Hubby wanted to take my mom and brother out for dinner and he suggested South Silk Road since I was talking about it some time ago. I learned that they serve Yunnan cuisine so it’s definitely not your typical Chinese food, and we were very excited to try something new. My understanding of Yunnan cuisine is that it’s really spicy and there can be some crossovers from different regions and what not.
The restaurant calls themselves private home dining (私房菜), which I found odd considering the location. 私房菜 usually means specialty cuisine offered at a home setting, and they can only cater to very small groups of people (around 10), and it’s generally not categorized as a restaurant either. Funny because Bobby Chao’s calls themselves that… and they are a restaurant as well.
Here’s what we ordered tonight:
Dong Por Pork (東坡肉) – $15.99
This dish has to be ordered one day in advance. Can you see why I ordered it? Braised pork belly in a pu’er tea sauce – it was sinfully melt-in-your-mouth delicious, yet not greasy. There was definitely not enough to go around!
Meatballs with Sticky Rice (珍珠丸子) – $11.99
This dish also has to be ordered one day in advance. I’ve never had it so I thought it’d be neat. It’s pork meatballs coated in sticky rice, steamed and decorated with a goji berry and green onions. It looks plain, yet it’s anything but. The meatball was seasoned nicely so the flavor comes from that.
Sweet and Sour Ribs – $12.99
When our server brought this out, she said to us that this was not the full portion as they didn’t have enough ribs and will take $2 off the bill. I appreciate her honesty because I wouldn’t know what the full portion looks like. This is not your typical sweet and sour pork that is laden with sugar, rather, this dish is more on the sour side and we certainly appreciate that. Every single piece had a bone in it so it’s not all just meat.
Thai Style Fish – $10.99
I saw this on the menu and I knew hubby would be interested in it. It is simply grilled and flavored with lemongrass and hot peppers. I didn’t think it’d be too spicy, but I certainly got a bit of a rude awakening there! As spicy as it was, It was definitely tasty, and the meat was soft and buttery. Hubby liked it a lot and commended me for the pick.
Stir Fried Asparagus with Bamboo Mushrooms – $14.99
We needed a vegetable dish and this seemed to be the perfect one to neutralize the heat from the previous dish. This was a very simple stir-fried veggie dish flavored with salt and garlic. Those bamboo mushrooms must be expensive because I counted maybe only five pieces in the entire dish.
Ma Po Tofu – $10.99
This is a last minute add on. The tofu is silky smooth and cubed to small bite-size. The sauce was a blend of minced pork and spicy bean sauce – definitely the Szechuan variant with tons of chili peppers! I’ve never had a ma po tofu dish that was more flavorful and spicy than this one here. Ones I’ve tried in the past were quite mild.
Taro Rolls – $2.00/pc
The restaurant doesn’t really offer desserts but as I saw this on pictures so I had to try it. The roll itself is made with toast and the filling is a taro mixture, then coated in black sesame seeds on the ends. It’s not very sweet and it’s quite filling. My toddler ended up eating three or four pieces! I really think this should be served with condensed milk for dipping.
Portions are definitely on the small side, but the food was absolutely tasty. It is different from the usual Chinese food and I appreciate the change. Service was great and our server was helpful on dishes that we weren’t familiar with. I would definitely return to try the rest of their specialty dishes (excluding the dealthy spicy ones).