Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Saliva Chicken" at Mapo Doufu Restaurant

Some might call it saliva chicken, but these guys call it Marinated Chicken in Sichuan Style

After another late night in the office (and being so busy that I forgot to eat dinner in the process, mind you), my stomach started thinking about that "saliva chicken" from Mapo Doufu Restaurant that we tried to get last night but got distracted. So this time we made sure to head straight here and order away. In the process, we also picked up some kind of chilled Sichuan noodles as well as some other kind of spicy cold noodle.

Sichuan cold noodlesThe Sichuan noodles surprised me - in a good way. While they were actually better described as warm rather than chillled, they had a spicy peanuty taste that reminded me a bit of dan dan mian (and I mean the peanuty variety, not the plain one) as well as some noodles that I once had off the streets of Shanghai.

Spicy cold jelly noodles or something like thatFor the other bowl of noodles, I was expecting them to be more like the rice-based (or is it potato?) noodles at Hometown. And while the seasonings tasted somewhat similar, the noodles were more like strips of Jell-O, if there were such a thing. The English translation on the menu said "jelly noodles" or something...I thought it was just a bad translation until I realized that it really was kinda jelly-like. Well, at least the seasonings were good.

And finally came the "saliva chicken," which I ended up liking the the best (OK - I should really stop calling it that - this place called it the Marinated Chicken in Sichuan Style, and yes, it did make me salivate). It was loaded up with all my favorite seasonings: cilantro, scallions, red chili oil, sesame seeds, etc. Yum. The chicken was tender, but the sauce was definitely the key to it. In fact, I liked the sauce so much that after I finished all the chicken, I grabbed a bowl of white rice and doused the remaining oil all over the rice just to have a vehicle with which to eat the sauce. It went down in a jiffy.

Any gripes? Yeah, one big one: the chicken came with bones attached, which slowed down my ability to enjoy this thing. And worse, in typical Chinese style, the bones were hacked up to the point where little annoying bits of bone were all over the place, thus creating a few speedbumps in the abovementioned rice inhalation procedure. If they only created a boneless version like they have at Chuan. Oh well. Chuan still beats this place overall (especially given some of the shaky things I had here last time), so it probably won't be often that I'll come back here to put up with the bones in this dish again. The only problem is that Chuan is not open until 2 AM like these guys are.


Jamie Edwards said...

Looks good, I don't think i would like all the little pieces of bone either.

Did you get a new cameraphone? The photos look really good.

ScruffyEatsLambchop said...

Mmmm.. pictures on camera phone still makes it look so yummy!

bma said...

It's been more or less the same cameraphone for nearly a year now. It's just that when the lighting is poor (which is frequent when you're doing a food blog where a huge number of the meals are eaten at nighttime or in some dimly lit place in the interests of "ambience"), the quality degrades significantly. And I refuse to use the "flash" as that just makes it worse.

This place just fortunately had the right lighting inside.