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Beijing Chinese Restaurant (Chesapeake VA)
||1725 Parkview Shopping Center South Military Highw,|
Reviewed by: Dr. Austin H. Kutscher and Mr. Charles Tang
Spring Volume: 1995 Issue: 2(1) page: 18 and 21
This restaurant in the town of Chesapeake offers the diner a chance for tasty and healthy revelry along with seafood, chicken, meat, vegetarian, and healthy cooking from 11 am to 10 pm seven days a week. Besides a regular menu, there is a daily lunch buffet for $4.95 and another for dinner costing $7.95; these are adult prices, children get a discount, and those under three eat free.
Dress casually and enjoy a selection of exotic specialities and ordinary delights with or without alcoholic beverages from the full bar. This facility is handicap accessible and serves a large variety of selections along with a cooking demonstration every Wednesday evening at seven.
On a most recent trip, four of us ordered four dishes: Stir-fried Lobster, Pan-fried Rock Fish, Hunan Chicken, and Stir-fried Crispy Scallops. All were excellent. One friend, a Chesapeake-born native, in his early sixties, claimed this to be the best rockfish ever tasted. Other specialities span China's four regions from Beijing in the North, Canton in the south, Szechuan and Hunan in the west, to Shanghai in the east. I think that emperors could dine here as they had when they reigned at Beijing's Imperial Palace.
When you dine at the Beijing restaurant in Chesapeake, you won't be offered one hundred dishes at one sitting as were the emperors, but you will be able to choose from some of those same delicacies among the one hundred and ten items on their menu. In ancient China, dishes served to the emperor were to please the eyes and nose and be joyful to his palate. Chefs who didn't produce such dishes were in 'big trouble' as more than one was beheaded. Would the meals served at this Beijing restaurant pass the test? After two trips, we decided that its chef-proprietor would be in no danger of losing his head. No wonder many customers ask: Is John cooking today?
Chef John M. Wen was born in Taiwan in 1945 and came to this country in 1976. He is a college graduate whose greatest love was and still is Chinese cooking. Once, in an interview by a local newspaper reporter, he was asked: How would you like to be remembered? His answer: As a famous chef. Another question asked was: Of what accomplishment are you most proud of? He replied: Taking care of my customers and keeping them healthy with my food. To do just that, Wen puts in more than one hundred twenty hours of his seven-day work week at the restaurant, preferably in the kitchen, sharing his dedication to nutrition, and executing his healthful cooking. He uses only natural foods and fresh ingredients and absolutely no preservatives. MSG is never used and every dish is light on soy sauce and low in salt. On a diet? Take advantage of the special menus with calorie counts and nutritional analysis.
The cooking demonstrations on Wednesday evenings are a smash hit. Everyone attending receives a copy of the featured recipe, and gets to taste the finished product. One lucky attendee also receives a complimentary dinner for two at this clean, well-lit, pleasant, and cozy one hundred twenty seat dining room. The buffet, should you chose one in stead of ordering from the menu, offers about twenty dishes and eighteen desserts, are all-you-can-eat, and include a non-alcoholic beverage. Chef John shared two of his favorite recipes, the Sweet Sour Rock Fish Fillets and the Stir-fried Crispy Scallops. Enjoy making and eating them.
|Sweet and Sour Rock Fish Fillets|
1 pound rock fish fillets
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon soybean oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 Tablespoons chicken broth or water
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
3 cloves garlic
2 slices ginger root
1. Heat the wok and then add oil until medium-high hot.
2. Put fish into the wok, pan-fry both sides about four minutes, then take fish out, leave the oil in the wok.
3. Put garlic, ginger, and scallions into the hot oil and fry one minute.
4. Mix the broth or water, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, wine, and spice powder.
5. Add this mixture and the fish to the wok or pan and cook about five minutes.
6. Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons wter, add sesame oil and pour over the fish.
7. Cook until the sauce clears, about one minute, then serve.
|Stir-fried Crispy Scallops|
2 pounds fresh scallops
1 beaten egg white
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chopped fresh green onions
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
dash of dry crushed Szechuan peppercorns
4 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1. Rinse scallops and dip in beaten egg white and roll in cornstarch.
2. Deep fry the scallops just until crispy; remove them from fat and drain.
3. Reheat wok with about one tablespoon of oil; stir fry onion, garlic, and ginger.
4. Add peppercorn, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar until fragrant.
5. Add scallops and stir quickly just to mix; and serve immediately.
Note: This dish looks great on a bed of steamed broccoli.