Every once in a while, S and I crave Liang’s Kitchen. I learned something interesting about the cuisine style recently: it is called “juan cun” (眷村), which refers to the villages that housed Chinese Nationalist soldiers during the Chinese Civil War. So “juan cun” cuisine started with the food served in these villages, with all sorts of mainland Chinese cooking styles. Over time, the dishes were incorporated with Taiwanese flavors, and now “juan cun” is sort of a Chinese-Taiwanese fusion. In particular, there are many flour/noodle-based dishes, which are traditionally northern Chinese. Interesting tidbit.
Anyway, it has been a while since we last visited. They seem to be offering some new specials now:
The first thing that I noticed from this sign was the 雪花冰 – they translated it to shaved ice, but the Chinese actually means “snow shaved ice,” which is a totally different experience. I was pretty stoked to try out the snow ice here.
But dinner first…
We were given a complimentary small dish of spicy pickled cucumbers. The cucumbers were nice and crisp, tossed in a vinegar/sesame oil/chili oil sauce. Nice and refreshing.
S picked one of the “luncheon box” meals: rice, “main” dish, a couple of side items. The beef stew was pretty standard in flavor. The side veggies were not bad but not too memorable, either.
I actually don’t remember what this was called on the menu in English.. but it was from the special “LKSD” menu on the first page. I had a hard time deciding whether I should actually order this, since I wasn’t sure how pork leg would work with hot & sour soup. Well, the broth was nothing like the thick hot & sour soup (thankfully) – it was more of a clear soy sauce-based broth and had a nice balance between sour, sweet, and spicy. There were two large, thin slices of pork leg, which was very tender. The noodles were medium-thick, nothing too special but definitely not bad. Overall, I really liked this – the broth was definitely quite addictive.
But I did not forget to save room for dessert – snow shaved ice (or shaved snow). You can get a mini for $3.75 (one topping) or super for $6.75 (two toppings). There were six flavors and many toppings to choose from, and you can get chocolate sauce or condensed milk.
I chose a mini with black sesame, with (Asian-style, not American) pudding and mochi (50 cents extra for the second topping), and condensed milk.
(For some reason, it took a really long time to arrive at our table after ordering it, so they upgraded to a large for us.) As you can see, snow shaved ice is pretty different from regular shaved ice – they can somehow make the ice into fine and soft slices, which are stacked on top one another.
The black sesame was really subtle at first – you had to close your eyes and think about it. The condensed milk actually enhanced the sesame flavor a lot, so as you worked your way towards the bottom, it tasted better and better. Maybe I’m more used to sweet black sesame paste. The pudding was a bit bland on its own, but with the condensed milk it was fine. I didn’t like the mochi balls since they were really sweet, but S really liked it – he says that the mochi paired with the sesame reminded him of sesame tang yuan, haha.
I really enjoyed the snow shaved ice – I like it much more than regular shaved ice. Since I haven’t really had snow shaved ice elsewhere, I can’t say how the one here compares to others, but I liked it. Next time, I’d probably try either mango or green tea, which were actually the waitress’ recommendations.
Now that I know Liang’s Kitchen has snow shaved ice, I might just be back to visit more often!
Read my previous post on Liang’s Kitchen here.
4681 Convoy St, Ste D, San Diego, CA