Forever Yeung's

"Emperor's prawns" was an interesting dish, ideal for those with a yen for creamy fare. These shrimp were big and fresh, pink and tightly curled. Surrounding a centerpiece of verdant broccoli florets, the seafood was covered in a creamy sweet-and-sour sauce that tasted like pure mayonnaise, not exactly what we had expected. -- billed garnish of country ham was missing, but a dense sprinkle of ground peanuts provided additional texture.

My mother-in-law might have given me her cookbook, but my father-in-law also gave me something of culinary import: my first Peking duck, at a terrific little place in New York's Chinatown. For old times' sake, we couldn't resist devouring one at Yeung's. The waitress brought out the platter of duck skin, already separated from the meat, and rolled it up in pancakes with scallions, carrots, and plum sauce. Fabulous crunch. She left the extra skin, along with the duck legs, on the table for us to munch while she brought out the best part -- the duck meat wokked with shredded cabbage, carrots, and snow peas. At $28, Yeung's Peking duck is an indulgence, but considering that you get two dishes for the price of one, it's well worth it.

Unable to decide between two black-bean-sauce dishes -- string beans or eggplant -- we asked for a mix of both, and discovered that the kitchen is as skilled as it is accommodating. Though of totally different character, both vegetables were perfectly cooked, the string beans al dente and refreshing, the eggplant succulent and juicy. The sauce was just as savory, the preserved soybeans not too salty and overwhelming.

Orange wedges and fortune cookies were a pleasant way to end the meal, a repast that had my guests grinning with delight. And one that got me thinking. My in-laws have gifted me with a wonderful collection of goodies, not the least of which is their son. I'm sure they'd like a little something in return. Though they'd probably prefer a grandchild, or maybe just a home-cooked meal, I give them Yeung's.

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