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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Emperor of China’s Quarterly Specials Menu

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Emperor of China (1010 E. Brady St.) offers an extensive Chinese menu with many regional specialties. And when the kung pao chicken and twice-cooked pork start to seem mundane, the restaurant provides another option: a quarterly “specials” menu that adds further insight into Chinese food. The current, spring menu adds nine items, three of which are vegetarian. Lettuce wraps may seem commonplace, but there also is something called pow pow sha—shrimp in a sweet and spicy glaze with hints of garlic. Two items from Taiwan include Japanese influences. The more unusual is a steamed filet of sole topped with ground roasted soybeans. Its flavors are clean and simple, and it is very unlike anything else on the menu (be sure to allow extra time for the kitchen to prepare this item). Special menus like this are the key to keeping restaurants vibrant. Everybody likes something new and different.