Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: March 15, 2008 (Queen House)

Posted 6 April, 2008 at 6:31pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: What I Ate)

For lunch, Tina and I went to Queen House in Mountain View where we ordered a variety of Mandarin and Taiwanese Dim Sum.

Tina ordered youtiao ("Chinese doughnut" on the menu) which are fried dough strips and sweet dou jiang (soy bean milk) served warm. She couldn't eat all of it, so gave me some.

Queen House - Youtiao (chinese doughnut) and Sweet Dou Jiang (soy bean milk)

Tina also ordered shaobing ("sesame panroll") with beef sandwiched inside. It same with thinly sliced Chinese roast beef with scallions and plum sauce. It was good and reminded us a little of Peking duck since it had plum sauce and scallions. Of course the taste of the shaobing is nothing like the heye bing of Peking duck since it's more savory, has sesame, and has a much denser texture than the fluffy pancakes used to wrap the duck. In addition, the beef would never be confused with the crispy and ultra-tender, juicy duck meat.

Queen House - Shaobing (Sesame Panroll) with Beef

I love garlic chives, so when we saw jiucai he ("Chinese chives in the box") on the menu, we ordered it. I prefer the dough encasing the filling to be thinner, but it was still good.

Queen House - Jiucai He (Chinese Chives in a Box)

Tina saw a dish that she knew I liked because I ate it on occasion while growing up. My parents would cook oar jien which is an oyster omelet made with oysters, egg, corn starch, some vegetable, and topped with a tomato based sauce (I think my parents used ketchup). A few years ago I wanted to make this dish at home but didn't know what vegetable to use since it has a unique taste. My mom told me to just use spinach but the flavor was too sweet. Apparently I had trouble communicating to my mom just what vegetable I wanted to know the name of since she obviously didn't use spinach when I was growing up.

Queen House's "Oyster Pancake" was more starch than anything else, so it was quite chewy and gummy. However, the flavors were spot on - the sweet taste of oysters, the herbal vegetable, and the tomato sauce topping. The pancake today used the correct vegetable so we took the opportunity to find out the name of the vegetable. The vegetable is tong hao cai (chrysanthemum greens or garland chrysanthemum).

Queen House - Oyster Pancake

Also, because it was on the menu, I ordered a grass jelly drink. I've had grass jelly before but never served warm. It was slightly sweet and tasted a like the other grass jellies that I've had before. I tend to describe the taste as alkaline (although I don't know if that's the reason for the taste) because it tastes like a baked good that used too much baking soda. If I recall correctly, grass jelly is made from the leaves of a particular variety of mint that has been soaked in lye water - so that could explain the basic taste.

Queen House - Grass Jelly Drink

Queen House (Google Maps)
273 Castro St
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 960-0580

For dinner, we heated the left over dumplings in a pan until browned.

Pan Fried Dumplings

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