September 12, 2006

darda seafood

I managed to connect with Cindy from FoodMigration this time out, and we dragged ourselves through rush hour to Milpitas to check out the Chinese Muslim cuisine at Darda Seafood.


As you might imagine, Muslim Chinese hail largely from the northern and western parts of China, and the food leans strongly to lamb and wheat. We ordered the thick sesame-scallion bread and the cold ox-tendon terrine, both recommended by the magic article from Gourmet, along with a dish of pan-fried hand cut noodles with lamb that we saw on the table next to us. (Cindy took one for the team and leaned over to ask our neighbors what they were eating -- just one of many reasons why she is such a delightful dining companion.) After some consultation with the waitress, who by this time in our ordering had figured out that we were not just a couple of amateurs wanting General Gao's Chicken, we chose a black cod steamed with salted vegetables and a plate of sauteed pea tendrils with cloves of roasted garlic to round out the dinner.

Everything was delicious. The gamy lambiness made the noodles more interesting than usual, and the noodles themselves were thick and chewy, sparked with bean sprouts, shreds of cabbage & bits of cilantro. The pea tendrils, well, not much need be said about pea tendrils other than yum. The tendon terrine was beautiful, all marbled shades of brown, savory with a bit of five-spice, and just slightly chewy, becoming more yielding as it warmed. The cod was perfectly cooked and tasty, and the bread, oh my god -- the smell alone, all yeasty and oniony, is just dreamy.

There's a ton of other places in this same mall, which as described in the magic article is indeed huge and almost entirely Asian, so if you are in the area, stop by and explore. (The mall itself is tucked into the corner of the junction of the 237 and the 880 freeways, so it's conveniently accessible to many locations, assuming it's not rush hour.)

Posted by foodnerd at September 12, 2006 11:35 PM
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