Tuesday, July 28, 2009

De-fuzed and Con-fuzed

Chinese Kitchen

A reader let me know that San Anselmo's May Lee's Asian Bistro was no longer, so I had to immediately investigate. No wonder I hadn't noticed as "May Lee's" is still the header on the sign. However, it is no longer May Lee's but simply "Chinese Kitchen" (Home Cooking). The waiter confirmed that it is not "May Lee's", and hasn't been for some time now. It is no longer billed as 'fusion' and it is rather confusing with stray ladders outside and a rather neglected interior.

Egg Flower Soup

That being said we had an interesting meal, mostly good there. First off since Dad had a craving for soup, we tried the Egg Flower Soup. This was a stand out! I've never had egg flower soup with so many fresh vegetables and GINGER inside. It was really tasty. The Japanese bowl was a bit confusing though.

Vegetable Potstickers

Next up were Vegetable Potstickers. I'll let you know straight away that the bottoms were VERY tough and hard to cut. That being said, I was delighted with the interior. Instead of the standard cabbage inside, it had some chard-like green that was quite tasty mixed with marinated bits of tofu. If only they'd cooked it a bit more gently...

Walnut Prawns

Next was the best dish of the evening, Walnut Prawns. At other Chinese restaurants, sometimes this dish is a bit too sweet and cloying. These were perfect. The prawns were lightly crisp with a very nice citrus glaze that tasted a bit of oranges. It was a lovely pairing with the crisp honey glazed walnuts. I'd go back just for this dish.

Walnut Prawns close up

Here is a close up of these beauties.

Marco Polo

Last up were the Marco Polo noodles. Ooh Whee! Perhaps Marco, being Italian, was in love with garlic as these were some of the most garlicky noodles I have ever tasted. It also made them rather 'hot'. This dish had what the menu called 'buckwheat' noodles sauteed with prawns, scallops and an assortment of fresh vegetables. And GARLIC.

Marco Polo - noodles

I have to admit a bit of puzzlement over the 'buckwheat' noodles. I asked the waiter whether these were the dark noodles made of buckwheat called 'soba' in Japan. The waiter nodded yes. And he barely seemed to speak English. I moved the noodles to be more visible for this shot. These aren't what you think of as 'buckwheat' noodles. Japanese do sometimes use 'soba' as a more generic term for noodles, as in 'yakisoba' which uses noodles like the above. But that is a Japanese term, not Chinese to my knowledge. No matter what you called them, the noodles themselves were delicious. These had a nice 'bite', reminiscent of well crafted and cooked Italian noodles. Maybe Marco Polo brought back the cooking method too!

Although the surroundings were rather run-down, the service was fast and friendly. If you know that you are going into confusion, and are willing to risk some unevenness in the food this is a fine place to go. The county has this place still listed under 'May Lee's', another confusing item.

Restaurant Inspection Results
Critical: 0
Noncritical: 1
Last inspected: 2/24/2009

Find address/phone number/directions on Anna's Map.

No comments: