I tried Chengdu Style’s signature item this weekend: Toothpick lamb.
The quality of the meat and ingredients is a step above what’s being served elsewhere in the form of $1.50 grilled lamb skewers. The lamb is marinated, threaded on toothpicks, and dipped in egg white before deep-frying, and that provides a light crunch. It’s not at all greasy, and the meat has enough texture to absorb the seasonings without the need for starch or a batter.
The dish shares the combination of lamb, spice heat, and cumin found in many other Chinese dishes. Pulverized green Sichuan peppercorns gave a citrusy edge, and their pairing with fresh cilantro led my friend to think the dish has lemongrass in it.
The bite sized portions, on toothpicks, make this a great dish to share with a group. And unlike typical skewers, the sodium level was low enough that i didnt have an insatiable thirst after splitting with one other person.
For more info on toothpick lamb and the restaurant, see: http://eastbayexpress.com/oakland/what-numbs-the-tongue-will-warm-the-heart/Content?oid=3861781