The Mein Attraction

Finely prepared dinners are not all Peking Noodle has to offer. Friday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the restaurant presents dim sum, a limited but not limiting menu of appetizers, soups, noodles, and dumplings. The various dishes are wheeled on carts around the dining room in the manner of a dessert tray. You simply point at a plate and it is transfered to your place setting. Servings are typically small, two or three pieces to a portion. Peking Noodle's favored dim sum dishes A among the best I've found south of New York and east of San Francisco A are made to order in the kitchen. These include pan-fried or steamed seafood dumplings, crunchy pan-fried green onion cakes, steamed pork or vegetable buns, and fried bread rolls.

The dim sum menu also accounts for heartier appetites, as the house specialty (ly-mein) is served in soup or with shredded meat, such as the duck with pickles. We tried the dandan chili noodles, long strings in a sweltering broth that matches Miami for heat. Our mistake was not in downing this piquant mixture but in also ordering the boiled pork dumplings in chili sauce. Even my eyebrows were sweating.

The emphasis at Peking Noodle is on quality and authenticity. Monosodium glutamate is a foreign substance in Chan's kitchen, as are hybrids like chow mein and egg foo young. He imports most of his signature ingredients A rice flour, wine, herbs, spices A directly from Peking to create his Szechuan and Mandarin specialties, his northern buns and cakes. Chan says he chose Miami for his first American restaurant because he hoped for sophisticated diners with a talent for uncovering culinary treasures. He certainly hasn't disappointed us. We must not disappoint him.

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