17 May 2011

Qin Dynasty Seafood Restaurant (秦皇食府)

Parsippany NJ.
A few years ago, my parents were unwilling to drive me there to visit someone, but now, apparently, lunch is worth the (longish?) drive in the rain. We went in order to celebrate Mother's Day and my end of the semester as a college frosh. There were tons of people because it was tea/lunch time, and there were people pushing around trolleys of foods. Typical Cantonese restaurant style; you pick what you want, and they stamp at the correct section of a piece of card at the table, and later, you pay for however many stamps of food you got. Pretty neat, because you get to try sundry foods at a relatively low price (Okay, much cheaper in HK, but can't complain).
Xiao Long Bao - the buns with the soup. I didn't eat any but my sister liked them.
The egg tart's custard was phenomenally creamy and flavourful. The spring roll was still drenched in oil (Yes. Dripping.), but it was pretty good. At least I could tell what vegetables were inside it...
My brother liked this.
Pig blood. My brother and dad liked this. Bad picture quality. :( In the background, you can see the sesame ball thingy, which was pleasantly crunchy and not too sweet.
Nicely garnished and seasoned chicken legs.

Halfway through eating my egg tart, I felt compelled to take another picture because the cross section looks just as amazing as the whole egg tart. Notice how creamy it looks!
Fried tofu with one piece of shrimp in the centre. I'm not really sure how they managed to stuff/inject a cube of tofu with one piece of shrimp. The tofu wasn't that great, actually. The fried part was soggy (as it was in sauce...), so there was no real point of it being fried, in my opinion.
Dumplings with glutinous rice skin. For such large dumpling skins, the filling was really scant. It was also a cow flesh filling, along with some peanuts and a few pieces of vegetables.
The good thing about the waitresses was that they would explain pretty much anything on their trolleys. This green ball was apparently made with bitter melon...
...and it was absolutely NOTHING like bitter melon; inside was sesame paste and peanuts, and the green part was just glutinous rice that was deep-fried on the outside.

Rice noodles (chang2 fen3) filled with fried dough (you2 tiao2). Novel concept, nice sauce. I'm not super fond of fried dough, though. I really love rice noodles, however.
My brother and dad love durian. I don't. I never have, and I'm not sure that I ever will. This is a durian pastry.

It looks pretty delicious, actually, and I did eat some, first while smelling, but then without smelling the durian. By inhibiting my sense of smell, the flavour was harder to detect (Monell!), and I felt like I was just eating some sorta sweet pudding. However, I really can not ingest a lot of durian. I've tried it in all these forms, and I still really don't like it; I've had it fresh (the same way I eat any fresh fruit), in candy form (yes, durian candy exists), in chip form (well, okay, they were jackfruit chips), and now in pastry form.
And I still don't tolerate it.

Final thoughts:
Good for large groups: you get to try more dishes, and each dish is pretty easy to split
Great if you want authentic Chinese (actually, Cantonese) food without broccoli and cashews. I'm saying this because when we first moved to the U.S. and got food at Chinese restaurants, there was a lot of broccoli, cashews, and sweet food.
Kids like it (i.e. my sister, who doesn't eat much at home)
Pretty fair pricing.
Go between 11 and 2 on weekends. On weekdays, the variety seriously goes down, and any time after 2, the variety also goes down. If you go for dinner, you end up with the more formal Chinese restaurant style, with ordering actual dishes, and having bowls of rice, and a tureen of soup etc. If you want just casual dining with lots of choices, you should go for tea time/lunch!

Qin Dynasty Seafood Restaurant (秦皇食府), 857 Rt. 46 E, Parsippany

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