Thursday, April 10, 2008

Big Dinner In Little China

We found this Chinese restaurant, Little China, recently at the entrance of the popular Beirut clubbing Monot Street (think Mohammad Sultan street of Singapore).

Looks like a 5-foot way entrance, ain't it?

Apart from having a name that doesn't inspire any of my appetite, the interior of the small restaurant does invoke an authentically Asian feel. From the management and crew, interior decorations down to the tableware, everything looks made in China.

Raise the red lanterns

The Manchurian Candidate?

Paintings of the four seasons

According to the restaurants sole waitress, who hailed from Beijing, the restaurant has a long history in Beirut, since her brother started it more than 10 years ago.

This is obviously no "Rush Hour".

Asian usually dine around 6pm, we arrived way ahead of the dinner crowd.

Conversing in our rusty mandarin, we stated our preference (make it extra spicy!!!) to the waitress but left it to them to bring us the food that they think we would like.

Eat Drink Man Woman: Hungry and expectant customers

The moment of truth came as we tasted dish after dish. Altogether the three of us had 6 dishes. The generous food serving was notably untypical of overseas Chinese restaurants.

There was authenticity in the cooking in this restaurant. For example, I could discern the different base of Asian sauces used to prepare each of the dish. The plus side of having more flavour in their cooking is that they can save on sprinkling more MSG or salt, which makes the food more enjoyable.

This is unlike other Chinese restaurants, like Chopsticks, which basically based most of their dishes with either one or two sauce base: i.e. soy sauce or bean paste sauce (rare) or curry (not even East Asian). Usually, the aftertaste is terribly salty and an insatiable thirst usually associated with eating too much MSG.

I considered the quality of food in Little China to be comparable to the more mainstream restaurants in Asia and definitely should be returning to the restaurant soon to try more of their fare.

Springrolls that was tad too oily, as characteristic of Northern Chinese cooking.

Hot and Sour soup, which was neither hot (my standards) nor sour at all. But it still taste good.

Huay Guo Ruo, refried pork slices

Teppan Yaki beef, Chinese style. This dish was rare in this region.

"Fried Rice Paradise"*. This was the worst dish of all. The taste was a little bland. So no, I didn't go to paradise after eating this. (*Name of a popular Singaporean musical)

Smiling customer = Happy customer

1 comment:

Anna said...

Delicioso e belas fotos!