It was only a few weeks ago when I heard that Shu Feng Yuan in Focus Plaza (aka The Great Mall of China) closed it doors. Well, now its doors are open again, only with different owners. Although the lighted sign outside still bears its old name and the restaurant looks unchanged once you step inside, the plastic-sheeted menu shows a new restaurant boasting of something I hadn’t seen before — Wuhan food.
As soon as Will and I sat down at the restaurant, we were given three menus. Two of them were the old Shu Feng Yuan menu, but the third was what we were really interested in. This menu looks hastily put together with its printed pictures and plastic sleeves, but it had all the dishes I wanted to try.
Pork dou pi (三鮮豆皮) was the first thing I ordered. It’s a cross between a crepe and fried rice. Except it’s not really fried rice. A thin batter of soy is put on a hot, flat surface and cooked like a crepe. Then a layer of egg is brushed on top, and then sticky rice is put over that, then salty chopped mushrooms, pork, shrimp, and some pickled vegetables. Then the whole pizza-like thing is flipped, edges are tucked under, and you end up with a neat package of protein, carbs, and a tiny amount of vegetable. I hear it’s a breakfast meal, but I found it was equally as delicious for dinner.
Will ordered re gan mian (熱干面) which directly translates to hot-dry noodle. Just looking at it, I couldn’t really tell the difference between that and his usual order of dan dan mian. It had similar looking noodles, a sesame paste, peanut, and soy sauce dressing, and salty pickled vegetables up top. It tasted fine, but I still would have trouble distinguishing this dish from a mild dan dan mian.
I also ordered a skewer of mutton, which is written as ‘mutton shashlik’ on the menu. I just knew it as 羊肉串 which is lucky because I had no idea what a ‘shashlik’ was until I came home and looked it up. The mutton was tender and spiced perfectly. Sure, the cumin was definitely aromatic, but it’s one of those things you don’t notice once you start eating it.
We also shared an order of fried pumpkin cake (南瓜餅) which was a pumpkin pastry that was battered and deep fried. Yes it tasted every good as it sounds.
I’m interested to try the other things on the menu, especially the soup buns. Hopefully this restaurant lasts long enough for me to do that. It’s strange that it still carries the old Shu Feng Yuan’s menu, but maybe the restaurant is still in its transitional period.
Happy Eating Restaurants (川味家常菜)
140 W Valley Blvd # 211
San Gabriel, CA 91776-3787