Saturday, March 31, 2007

Restaurant Review: Dong Ting Chun

Admittedly, our original plan was to have dim sum that Sunday morning. But sadly, Sam Woo was closed for renovation so we found ourselves searching for another restaurant in the large Ranch 99 plaza in San Gabriel. In the end, Dong Ting Chun was our lunch spot of choice.

Dong Ting Chun specialized in the style of cooking from the Hunan province in China. Characteristics of such cuisine are bold spicy flavors and the usage of smoking/curing ingredients. Hunan cuisine also commonly utilizes humble, "peasant" ingredients like common meats and vegetables. And humans. Haha gross, just kidding! Though, they did make the unfortunate mistake of mistyping "Human" in place of "Hunan" on the menu. Addtional misfortune since the modified noun was "Ham" of all things.

Here is our colorful array of dishes:

Top row first, left to right: stir-fried beef, roasted fatty pork, steamed tofu, seaweed salad (?), farmer chicken, and vegetable medley.

Perhaps it's been too long since the meal to recall the details but I do remember liking everything. The tofu may have been a little bland, which was in stark contrast to the flavorful yet slightly greasy vegetable stir fry. The chicken was supposed to be the highlight as the waitress pointed out that it was a popular item on the menu. I did enjoy the chicken, which was stewed carefully in its own juices. The meat was mostly from parts of chicken that are not commonly featured in Western dishes, such as the neck and other sinewy parts I cannot quickly locate on a chicken anatomy. I also liked the roasted pork, though I couldn't help but avoid the blantant chunks of fat.

I guess I will end this post now since I have nothing left to say about the food, partially because of my faded memory and partially because there is nothing spectacular left to point out. But yes, I would revisit Dong Ting Chun...someday.

Price: $9 average a dish

Rating: 8.5/10 (Pretty good...I think?)

Dong Ting Chun

140 W. San Gabriel Ave., No. 206
San Gabriel, CA


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