This Friday night was a particularly memorable one. It began with dinner at Congee Village (100 Allen Street, at Delancey) with Max, Lucy and Amy, and somehow ended in the far west side at Scores Nightclub (which is, ahem, Howard Stern's favorite "club." When deciding the course of the night, I often ask myself "WWHD??" as a way to ensure a good time will be had. Trust me, it works.).
Congee, a mushy bit of rice porridge goodness, is "said to be even older than rice in Chinese history" (see the history of congee page on the Congee Village website). It holds a special place in my Chinese heart of hearts. Though I'm not Cantonese, congee still makes me nostalgic for my childhood, with memories of midnight snacks at East Coast Chinese Family Camp (ECCFC) on a chilly summer evening in the Poconos. Oh sweet food memories, sigh...
Here is what we ate. Max is allergic to shellfish, so we stayed clear of those. Didn't want my dear Meex to die in from an allergic reaction to shellfish, After all, there are much better ways to die in the LES.
Pork, Chicken and Duck Congee
Fried Mantou (on the menu as Fried Bread)
Basically these are Chinese donuts. Mantou are one of my favorite Chinese breakfast/snack foods - fluffy yet dense bread/buns. The Cantonese fry them and dip them in condensed milk because they are food geniuses.
Fried Fresh Squid with Salted Pepper
Fresh Mixed Mushrooms and Fried Bean Curd
Soup Dumplings (on the menu as Small Juicy Bun In Shanghai Style )
A Cantonese restaurant with soup dumprings on the dim sum menu. They were not bad, though the skin was very thick.
Some kind of fried noodle dish with vegetables
I don't know what the name of this dish was, but it doesn't really matter because we can do much better for a noodle dish.
Rice Baked with Home Style Salted Chicken
Max was really excited about this one, and rightfully so - I don't even like chicken that much, and I loved this. Salted chicken and vegetables baked in with rice, creating a moist and smoky log of a treat.
Lucy is expressing how she feels about the bilingual "Happy Birthday" song being played AGAIN for probably the fifth time. I think the restaurant proprietors were trying to convince me to have my birthday dinner there. Chinese people are not known for their subtlety.
Max is worried about all the leftover food. Can you believe that with one bottle of wine, our meal came to less than $75 (not including tip)?! I mean, you basically expect that for Chinese food, but still. Great value! We our leftovers packed to go, but I lost it (along with my coat, sadly) later on in the night at Scores. Bet you there were some pretty happy dancers that night.
Overall, this was one of the best Friday nights I have ever had - A++!! I give Congee Village, with all it's bizarre decor, bizarre LES location, and bizarre Happy Birthday overdoing, a 9!!