Monday, January 3, 2011

CHINA STAR : Part Deux

 In my last review of China Star, I promised to go back to try some of there more authentic Chinese dishes. So back I went to try there much ballyhooed Tea Smoked Duck. Being that my eating partner is not all that adventurous, I bought her some Orange Beef. We both shared a Pu Pu platter as well. So lets get to the review shall we.
PU PU Platter ($10.95)
 The Pu Pu platter was a disappointment. It came with 2 of the following. Spring Rolls, Crab Rangoon, Unidentified Fried Thingies, Teriyaki Beef, BBQ Spared Ribs.
 The spring rolls were crunchy and filled with a pork/veggie mix, and were decent tasting.
 The Crab Rangoon was lacking in that there was not enough filling. What filling there was, had little crab flavor, and tasted like plain cream cheese.
The unidentified fried thingies (UFT) looked like a shrimp toast, but there was no seafood flavor at all. They tasted like fried wonder bread, and were very greasy. Looking at the China Star Menu , I think these might have been the scallion pancakes, but I really have no idea. 
 The Teriyaki Beef was infused with a nice teriyaki flavor, however the beef was slightly tough and stringy.
The BBQ Ribs were meaty and had a nice Chinese BBQ flavor to them.

Orange Beef ($10.95)
 The Orange Beef was one of the better versions of this dish that I have eaten. The coating on the outside of the beef was crunchy yet slightly over-coated  for my tastes. Inside the beef was very tender. The sauce was very good  with orange, soy, garlic, ginger, and pepper flavors. Imagine a General Tso's sauce with an overriding orange flavor. The dish had a great balance of sweet, sour, and savory. Someone needs to tell the chef to cook the broccoli along with the sauce, as it was quite dry and plain. Letting it cook in the sauce would have infused the broccoli with some much needed flavor.

Tea Smoked Duck ($13.95)
   The Tea Smoked duck hit my palate with flavors that I had never tasted before. The duck itself was juicy and slightly fatty, yet it missed having that crunchy skin which makes Peking duck such a treat. The tea smoke flavor was quite different from the usual hardwood smoke flavor (hickory or oak) that I am used to. The tea smoke was almost floral in its flavoring, and that flavor was quite pronounced throughout the duck. It honestly took me a little while to get used to the strange flavor. While I cant say that I did not like the flavor, it wasn't good enough that I would order this duck dish again. It seemed like it needed some type of sauce, to balance out the smokiness of the duck.


PU PU Platter: 4/10 

Orange Beef: 7.5/10 

Tea Smoked Duck: 5/10 

China Moon
100 McIntyre Square
7900 McKnight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

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