YuYan Kitchen, Metairie, LA Report #447

I love eating authentic ethnic food. That’s not always easy to find. In the New Orleans area by far the easiest authentic cuisine to find is Vietnamese. But, let’s take Mexican for example. Try finding authentic Mexican food. Everything is Tex-Mex style, Americanized Mexican food.

I used to work with a guy from China who was a foodie. I asked him if there were any authentic Chinese restaurants in the New Orleans area. He emphatically said there wasn’t a single one.

Funny story about him I just have to share. Not long after he arrived in the United States as a full grown adult, he ended up in a hospital emergency room thinking he was having a heart attack. He wasn’t. They figured out the problem. He ate cheese for the first time in his life. Being born and raised in China he had never eaten cheese before, and had indigestion so bad he thought he was dying of a heart attack.

Anyway, a local publication called Gambit recently put out their Winter Dining Guide. They list every restaurant out there with a description. Like a kid with a new toy catalog, I was perusing it and I saw this place. They described themselves by saying, “The restaurant serves traditional dishes from northern China that is not Americanized”. Sounded like a winner to me!

I checked the menu out online and saw pan fried dumplings and fried rice. Sounds Americanized to me. But I guess dumplings could be authentic. But then I saw, “Braided Pork Trotter”. I speak a little Chinese so I recognized that as, “braised pigs feet”. Now THAT sounds authentic! And I love pigs feet. So we headed on in.

Not sure why I never noticed this place before. There are four restaurants I’ve reviewed literally within ONE block! They are Akira Sushi & Hibachi, Drago’s, Los Jefes and Pho Michael.

If you like Chinese Hot Pot, where you cook meats and vegetables in a pot of broth at your table, every one of their tables are set up for that. A lot of people were having it. We decided on:

&&& THE FOOD &&&

Salt and Pepper Pork Tenderloin
Wonton Soup
Braised Pork Trotter
Combination Freid Rice
Beef Onion Pan Fried Dumplings

I listed the dishes above in the order they came out. When we ordered, we ordered the dumplings and soup first, and were kind of expecting them to come out first. Like appetizers. But if you look at the menu it doesn’t say “appetizers” over any of the foods. The menu just says menu! So if you want your food served in a certain order ask.

We didn’t care for the Salt and Pepper Pork Tenderloin. If you look at the picture of it you’ll notice the batter on the meat is pretty light in color. That’s because it tasted like they didn’t fry it enough. Not crisp at all. Kind of chewy and doughy in fact. But a pretty nice flavor.

The Wonton Soup was ok. The wontons were good, but the broth could have been more flavorful. It was a tad watery.

Before I ordered the pigs feet I asked our waiter if they came in some sauce. He said they did. I was asking because I envisioned putting them over white rice with some sauce like a gravy.

Well, they didn’t. But they were pretty tasty.

The Combination Fried Rice was very good! Not lacking in flavor at all.

And the best was served last. The Beef Onion Pan Fried Dumplings. It seems we always order shrimp and/or pork dumplings, so I was looking forward to trying something different. These had a delicious beefy and oniony flavored liquid in them. Delicious!

Some dishes missed the mark but if you’re looking for a unique menu, this place fills the bill.

3547 18th St., Metairie, LA 70002 Ph: 504-888-0654

Blaine 1-29-2022

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