Thursday, September 16, 2010
仁 記 - Jeng Chi Restaurant (Richardson, TX)
Jeng Chi has been around as long as I could remember. Located in the Richardson Chinatown, it's a spot you have to try. I have aged a lot since the last time I ate here and so have the owners, but they're just as nice as they were years ago. They have remodeled and everything looks nice inside. The front area shown above is where they sell stuff from their bakery, and I've chosen a few items to highlight since they were readily available there.
This is pretty much a Swiss Rolled Cake. It starts off as a sponge cake on which they spread light frosting. Then the cake is rolled up into it's circular shape resulting in this spiraled design. These things are so moist and delicious that it can become an addiction when you have coffee to go with it. Jeng Chi has some of the freshest and best tasting cakes of type that I've tried. One day I will try to make it on my own, and yes, there will probably be a recipe blog about it also.
For a lack of better words, since baked stuffed pastries can describe a ton of things, I will explain what these are. These come in many varieties with the most common being red bean, milk custard, and sesame stuffing. The outer layer of this pastry, glazed lightly with butter to give it its glistened look, is flaky and soft. When you bite into it, you'll find the stuffing of whatever flavor you choose in the middle. The balance of the buttery, flaky, outer layer and the moist, soft stuffing is quite a delectable combination.
One of the things Jeng Chi is known for is their noodles. We went with the Chicken Cold Noodle which has shredded chicken, cucumbers, egg, and carrots placed on a bed of cold noodles. It's topped with a peanut-like sauce that has a bit of tang. You mix all these ingredients up and eat it. Aside from this noodle dish, they also have many soup noodles that I would also suggest you try.
If you've ever had green onion pancakes before, you'll find that these are smaller, but thicker in size that what you're used to seeing. The reason for this is that these are hand made, so although they're smaller, but there's nothing small about the taste. They make for a great appetizer and children love them! It was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid, and it continues to be even today.
I can't say that these were great, but they're some of the better ones you can get in Dallas. If you've had these at Joe's Shanghai in New York or authentically in Asia, then you'll find that these don't compare. These are basically very similar to dumplings, but when you bite into these, it's filled with juice. This is because when they stuff it with the mixture of pork and vegetables (sometimes with other stuff), the mixture also has gelatin-ized soup which becomes a liquid when hot. It's typically served with a ginger/vinegar dipping sauce in which you dip it before you eat it. Word from the wise, take a small bite and savor the juices before you start eating it all. A big bite could result in unnecessary burning of the lips and tongue. Don't say I didn't warn you!
These are not the typical pot stickers you find at restaurants that are sometimes called "gyozas". Unlike dumplings or gyozas, the skins of these don't completely enclosed the insides. They're open faced on each end which allows it to cook faster and when cooked right, a crispy bottom develops. Jeng Chi is also known for these so make sure you order them if you drop by to eat.
Verdict? Some things just don't change over time. The items they serve taste just as I remembered them and I would probably come here again. Don't forget that they also offer a variety of baked goods that you can order a la carte. In fact, I think I'm going to drop by again tomorrow to pick up a roll of that sponge cake. The pricing is not bad at all. We ordered the green onion pancake, noodles, 2 orders of the soup dumplings, and the pan fried pot stickers with our total coming out to ~$25. All in all, great meal for a great price.
Jeng Chi Restaurant
400 N. Greenville Ave.#19
Richardson, TX 75081