Thursday, January 29, 2015

authentic Chinese food - at last!

I've lived in China for some 7 years in total. After China, I lived in Canada some 5 years. Chinese food - good, authentic, northern Chinese food - is of the essence to me.  So, after 5 months of looking for a real Chinese restaurant - and after a number of epic failures - a friend of mine recommended this place in a most unassuming building: Mojing Restaurant (Mojing being a way to call Mexico City in Chinese).

Well, the moment we walked in, it looked like we might have hit the jack-pot: most of the tables were the round type with rotating glass centres! Yay!

Then, we looked at the menu. Chinese writing alongside Spanish strange translations? Awesome! And then, two tests.  First, we were dying to have Mapo Doufu, a spicy tofu dish from Sichuan province and which is extremely easy to make vegan.  And which wasn't on the menu. But if this was the real deal, the chef would most probably know how to make this, right?  Well, we asked... and they said "Sure!".  So, first test - passed with flying colours!  

Test number two? Dumplings! Vegan ones! Dumplings are relatively simple things. And therein lies the difficulty: making really good ones depends on getting every single thing perfect. We looked at them - they looked good.  We prepared the sauce for them - vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce. And tried them.   

Bingo! The dough was as it should. The filling was cooked precisely and contained the right amount of mushrooms and greens. The sauce had the right vinegar and the right chili. WE. WERE. SO. HAPPY!  Darn, I think I want to go for some more right now!  So good. So, so, so good.

For dessert we had some sesame balls filled with sweet bean paste. I guess this was an innovation by the chef, because they had a slight vanilla flavour, and they were not hollow like others we've had. They were good. But unexpected.

And just to confirm how Chinese this place was, we received a plate with tangerines and watermelon! In China, you don't normally order dessert (at least not the western kind, like cake, ice cream, and so on), but you usually get fruit, without even asking! And more often than not it's these two - tangerines and watermelon! It was such a nice surprise, and such a throwback to our China days!

I know where I'll be this February to welcome the Year of the Wood Goat!

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