Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Fun Playing With Chinese Food at Wonton Gourmet

A friend called this morning on a whim, and asked if we wanted to have dinner at Wonton Gourmet & BBQ, 3211 Payne Avenue, Cleveland (no website, (216) 875-7000)). I've blogged about Wonton Gourmet before, but I just can't stop myself from singing their praises.

Five of us enjoyed the feast you are about to see for less than $15pp, before tip.

We started with a few reruns, and one new (for us) dim sum.

Fish Maw & Conpoy (Dried Scallop) Soup

I know it sounds creepy - but it tastes so good!

Fried Rice Roll

Since tonight is the last night of Hanukkah, I wanted to try their Chinese Donut (with or without rice noodle). Our server apologized and explained that this item was only available in the morning. He suggested the pictured item as an alternative. It is the same rice noodle that is more commonly seen wrapped around shrimp or beef, then steamed and served with a light sauce. This version was a crispy delight.

Turnip Cake

The. Best. Ever.

Chive Pot Stickers

Next, the entrees began to arrive at the table.

Fried Porkchop

A very simple dish, similar to the Salt and Pepper Squid we had a while back. Bob felt that it lacked profundity, but I really liked it - especially that the meat was cooked perfectly.

Clams in Black Bean Sauce

The clams were exquisitely fresh. The sauce was very good, with a cascading heat that built slowly. I wasn't wild about the consistency of the sauce, but two of our dining companions, who've had the black bean sauce at Wonton before, said this was not typical.

Pork Belly Braised with Pickles

We haven't had this since our first visit to Wonton last winter - it was time to have it again, and to share it with our dining companions, who'd never had it before.

Fried Soft Japanese Tofu with Fried Fish and Vegetables

This dish was recommended by our server as a "better" alternative, when we tried to order Ma Po Tofu. It was certainly different - I don't know how they got such a crispy finish on soft tofu - but it was crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. The tofu pieces are the round ones that look like scallops. The fish morsels were very fresh and also had a nice crunch. The sauce was a typical clear sauce, meant as background more than a main flavor. This dish was a perfect choice, especially if eaten after the assertive and spicy black bean sauce.

And now, a request. If anyone reading this blog can read Chinese characters, I would really love a translation of the following "wall menu" items:

Thus concluded another delightful session of playing with authentic Chinese food at Wonton Gourmet!

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