Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Big bowl" congee at Chao Zhou

I was still feeling sickly, with a wretched cough and sore throat, so for breakfast TL suggested we go to Chao Zhou in Flushing for congee. I know Chao Zhou primarily as the "big bowl place" for the giant replica of a red bowl and chopsticks on its roof; I'd gone a number of times before, but it had been a while.

TL said he liked the "Hong Kong style congee" which I'd never had, so that's what we got. The creamy rice porridge was studded with squid, dried scallops, shrimp, and shredded ginger, and topped with green onions, fried noodle threads, and peanuts. (I believe this is also sometimes called "little boat congee" or "junk congee" since that's where you would go to get it.) One order is huge and filling, and it served both of us without difficulty.
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On the table I spotted their dim sum menu, so we also added on steamed roast pork buns, shu mai, and rice steamed in lotus leaf. None was anything special; each more adequate than anything else. And the shu mai in particular was mushy in texture and unappealing—neither of us ate more than one.

The congee here is nice when you're sick, but the food overall seems average (I think that's why I stopped eating here). It's your basic Flushing Chinese joint: not good, not bad, but handy when you need a okay place to eat.

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