A flurry of vegetables with faded coloration -- the kind associated with overcooking -- gave pork yee mein a limp appearance that wasn't promising. But the suspicious color had actually been muted by marination in brine, making them terrifically tasty as well as crunchy. The noodles, described as "wide soft" (but actually more like thick Chinese "long-life" mein), were al dente chewy. And the pork strips, while not plentiful, were strongly imbued with fragrant spices, adding considerable savor to the dish.

Dry sautéed string beans are found everywhere. But Tony Chan's beans were superior to most, owing to the inclusion of ground pork as well as preserved vegetables. It's possible to make a vegetarian version of this dish; in deference to noncarnivores, many places do. But Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuan Cookery (a Brit import hailed as the first authentic Sichuan cookbook in English) says pork is how it's done right. And it does add rich complexity, making the beans much more satisfying.

Tony Chan's includes the obligatory small sushi bar, if you must. But our town doesn't lack decent Japanese food.

Go figure: Beautiful views, great service, excellent food -- and not dumpy
Jonathan Postal
Go figure: Beautiful views, great service, excellent food -- and not dumpy

Location Info

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Tony Chan's Water Club

1717 N. Bayshore Drive
Miami, FL 33132

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Downtown/Overtown

Details

305-374-8888. Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday 5:00 p.m. to midnight; Sunday 5:00 to 11:00 p.m.
1717 N Bayshore Dr

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Adding to the food's pleasure was the service, which was consistently cordial throughout three visits, despite the fact that my dining buddies had all deliberately dressed down to dump-dining level. Come to think of it, with the exception of Kon Chau (an unadorned dim sum place), none of my current favorite Miami Chinese restaurants -- Tropical, Pao, and Miss Yip -- is even vaguely dumpy. What a weird city. But add Tony Chan's to the list.

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