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Restaurant Mandarin China (Chihuahua, Mexico)
||Universidada 1301 ,|
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(3) page: 37
Near the hospital, and owned by a young Chinese family, we found them most enthusiastic. They spoke Chinese, some French, and some English, so ordering here was easy. Their food and almost every restaurant in this city specializes in the foods of Guangzhou. Near downtown, we walked there and talked to both owner and manager.
Their menu is in Chinese, English, and Spanish, and we order with confidence. We ask for Boneless Duck with Hoisin Sauce, Pork Snow Peas, Fillet Beef Style Mongolian, and Tofu Fu Hot. With these we ask for individual bowls of white rice, and a pot of green tea. When service begins, only one item comes differently, it is Fried Rice with Chorizo. Seems every one orders it and they think we should have it, too. Glad of that change, it is delicious.
Before these dishes, we ask for Fried Wonton, and then change our minds. That change of heart is not understood. Here again, after one bite, we are pleased. The dough is home made and delicious, the filling so good, we only wish there was more of it.
The boneless duck is fat-free and fantastic. This is amazing because clearly it is made earlier and deep-fried just before serving. The meat is magnificent, its dipping sauce soupy. The tofu dish is made of silken bean curd and meant to be ma po style. Somewhat piquant, the cubes of tofu swim in a deep bowl of sauce, more soup that stir-fry, and it does need plain white rice.
Rice, here and in every restaurant, Chinese or not, is always the same. It is grown in central Mexico in or near Morales and its texture is never firm. It looks like and tastes as if it is parboiled. In fried rice it is better than as plain white rice.
Their Fried Rice is laden with many minced vegetables including fresh peas and carrots. With them are small pieces of roast pork, shrimp, and Chinese sausage. There are snow pea pieces, too, and bits of red-edged roast pork. The Mongolian Beef dish arrives also with many vegetables, but it disappoints. Over-cooked, its sauce is the same brown color as in the tofu dish, but here less spicy, thinner, and with less taste.
The meal ends with fortune cookies from the same American factory as those at Restaurant Shanjai in this city. With them are clear Chinese hard candies, each enclosing a piece of super-salted dried piece of plum that in Hawaii is called 'crack seed.' As we leave, we help ourselves from a bowl on the desk of plain white mints, and speak about differences in Chinese Cantonese food here and elsewhere in the world.