Friday, February 18, 2022


Chinatown has been changing for years. What was for a long time a comfortable neighborhood for mostly Cantonese, many of them Toishanese, now also has other Chinese, and Mandarin is commonly understood. Even so, I've not patronized many of the non-Canto restaurants there. Three Shanghainese restaurants (two of which are no longer there), and one Taiwanese place. All of them for dumplings. There's just something about jiao ze (餃子) as non-Cantonese understand the concept that is infinitely appealing.


One restaurant I'm sort of curious about is 禦食園川菜館 ('yu sik yuen chuen choi gun'; "Royal Food Garden Sichuan Restaurant"), which goes by a hipper name in English. Judging by their prices, however, they do not cater to my kind of people. And they charge fifteen dollars for dumplings (白菜豬肉水餃 'paak choi chyu yiuk seui gaau').

My kind of people, in this particular instance, is defined as folks used to Chinatown pricing. Not fancy restaurant pricing. Places where the diners speak Cantonese, not just the staff.

The other reason I'm hesitant to go there is because I don't know squat about Sichuanese food. Spicy, of course, and there's pork. But Sichuan cuisine in the United States seems to rely overmuch on chilies in an effort to one-up the Texans or impress the machismo crowd.

For the time being I think I'll give it a pass.
I wish them success, though.

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