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Peter Chang China Café

11424 W. Broad St. (Pouncey Tract Rd.) Send to Phone
804-364-1688
Celebrated, sought-after chef and his Szechuan cuisine settle down with a string of scintillating China cafés.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch & Dinner daily
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Peter Chang China Café Restaurant Review

: Peter Chang, the catch-me-if-you-can culinarian who served as chef at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., before creating a legion of fans (“Changians”) whose trail-sniffing obsession for his authentic spicy-hot-numbing Szechuan cuisine was immortalized by Calvin Trillin in The New Yorker, has ditched elusive peripateticism for a firmly-grounded empire of eponymous restaurants, including this one. Its décor is prettier than a strip mall site might dictate (come as part of a group so you can reserve one of the tables in the center and try lots of dishes family-style), but the gastronomic sophistication supersedes the setting. It’s clear why devotees fetishize his dan dan noodles, obsess over bamboo fish and wax poetic about dry-fried eggplant. Chang’s heat doesn’t obliterate flavor, it elevates it. He designs menus to build in spiciness as the meal progresses. Start with scallion bubble pancake, puffy like paper lanterns, and stir-fried mussels with black bean sauce. Next get pork ribs and wild mushroom soup, then cumin lamb and sizzling asparagus and tofu. Finish with red bean moon cake and sesame paste. Beer and wine are available, not cocktails, but most folks go the tea route. Now the burning question isn’t where is Chang, but which of his emblematic dishes shall we order?



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