I was about to ask you this. Great report. I like a lot of those dishes (incl the rice balls, of course!), so would love to try this place.
Stewed pork leg, actual name 紅燒蹄膀 (Hong Shao Ti Pang) although in Hong Kong it is more widely known as 紅燒元蹄 (Hung Siu Yuen Tai in Cantonese). Pretty much a must order banquet dish at any Shanghainese/Jiangnan restaurant or a Sichuan place that offers high end banquet fare.
Technically it’s the cut of the pork upper leg, some use the front but I’ve seen the rump (upper back leg) used in quite a few places as well.
In the below image look at front and back 蹄膀 for reference. The back leg near the ankle (Ti Hua) can be really spectacular if braised till tender, as the flavors of the tendons in that location are intense.
Thanks for the info! Very helpful. Do you have any favorites of this dish here in So Cal or up in the Bay area?
Hardly eat this style anymore unfortunately, these kind of restaurants are far and few in between up here.
What I would order to try from their online menu
Cold Dish #10 - Sliced Gluten
Soup #21 - Smoked and Fresh Pork Warm Pot
Soup #26- claypot chicken and wontons soup
Pork #55 - shredded pork with baby bamboo
Pork #47 - Tung Po Pork
Pork #53 - Flaming Pig’s Intestines
Pork #56 - Twice Cooked Pork (granted this is not Shanghainese/Jiangnan per se but I’ve grown to enjoy this dish)
Seafood #64 - Sauteed shrimp
Seafood #77 - Sauteed Eel with yellow chives
Dim sum 101 - shredded rolls (steamed or fried)
Vegetable 105 - eggplant and ground pork in hot sauce
108 or 111 - napa cabbage with shrimp or chinese squash with dried shrimp
Dessert - probably sweet red bean pancake 144
Definitely looks more refined…
Incredibly the OG of pork pump in the LA area, Lake Spring in Monterey Park was (is?) still around. Incredible since few Chinese restaurants last so long, and even though I can’t recall seeing this restaurant mentioned anywhere since the late 20th or early 21st century.
Thanks for the recommendations @beefnoguy. We’ve tried many of those dishes; will have to try the rest on a future visit.
Wow! I remember that name browsing through some old threads on our old board (when I first joined). Have you been back to Lake Spring? (Or @JeetKuneBao and others.) Is it worth a visit?
i remember eating there in 1995. the slow cooked pork pump was the bomb.
And one of the reason I am still going to SGV every chance I get
Was so great
you know, you can make a very reasonable facsimile at home nowadays with an electric pressure cooker in the time it takes you to drive across town (pre-quarantine).
We dined in here yesterday, Sunday. If I had seen this post, I might have been more adventurous in our ordering. Social distancing is observed and the food is excellent.
Love that place!
FWIW, while michelin declined to offer ratings in 2020, they recently listed jiang nan spring on some sort of honorable mention list.
Peony: This was our first visit to Jiang Nan Chun. The style of the food is Jiangzhe (Jiangsu / Zhejiang) style according to an interview with the chef (in Chinese), which is reflected in the restaurant’s name. I grew up in this area and am very happy to know Jiangzhe dishes are becoming more recognized. For example, one of the three Michelin starred restaurants in Beijing is Jiangzhe style (Xin Rong Ji). It was interesting to see they make it very clear they are a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, as there are banners outside the restaurant announcing that plus several posters inside the restaurant. This was a contrast to Lao Xi Er, whose owner did not know about this award until some customers told them (according to one of our conversations with the owner). I feel all the dishes were good quality and used fresh ingredients, particularly the seafood. Unlike Sichuan, I can see their focus is on tenderness, freshness, and natural flavors—key characteristics of Jiangzhe dishes. My favorite dish was the Greenland halibut with crispy hot bean.
Warrior: I liked this restaurant’s light cooking style and good ingredient quality. (I complained about ingredient quality in a delivery order from this restaurant, but have no such complaint for our in-person meal.) My favorite dish was the halibut with fried ground bean crisps. This has always been a favorite Shanghai / Jiangzhe dish of mine, and Jiang Nan Spring’s rendition was better than average (albeit light in flavor). I also really liked the winter melon and clam soup.
Excited to learn about this place, then looked at menu. Tons of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes, will post separately about what I’m looking for.
The selection is so much more limited than lake spring garden, the late lamented Giang Nan ( Chinese name De Yue Lou) of Monterey Park, and Mei Long Village/Meilong zhen. A few shandong dishes like the beef in pancake, etc. pan-Chinese