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What I Ate: February 14, 2010 (Chinese New Year Dinner at Pao's Mandarin House, Which Wich)

Posted 15 February, 2010 at 1:40am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Dinner: Tina and I went to meet Kent and Larisa (and others) at Pao's Mandarin House (2300 Lohmans Spur, Lakeway, TX‎ - (512) 263-8869‎) for Chinese New Year Dinner. Unfortunately, I got the dates wrong (it was supposed to be dinner on Saturday and not Sunday), so we waited for thirty minutes before deciding that they weren't going to show up. (Later in the evening when I reread the email thread, I realized we were the ones that never showed up to dinner - the previous night - how embarrassing!) We started with a few appetizers:

Braised Pig Elbows, $6.25. We expected a slightly different dish, but it was pretty good.
Pao's Mandarin House - Braised Pork Elbow

Garlic Chive Dumplings, $7. These dumplings were okay (which is pretty good for Austin). Tina didn't like them (they were overcooked, half had burst wrappers, and the filling was grainy and monotone in flavor), but I don't have particularly high expectations when it comes to dumplings in restaurants. Regular dumplings (not shao mai or shao long bao or other regional specialty dumplings) seems to me one of those dishes where it's always better made at home.
Pao's Mandarin House - Garlic Chive Dumplings

Four Happiness Dumplings, $6. These dumplings are similar to Cantonese sui mai because of the slightly chewy wrapper, pork and shrimp base, and the toppings. It was a bit dry and somewhat bland.
Pao's Mandarin House - Four Happiness Dumplings

Steamed Whole Snapper, $27. The fish was quite fresh and steamed until flaky but not overcooked. The fish relied on the sauce, ginger, and scallions for flavor, but I found the simple and mild flavors to be refreshing (I haven't had Chinese steamed whole fish in a long time).
Pao's Mandarin House - Steamed Whole Snapper

Stir-fried Fatty Pork Intestines, $10. I liked this flavorful dish, but we took most of it home since we chose to eat the whole fish (steamed fish isn't all that great when reheated). The slices of intestine were fried first to provide some crispiness to the texture and contributes some additional flavor.
Pao's Mandarin House - Stir-fried Fatty Pork Intestines

Eight Treasure Rice, $13. I enjoyed this dessert but wish there was a bit more red bean paste (which is buried inside the mound of sweet glutinous rice) and could have done without the maraschino cherries. The lotus nuts were excellent.
Pao's Mandarin House - Eight Treasure Rice

Lunch: After church, Tina and I grabbed a quick lunch at Which Wich in order to save time (so we would have as much time available to finish our pantry renovation before going to Pao's Mandarin House for dinner). I had a meatball sandwich with provolone cheese and jalapenos.
Which Wich - Meatball Sandwich

1 comment to What I Ate: February 14, 2010 (Chinese New Year Dinner at Pao's Mandarin House, Which Wich)

DailyChef, February 15th, 2010 at 3:27 pm:

  • Steamed fish to wichwich. such variety