October 30, 2013

Albany: China Village; restaurant review

interior of China Village in Albany, California
80 North

China Village  

1335 Solano Ave./Ramona Ave., in Albany, (510) 525-2285.  L-D daily, dim sum Sat-Sun; $-$$. 

Recently recovered from a devastating fire, this restaurant, which before had a simple decor and bargain menu, is now a lot more sleek and a tad more expensive.  The main dining room at China Village has some comfy banquette seating, and a smaller back room features a striking yellow mural wall with 3-D dragons.  Large windows bring in plenty of light, and you can order a cocktail to sip while you wait.  The menu specialty is hot Sichuan, but milder Mandarin and even milder Cantonese dishes are also available.  House specialties include delicious dry-fried cumin lamb spiced with plenty of hot red and green peppers, a saucy Szechuan hot bean paste fish fillet, and XO-sauce beef.  More winners include tea-smoked duck with half-moon steamed buns and plum sauce; chow mien made with housemade hand-cut noodles (they are flat and a little curly) with barbecue pork and veggies; spicy cold noodles with chicken in a sweet sesame paste sauce; Mandarin fish (a whole,
entree at  China Village in Albany, California
deep-fried fish covered with sweet bean paste sauce, garlic, and ginger).  Dishes are prepared without MSG.

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