Albany John and I went to Ala Shanghai with Phairhead, SexyBeast, & another of our pals to celebrate Chinese New Year in Albany. Some tasty nibbles with jelly fish, and aster salad. Spicy wontons in chili oil. Meaty, peanutty, and silky soft wonton skins. A present from Uncle Lanny – an order of Xiao Long Bao. Gung hey fat choy, and xie xie! We got an order of spicy fish fillets on the special Chinese New Year menu (now over). These were great, and I’d love to see it make an appearance on the regular menu. Hm, although you could also probably just ask for it and they’ll make it for you in the kitchen, too. The fish had no breading on it, and was crispy & moist without being the least bit greasy. Nice spicy kick infused in the fish flesh, with the chili peppers adding some extra burn (I could eat a few whole ones, and the mess of hot chili peppers Albany John ate didn’t make him sweat bullets at the table).
Wuxi style spare ribs – a sweet and slightly tangy sauce over some tender pork ribs. SOFT SHELL CRAB WITH EGG YOLK! I was looking forward to this dish for weeks. A platter of salty, briny happiness. The egg yolk in the batter makes this a great occasional treat. Some medlar jelly for dessert. Mmm.
Surrounding myself with some great friends was a nice way to gently wean myself away from my family after seeing them at Chinese New Year in Flushing, Queens.