Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hurricane Ike Evacuation, part 5

On our sixth day as evacuees, we meet my brother and some close friends for lunch at an old favorite Chinese spot of ours called Sing Kee Chinese BBQ. The wife and I used to go here on dates during high school. Though we've eaten here a few times since then, it's been a good 3 years since our last visit. It was just like we remembered with the same tables, lazy Susans, and chairs. Actually, I think I saw the same soy sauce stain I made years ago on one of the booths. I kid of course. By no mean is the place romantic but it holds a soft spot in our hearts.

Sizzling Tofu
Our all-time favorite dish here is their "Sizzling bean curd with shrimp." I'm not sure why they opted with "bean curd" instead of "tofu." Possibly because many non-Asians cringe at the though of tofu; however, I'm not quite sure bean curd is a crowd-winner. Either way, anyone who thinks tofu is gross hasn't tasted this. These cubes of molded soybeans with a shrimp adhered one of the sides (I assume with shrimp adhesive) are battered and deep-fried, giving them a crunchy, doughy crust. When it's brought out, the server brings three items to the table: a plate of the tofu, a bowl of sauce, and a hot plate (AKA the Sizzler). Once at your table, the server transfers the tofu from the normal plate to the Sizzler and pours on the sauce. The resulting sound, steam, and aroma signifies that an angel got its wings. If all I had was this dish and rice, I'd be a happy foodie. The crispy-fried batter not only absorbs the sweetly salty sauce, it also holds the tender tofu together. I always burn my tongue on the first bite but I've always viewed it as a necessary sacrifice.

Lunch #1
This time around I tried a new item, their lunch special #1, which was a noodle bowl with a little bit of all their Chinese BBQ offerings. There were a few wontons in addition to the BBQ chicken, duck, and pork. Though I enjoyed the dish, there wasn't anything particularly spectacular about it. The noodles and broth were your standard Chinese noodle fare. I ordered it because I was craving noodles and these satisfied my craving. I will say that the BBQ was well flavored and rich with fatty, oily goodness. For me, a strong believer that fat is flavor, this made the dish better than average. So no regrets on ordering it.

But if you ever try this place, definitely brave the bean curd.

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