1300 Stockton Street (at Broadway St)
A new work acquaintance, PC had mentioned this has very good salt and pepper calamari, so we made plans for lunch along with DD and PV. It’s hard to miss the brilliant lime green walls with bright red trim that continues inside, and it is located on the busy corner of Stockton and Broadway in Chinatown.
Our waitress brought our menus and actually hovered nearby while we deliberated and then took our order… I was somewhat surprised at the level of attention we received! From what I understand this restaurant has been around for over 30 years, and is open until 3 am most days. It has an impressive reputation for serving excellent authentic dishes.
Our waitress dropped off a plate of sliced fresh chilies in soy sauce.
and we also had a tub of spicy and pungent chili sauce, which was garlicky and good on everything.
The dishes arrived in quick succession, each fragrant and steaming… The first was Spicy Beef with Satay Sauce, which had fresh leeks, onion, carrot, green beans and bamboo shoots. The sauce was flavored with chilies, garlic and darker aged things that I didn’t recognize… no trace of peanuts or coconut, which was what I thought Satay meant, but it was good either way.
The Scrambled Eggs with Prawns were fluffy and the the shrimps were cooked perfectly. This was especially good dosed with the chili sauce over rice with the below greens strewn on top.
Ong Cho or Kangkung, sauteed with garlic (Thanks MG for pointing that out!). I had to look this up and it is also known as Water Spinach or Water Convulvulus. I think I like the latter name… The most interesting thing is that there are countless posts regarding this veggie, mostly Malaysian recipes, but it has a most revered status and I can’t believe I had never heard of it before! The stems and leaves were slightly bitter and dense with a bold crunch to them. This dish was very addictive and added texture to every bite.
The Salt and Pepper Calamari were the lightest and crispiest I have ever had, not greasy at all. The calamari was lightly dusted with flour, and then double-fried until kissed with a pale gold sheath and then seasoned with salt, pepper, chilli and scallions.
PC pointed out some other dishes as they passed by the table, especially the steamed sturgeon with ginger and chinese greens and rice porridge, which I definitely will return to sample. It was about $15 each, not bad for such a grand meal!