The sesame chicken tasted great and had a wonderful texture, like most mock chicken nugget-things at Chinese restaurants. But the sesame beef is the restaurant's big deal. It's crunchy and chewy, and it's covered in a surprisingly mustardy cream sauce that just works even though it seems like it shouldn't. So so good.
Next, we took a needed pause between the glutinous rounds with some standard steamed and besauced vegetables. More broccoli! Chinese cabbage! Good stuff. Then came my favorite part of any meal: the steamed buns and dumplings. Hooo boy, how great are steamed doughy things holding fillings? So great. We had a mix of pork buns, vegetable buns, spinach dumplings, shrimp dumplings, and vegetable dumplings.
I've had the hot & sour soup several times, and it's really great, as is the wonton. This time, I tried the vegetable and bean curd soup. It was nice and simple, perhaps not very exciting, but a good starter before all the heavier food. It was a little salty for me, which is my #1 gripe about Chinese food (actually, about restaurant food in general), and I would have preferred a thinner broth. But I'd get this again. It was nice to have broccoli before the storm hit.
The two different kinds of buns were absolute perfection. Next time, I'd order all the buns and forego the dumplings. The latter are great, don't get me wrong, but they don't stand out from the standard veg dumpling scene. The buns, however, are tremendous. I want 20 of them now.
I also loved the final thing we got, the bean curd skin rolls. Okay, so bean curd skin (aka tofu skin) sounds disgusting, I'll give you that. But it's so strangely delicious. Over the past few years, I've become somewhat obsessed with the stuff, in soups, in sushi rolls, in life. But I've never had it act as the wrapping in a spring roll-type of thing.
The rolls were so interesting! Just like a spring roll, it contained a gingery, garlicky mix of stringy cabbage and what not, but instead of fried, greasy wonton exterior, it was the chewy beyond chewy tofu skin. Ok, it sounds gross, but it was really good!
NEW HARMONY, Philadelphia's Chinatown
- Water speed: Doing Chinese restaurants proud
- Bathrooms: One shared, not the nicest but it works at least
- Service: Great. It may have helped that my companion is likethis with Ming, and he waited on us, but it's usually great.
- Food: Comforting, rich, heavy but doesn't leave you feeling sick
- Bonus: Copious amounts of dim sum for $12...and Vegan Treats!