Friday, July 25, 2008

Salty China

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Tasty China is known for overload on many counts - copious spice, MSG and attitude are all hallmarks of the place, none of which have ever bothered me. But now it seems there's a new ingredient to take to extremes and that's salt. I ate there yesterday and could barely taste the food for the salt. I just tried to eat some leftovers for lunch and my mouth is numb - and no, it's not because of Szechuan peppercorns.

Just to be clear, I am a salt fiend.  It's by far my favorite spice (I know it's not really a spice, but you know what I mean). But this was like salt-lick salty, like drinking Dead Sea water salty. And it was across the board - out of five dishes, only one was not too salty to enjoy.

The sad part is, much of what I love about Tasty China is the unexpected quality, the way ginger or chilies can create a piercing high note where it is least expected, the way the delicate nature of the food is allowed to shine through the outrageous spicing. The food I had yesterday was sadly one-note, even under all that salt there wasn't much nuance.

I am hoping it was a fluke.

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