Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jai Yun Pt. 1
The week before I left I tried to pack in as many restaurants as possible. One of those places was the infamous Jai Yun, which has gotten much press for its single chef, prix-fixe menu, and authentic Shanghainese cuisine. I don't really think of Chinatown for great food, with a few exceptions--Golden Gate Bakery, R&G Lounge, etc. Jai Yun has a very inconspicuous storefront, with only the dim lights from inside the restaurant illuminating the sign on the glass. Walking by, I would never have thought I passed a great restaurant. The open sign is never even turned on. The ambiance leaves much to be desired, but the food really makes up for that.

The restaurant has no menu, but diners do get a statement about its policies. You order per person by price, with dinners ranging from $35 to $150. The price determines the ingredients in your dishes; I assume the most expensive would have the most delicacies like bird's nest, shark fin, etc. For a table of 4, we went for $55 a person. We ended up with 22 dishes total, so I am splitting up this post.

Out came the 8 appetizers:

Nice knife work, but flavors were not unlike anything I could find elsewhere.
Smoked fish

The smoked fish was soo good. The flesh was tender and juicy, and the sauce was so delicate. The crispy skin surrounding the creamy fish had a great combination of textures that remind me of the crab croquettes at Delica rf-1. I only wish this were an entree!
Mock Chicken (tofu)

Delicate and juicy, this was great.

For some reason, the dining room got darker, so the quality of pictures started declining.
Drunken chicken

The chicken was juicy and had very intense flavor, but it was a bit salty for my taste.
Diced tofu with pickled cilantro

One of my other favorites of the night; great flavor, just slightly sweet, with no overpowering cilantro flavors.
Pickled lotus root
Spicy pickled cabbage

The appetizers were all pretty solid and we finished them all. The portion sizes were done well, so everyone got 3 bites of each dish. They were all very delicate, even surpassing some of the fancy restaurants in Shanghai. This was taken during my trip last Christmas.
Continue onto Part II.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess who's jealous.

1/29/2006 12:12 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Amazing photos. I want to go there right now.

1/29/2006 9:33 AM  
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1/31/2006 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! Please post part 2! It's like a mystery novel that you don't know the end of. (I know you are a busy student so I'm really only kidding). But seriously do check the site twice a day for the ending. ; )

2/02/2006 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant *I* check the site twice a day.

2/02/2006 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of this post, I'm going to walk thru the rain to try this place out.

5/21/2006 5:11 PM  

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