China Taste?

Gold dropped a little scouting report on China Taste that sounds kind of intriguing. Anyone else been?

Note that this is China Taste in San Gabriel, as opposed to China Tasty the hand pulled noodle place in Alhambra. I was intrigued by the “egg dumpling with chicken” dish. It turned out to be a dumpling wrapper made out of egg, filled with minced chicken mean. Very interesting, but a “real” dumpling wrapper probably would have tasted better.

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I posted about a visit we had last week in the Weekend thread. Reposted here:

China Taste

And then down the street is the newly opened China Taste (not Tasty), first mentioned by @JThur01 in an Eater article a few weeks ago.

This restaurant is noteworthy in that it serves Anhui cuisine, a seldom seen regional style of Chinese cooking that we’d certainly never tried before. So we were excited to give it a try. :slight_smile:

The manager starts introducing some items to us and mentions that the “Griddle Pots” section of the menu is really where the Anhui cuisine dishes are (the rest of the menu isn’t).

Chicken in Griddle Pot:

He stated that if there was only one dish to order, it would be this. The Chicken in Griddle Pot arrives, sitting on top of a portable tabletop burner. Taking a sip, it tastes like a mishmash of familiar and strange flavors:

There’s Star Anise, so you get this Licorice-like flavor coming through. And Szechuan Peppercorns(!) so you get some numbing flavors. And some heat from some Chilies. And a Dark Soy Sauce.

It’s salty, just on the borderline of being too salty, but not quite, but perhaps you’re not supposed to drink any of the Soup and just focus on eating the Chicken and other items. We are brought a plate of Napa Cabbage, Tofu Skin and Mung Bean Noodles to add into the Soup and heat up.

This helps to dilute the saltiness slightly.

The Chicken tastes OK. Having soaked in the heavy Star Anise, Szechuan Peppercorn liquid, it’s well-marinated and on the bony side. It’s almost as bony (having little meat) as the Chicken dishes we had at Hunan Chili King a few years ago (which were like Sauteed “Chicken Bones” (with a little bit of meat), rather than “Sauteed Chicken” that you’d expect).

House Special Pot:

The manager mentions that if you could only order one other Anhui dish on their menu, that we should go for their House Special Pot. This turns out to be a mixture of a lot of ingredients all layered into one giant pot of food. Supposedly it’s to concentrate the flavors and so they all seep into each other and enliven the experience. :confused:

There’s Bok Choy, Tofu Noodles (Hardened Bean Curd cut into Noodle Strips), Chinese Mushrooms, Egg Dumplings with Chicken (another specialty you can order separate, but included into this dish), Housemade Pork Meatballs.

The Broth in this version tastes somewhat familiar - Soy Sauce, Star Anise and other spices - but ultimately it tastes a bit underwhelming. It’s not bad, but it’s not crave-worthy either. None of us visiting that day felt like we wanted to return, but we were happy trying this Anhui cuisine.

And like @chandavkl mentions, their Egg Dumplings with Chicken weren’t that good. We all felt that the Egg Dumpling was unnecessary and it was dryish, overcooked Scrambled Eggs smashed into a “Dumpling Skin” to cover some Ground Chicken. We all agreed that we’d rather just have Chicken Dumplings without the Egg Skin.

China Taste (not “Tasty”)
529 E Valley Blvd., Suite #108A
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 766-1788


[edited by moderator to reflect correct title]

Oh wow, so pretty horrible then? Damn… oh well. Thanks for taking another hit =/

more like ennui regional cooking.

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