new Things I Ate in Cambodia: New Canton for New Year's Eve

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Canton for New Year's Eve

New Canton Again
2523 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 739-8888

It was New Year's Eve in Sacramento, and we were boring.

I don't know anyone in the mighty tomato city anymore, not really, and when I come home from school I generally spend roughly 50% of my time cooking overly elaborate meals and the other reading increasingly depressing literature. So New Year's Eve was not going to be a time of great excitement for me. My parents were in the same boat. So we decided to hit Broadway's New Canton for some New Year's Eve seafood.

Salt toasted prawns are among my favorite Chinese dishes. I think it has something to do with the fatty deliciousness of those crisp, deep fried little shrimp heads. New Canton does these quite well, and chooses big robust specimens to boot. Never order these off a dimsum cart. You will be sad.

A simple seafood and egg drop soup was a good, if subtle, addition to the meal. I wish there were more Beijing or Hong Kong style noodle soup joints about. I miss my Beijing beef noodles.

Stir fried lobster with ginger and scallions turned out extremely well, with a subtle, aromatic flavor and just enough kick from the vegetables. There was a not unconsiderable amount of sweet, firm lobster meat, and the stir-fry was done just long enough. There is no delicate or attractive way to eat this dish, so just shut up and do it, you'll thank me later.

Clams with black bean sauce is one of my mom's favorite dishes from her Hong Kong days, and I'm partial to it as well. New Canton has a pretty good hand with it, with a lot of fresh vegetables and a light, not overwhelming black bean sauce.

Greens and shitake mushrooms in broth, accompanied by 100 year old eggs. I have never understood the 100 year old egg concept and I do not think I ever will. I find eggs repulsive enough: the thought of intentionally aging them so they turn black and nightmarish sort of makes me want to die. However, one can eat around these things, and the greens and mushrooms themselves were all right, if a little bland.

There were quite a few other families in the dining room with us making the usual amount of Chinese restaurant noise. I like this, your mileage may vary. The waitstaff in their little emerald green vests (god help them) are usually fairly responsive, and will eagerly help you if you decide you want to eat something out of the various and sundry fish tanks scattered around the place. We didn't ring in the new year with a depressive looking grouper, but we certainly could have at New Canton.