Thursday, December 31, 2009

Amazing Crab at Chiang's Gourmet 叙香园

Chiang’s, with its non-descript Lake City location, is one of those places that no gourmet would dare venture into, judging from its outside. Its inside is not much better, in its vintage “Chinese food” North American style. It clearly enjoys a slow but steady stream of returning clientele, suggesting it has something to offer.

We were first attracted to its weekend only mainland style breakfast, like soy and tofu soup, pastry, fried donuts (豆浆,烧饼,油条,油豆腐粉丝). Beef in baked buns (牛肉夹饼) is good. They are on a weekend special menu.

After a few trials, we found the real diamond in the rough. Whole Dungeness crab with rice cake is so tasty, thanks to fresh local ingredients and a very talented chef. Dungeness crab (温哥华蟹) is often called “Vancouver crab” in Chinese. Actually Dungeness in Olympic peninsula is the original place where the crab known, hence the name. Apparently there used to be crabs all over the place in the Puget Sound area. If you look at the right places, there probably still are. We occasionally saw crab shells in beaches.

The crab is prepared to perfection, its meat tender and sweet. What makes this dish truly exceptional is the source, soft rice cake soaking in all the flavors. You will enjoy it as much as the crab. The crab shells are still a little soft, so you will have little trouble cracking them open. Umm, the meat, when you pull out the sweet meat, beautiful color, tender texture, yummy.

It’s a whole crab, combined with rice cake and beans, it comes as a large dish, almost a meal for two in itself. It cost $25, possibly the most delicious dish $25 can buy in Seattle. The dish in my mind is 4.5/5. It can compare to any seafood dishes even in Vancouver. The restaurant overall 3.5/5.

Chiang’s Gourmet 叙香园
7845 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA
Chiang's Gourmet on Urbanspoon

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