I’m still trying to catch my breath after Charlottesville’s Peter Chang roller coaster. He was here. It was awesome. Everyone went to eat there. Everyone wrote articles about him. “And poof. Just like that, he’s gone.”
We were curious if Taste of China would manage to hold onto the Peter Chang magic so he headed back there recently. As suspected, rather than three-hour waits for a table the restaurant was barely over a quarter full at 7 pm on a Thursday. The wait staff seemed relaxed and our order was taken right away. We waited apprehensively to see how the Chang-less Taste of China would fare. I’m delighted to report that all dishes were just as fabulous as they had been during his reign. And even better, we tried a new dish and fell in love.
The Crispy Shrimp with Scallion is described as fried shrimp and fried onions sautéed with hot pepper power. It’s true: everything about this dish is powerful – and delicious. The shrimp is perfectly fried for a nice crispy bite without seeming oily. The slender fried onions are addictive and should replace those enormous donut-sized onion rings in bars across America. The dish packs an intense spiciness that is best enjoyed with a Tsingtao beer. But despite the heat you can taste a slight sweetness and subtle flavors throughout. Chang may come and go, but I hope the Crispy Shrimp with Scallion always stays the same.