If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Open Sesame

 Tonight's dinner was at the Black Sesame Kitchen. Ten courses with wine (not pairings) or beer of very good Chinese food. Not a stinker in the bunch. My favorites were (sorry, I don't have pictures of the early dishes...too hungry!)

The highlights:
The fried shitake mushrooms sounds like such a simple dish but the flavor was amazing. Without being told what it was, I would have guessed pork (based on texture) or beef (flavor).

 The red braised pork belly. This not my kind of dish. It looks like a giant hunk of fat. But it just melted in your mouth.
 Chongqing spicy chicken. Just before this dish came out, I saw the chef outside tossing the contents of the wok around. (I should note that this place teaches cooking and so the "kitchen" is in the same room as the dining room.) Shortly thereafter, people at the table started clearing their throats, then coughing a bit, and soon everyone was in a fit of coughing. Then came the chicken dish. It's half chicken, half peppers. Hot peppers. There's not much that's too hot for me to eat but this dish made the list. I was able to eat the chicken (which was plenty hot). The guy next to me was from England and he just wolfed everything down.

Dessert (which is not really a thing in China) was black sesame ice cream topped with candied banana. The banana comes out super hot in syrup which, when it hits the ice cream, hardens to a candy shell. This is a wonderfully delicious, innovative dish that has almost nothing to do with Chinese food (but it should...are you listening Chinese people?)

I cannot recommend this place more highly. Make your reservations early and go!


One last thing, if you go. Many people came by taxi which did not go well for quite a few of them. Unless you cannot walk, follow the directions for the subway that are on the website. Go early and walk around the shops in the hutongs (alleys). For American's this area will feel a little sketchy but it is quite safe.
Even with those great directions, it is a bit hard to find (because it's a bit hard to believe the directions are correct. Here's a video I shot showing the last parts of the directions (from the main north-south hutong).
video

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