698 Cafe


Dongpo Pork: L to R: reality and the lie – on their menu.
39-07 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

Probably won’t return.

Once up on a time, there was a poet from Song Dynasty who, among many talents, was a gastronome. Rightfully, a dish is named after him, Su Dongpo (1037 – 1101) – Dongpo Pork. It’s the most famous dish from Hangzhou, where West Lake is (nowadays, think the punitive Jack Ma and his Alibaba which is trading as BABA at $177 a share.)

The pork is cut about 2 inch square and about 3″ thick. Although the fat and lean ratio is nearly equal, but it is not greasy because it the first stage of cooking is frying – to get the fat out. The skin is always on top when serving and looks deep red and shiny. The texture is soft to the point it melts in your mouth.

So, when I marched into the restaurant, my mouth was already watering. The decor and atmosphere is casual and pleasant, so is the waitstaff. The mini carnations do make a big difference. However, I was offended by the Dongpo Pork. No kidding, it is not even close, as making me feel Insulted.

The other dish, the flounder with pickled mustard soup is bit too sweet for me.

Most patrons ordered lobster. Our server did suggest it but we declined. The two young girls dined next to us had it. The one last strike: a grannie stopped by that table – essentially ours too since the two tables were close (you needed to go side way), pointed to the lobster and asked about it. “How does it taste…” her finger was so close to the dish, it not only made the two girls uncomfortable, it made me too. I looked up for someone to intervene. But no one cared. The woman even called to her husband or companion who was almost walked out, “come, look at it, maybe we should have order this one …”

Talking about manner and culture.


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