China Village, Albany

I had another great lunch at China Village yesterday. My old college roommate is in town, an old China-hand lawyer who works for the US Patent Office and goes to Beijing several times a year, and we shared the hand-pulled noodles with dry-wok fish, and another fish dish.

What’s great about CV at lunch is that they have more Sichuan dishes than other places. The lunch plates, on the left side of the menu, are pretty standard, kung pao chicken and the like, but over on the right side of the lunch menu you’ll find several noodle dishes at the top and more complex dishes at the bottom. The beer-braised duck over noodles is spectacular, but very rich, so we passed over it in favor of the dry-wok fish. The fish with roasted garlic and broccoli came from the bottom section. At 1:00, they weren’t busy and so it was a great place to munch and reminisce.

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Damn, I have not been there in too long. My favorites:

cold conch appetizer
Szechwan home style chicken
West Style Spicy Fish
dry-cooked bamboo shoots

Reminded of it because Bernie Sanders ate there last night:

No word on what he ordered.

I had lunch there today and spoke with the owner. The Secret Service
got there to look the place over at 9:00, and the Sanders entourage
was there at 9:15 (they close at 9:30). The owner sighed that Bernie
didn’t know much about Chinese food, and didn’t like spiciness.
Among other things, they had fried rice, those great lamb dumplings, and
Mongolian beef. He showed me a selfie with him and Bernie shaking hands.

Ate there a long long time ago during my quest for chao ma mien in the Bay Area (spicy seafood noodles) back in 2004.

They had an okay version.

Picture courtesy of Yelp:

Have you have the chao ma mien at Great China? One of my favorite dishes there. Pay the extra dollar for the special noodles.

Fish was excellent, complex seasoning with nice ma la, not a lot of pickles, lots of bean sprouts. Lotus had some nice wok hay but not actually charred.

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How do you all think the food compares to what they served before the remodel? I went a few years ago right after and found many of the dishes had changed – and not for the better. I remember the Village Lamb, in particular, tasted nothing like it used to.

It wasn’t bad but didn’t live up to my fond recollection. However, they were super crowded, so it may have been an off night.

So far I haven’t ordered any of the dishes I had before the fire, so I can’t compare.

China Village’s phone was disconnected a year ago, so I thought they were gone, but they’re open. Just walked in and were seated immediately. It’s a big place and was less than half full, so social distancing wasn’t really noticeable even though we were. Refreshingly normal.



Lamb with chives special was good and different. More cilantro than chives, very aromatic.


I did not remember the pork shoulder being so spicy. I think they changed the dish a bit.


I love their bamboo shoots, haven’t seen those skinny ones elsewhere. Dry-fried green beans also solid.

I wouldn’t order the tan tan noodles in spicy sesame soup again, doesn’t make sense to me for the dish to be that soupy.