paratha in texture with more scallions incorporated into and between the dough.

Little Dragons has a fairly large, partitioned dining room, decorated with fairly typical Chinese decorations and is very clean. The service on our visit was little lackluster as we spent some of the meal trying to flag down our server.  Nonetheless, the food arrived promptly and they were more than willing to answer questions.

Little Dragons serve a selection of bottled beer. If you are grabbing a takeout menu, be advised that there are two versions of it. One has the standard Chinese-American fare and the other includes the authentic dishes listed.