Second post of the night, I know. I’m waiting for an immortal meeting to start, so I thought I’d write up my thoughts on dinner. I’d heard good things about the Snappy Dragon, a small chinese restaurant just up the hill from my apartment. It’s small, in what looks and feels like a converted house, which makes for a nice, cozy ambiance. Staff was young and pleasant, and I was seated pretty quickly (the benefit of eating early and alone… by the time I left, there was a pretty respectable line). The menu was respectable in length and reasonably descriptive in what each dish contained. I was initially a little disappointed to see a relatively small vegetarian list (while I’m not vegetarian, several friends are, so I’ve taken to keeping an eye out for places that would be reasonable to take them), until I noticed at the top of that section: “Please ask a server for our complete vegetarian menu.” Hah!
Since it was my first time at the restaurant, I figured I’d try one of the dishes that you find everywhere, so I’d have a basis for comparison. I opted for Moo Goo Gai Pan, and a cup of wonton soup. The soup first: it’s pretty normal to run into relatively bland wonton soup, with a soggy wonton in an inconsequential broth. This wonton soup was markedly better than that. While it still remained only wontons in broth, the wontons tasted pretty fresh, and the broth was a hearty and flavorful, based on either a pork or beef stock, and the whole thing was rounded out with a pinch of fresh scallions on top.
The Moo Goo Gai Pan came out and was a respectable portion. Their particular incarnation of this standard is comprised of chicken, snow peas, and three different types of mushrooms in a light sauce. I found the chicken to taste a little dry, but not unreasonably so, and the rest of the dish was excellent: none of the flavors were particularly overpowering, and the sauce served to augment, rather than replace the flavors of the mushrooms and snow peas.
The total meal was very reasonably priced for dinner prices, and I got out of there for $16 after a very respectable tip. I definitely plan on heading back there (especially since it’s so near my house!), and already have an eye on a chef’s special that I want to try: the asparagus in black bean sauce with chicken.