China Village, Albany

-1 for the Bern if he ordered Mongolian Beef there.

The owner sighed when he told me that Bernie and the crew didn’t understand Chinese food and went with the familiar dishes. But I often see people there at lunchtime getting the “classic” sweet-and-sour pork, fried rice or broccoli beef, eaten with a fork, of course.

The mongolian beef there is listed with lamb as an option and has a notation that it is spicy and you can have it with the spice turned down.

I forgot to mention that they also ordered beer-braised duck, so that’s a +.

The fact that they should have beer-braised snails and/or eels, and they only have duck, makes that entire dish suspicious. Yes, I’ve eaten it, and it’s probably a better dish with duck than snails, but…

Can you elaborate on this beer-braising tradition?

I believe this dish is from a little town called Yangshou.

http://www.chinaodysseytours.com/guilin/yangshuo-beer-fish.html

I went and hung out there for almost a week. It’s a very pleasant little town, except during the middle of the day when the boats from Guilin make it a tourist hell. All the restaurants there had a variety of fish they used in this dish - the local carp is noted in the article - but also lots of snails and eels.

I could be wrong about the dish with duck, but I think I have my dish right.

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I can’t recall the beer duck at China Village, but the other Sichuan / Hunan places I’ve tried it at have a brown sauce. Wonderful in Millbrae preps their ahead of time, and microwaves it— I don’t know how common it is to do that.

CV’s is also in a brown sauce, and I remember it as being comfortably spicy.

I haven’t been to China Village in ages and am excited that I have an errand near Albany tonight. I always get my usual … sesame bread, mouth-watering chicken, water dumplings, bamboo shoots, village lamb and general Zhang Beef. Should I change it up? What’s been good lately?

I haven’t been in a few months but have really enjoyed the fish dumplings and the spicy hand cut noodles with fish which are more recent additions

I have to say it was mostly good as ever, but the general Zhang Beef did not have the tofu it used to have. Still tasty, but I liked the contrast. I think this happened the last time too, so it might be how they are doing the dish now.

Has anyone been here lately? I had a disappointing meal and was wondering if it was an off day or if there’s something going on in the kitchen or with ownership. I thought the food tasted old. The chicken had a refrigerator odor, the BBQ pork seemed reheated, the lotus root was broken like it was from a frozen bag and not fresh.

Wow, interesting. I’m not familiar with the faces there so I wouldn’t be able to tell if there are different owners or if it’s a problem with the kitchen. I also don’t speak Chinese. I’d be really interested in finding out the root of this. If anyone knows please post here!

I was there on a Sunday evening a bit after goe12the reported the disappointing meal (in April or early May), but found the opposite. I’ve been maybe every 9 months or so ever since the remodel, and the other times thought the quality was worse than I remembered before the remodel. The 1000 chili fish soup, the favorite dish of the friend I meet up with had been bland on previous occasions, but sang recently. Also, the charred cabbage dish was properly charred. I had almost given up ordering this dish here after getting a soggy, uncharred, mostly vinegar flavored version a couple years ago.

We’ve eaten in and done take-out several times in the last month or so. Nothing’s been out of the ordinary except the wait service has been terrific lately. We’ve had the classic pork water dumplings, the fish dumplings, the special fish soup covered with chilis, a claypot prawn thing, and (my particular love) the Szechuan dry-fried chicken. The vegetable chow mein has been fine. The only thing of note was that one to-go order of the dry-fried chicken was a tad less chewy than it usually is (the chewiness is a good thing).

Hopefully you just had an off day.

We had a truly excellent meal there in March and then a very mediocre meal there two weeks ago. We ordered the same items both times – thousand chili fish soup, cumin lamb, stir fried pea shoots, sliced bacon with spicy sauce. Both my husband and I commented that the textures and flavors were really off; I remember because we talked about going down the street to Sichuan Style next time we’re craving those flavors.

We’ve eaten at several Sichuan restaurants since my post. complaining about our last visit at China Village. Bottom line: they all suffer from QC issues. Dishes are great on one visit and meh on the next visit. Since this last post:

Went to Royal Feast in Millbrea three times. Two of the meals were excellent, one was meh.

Went to Z&Y once which we usually love. Meal was just ok.

Went to Sichuan Style once. Overall I want to like this place more than I do. Our meal had hits and misses. As in the past loved their house made Sichuan sausage.

And last light went back to China Village for the first time since the original post. And everything we ate was … Excellent

So there you have it

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo