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Friday, January 01, 2010


Perfect New Year's Eve Dinner at Dong Po

Dong Po Chinese Restaurant on College Avenue's intersection with Richmond Street is a great place for Chinese food, Thai food, and sushi. While the Chinese food, like nearly all Chinese food in America, has been Americanized to some degree, you can call ahead to order traditional Chinese style items that aren't on the English menu (this is true for many good Chinese restaurants like Confucius or Bao Zhu's Ju's in Neenah). For New Year's Eve, my wife and I ordered off the menu, but still looking for unusual items. I tried the Masaman Curry (beef), a Thai dish, and my wife had the Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp. This was a rare case in which we both loved both dishes--usually one of strongly prefers one dish over the other, but this time both of felt like we had two terrific winners. The eggplant was a creative dish I haven't encountered before. A thick slice of eggplant had been split and stuffed with shrimp and other tasty items, and apparently sealed with a breading or coating before being fried. The crisp result was then covered in a perfectly seasoned plum sauce. Wow.

My curry had a rich curry sauced with tender beef, cashews, and vegetables. Very appetizing.

The hot and sour soup was some of the best we've tasted. The broth had a little extra richness of flavor to it and wasn't too sour. Great mix of ingredients and very flavorful seasoning, including a little more fresh pepper than one normally finds in hot and sour soup, which really worked well with the other flavors.

Throwing healthy caution to the wind, I ended 2009 with fried bananas drenched in chocolate. Maybe not a traditional Chinese dish, but quite good.

The service was terrific. Our waitress grew up in Fujian Province in China, but spoke English like a native, though she's only been here 3 years. Very friendly and helpful and really added to the fun of the evening with good suggestions, explanations, and some travel tips for a visit to China we're planning.

I look forward to returning. A+ for Dong Po.
Isn't it Bao Ju, not Bao Zhu? Just checking.
Yes, you're right. I'll fix that.
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