Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Szechuan Feast at China Star

For several years now, we've been enjoying the densely flavored and artfully spiced dishes at China Star in Fairfax City. Located in an 80's era shopping center, China Star features two separate menus--one of Chinese-American standards and an exciting assortment of home-style Szechuan dishes cooked with incredible verve. Your order arrives in huge portions, served in large, hot ceramic pots and bowls. Fantastic leftovers are a built-in benefit of dining here, even on the hungriest of evenings. Last night, the feast included many of our old favorites. To start: hot tea and glazed soybeans:
Cilantro Ginger Beef
Eggplant with Garlic in Hot Pot is irresistible with its vivid purple eggplant chunks in a slightly sweet sauce packed with scallions, wood ear mushrooms, and yes, plenty of garlic and ginger. It is heavenly paired with Fish and Tofu Hot Pot:
This dish is all about silky textures: the freshest, smoothest tofu and tender fish in ginger chili oil. My husband's menu favorite is Fish with Sour Mustard: Look at the layers of spice and pepper on top! It's a real Szechuan tour de force, a delicious clash of assertive hot and sour seasonings, including plenty of Sichuan pepper, and sour, salty pieces of pickled mustard greens. Also on our crowded table: earthy and refreshing snow pea tops:

Today's leftover Szechuan feast bento, with hot pot eggplant, fish and tofu, baby greens, enoki mushrooms, kiwi, and blackberries!


Lia Chen said...

Ah nice bento again ... and I love the Chinese food + Chinese tea, the foods are really mouthwatering :o)

bentobird said...

Hi Lia! How are you? Thanks for your visit and comments :)

Anonymous said...

jenn are you KIDDING me with this food? i'm drooling. when are you inviting me to visit? just kidding... i will have to live vicariously through your delicious pictures.

anywho, stop by my blog for a little "tag"-style award i passed on to you!

bentobird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bentobird said...

Hi bentozen gamene!
Glad you liked this little tour of one of our favorite places! And thank you for the "tag"--I'm looking forward to responding!
I'm happy we both live in rather awesome food locales to enjoy, bento, and blog from...
I think I gained my passion for Asian foods very young indeed: when Mom was pregnant with me, we lived on the Upper West Side in NY and she ate a lot of yummy Chinese food at a sadly vanished Cantonese palace on Broadway called Chun Cha Fu. It was a staple of my young dining life! I still long for their red bean paste buns, fresh and puffy and so wonderful with hoisin sauce!

Angi said...

I have an award for you... come on by and pick it up!

I'm sorry I don't know how to do the hyperlink.

bentobird said...

Hi Angi!
Thank you for this award and I'm looking forward to participating! I'm a fan of your blog :)
Have a lovely day,

arkonite_babe said...

You've got an award!, please stop by my non bento blog to collect it!

bentobird said...

Hi there arkonite_babe!
You are so kind--thank you! I'll fly over to your blog now ;)