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Jennifer Liu
INTJ, fitness junkie, food lover, occasional half marathoner
M.Y. China a good place from Martin YanExpert noodle pullers come into the audience - uh, dining room - and perform by pulling, twisting and tossing the dough. On one visit the noodle showman was behind us, and a waiter tapped a talking dining companion on the shoulder and admonished him to pay attention to the show. Much of the restaurant is filled with communal tables and counter seating overlooking the dim sum and wok stations, ideal for single diners. The hand-pulled noodles ($14) fill a beef soup in a soy-colored broth with hints of star anise, brightly punctuated with baby bok choy and simmered rib eye - unfortunately, as tough as undercooked tendon. Other noodle dishes include the Hong Kong-style crispy noodles ($16) topped with chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers and house-made XO sauce. The supporting players - Small Eats, Soups & Salads and Sides - include very good, but expensive, garlic pea shoots ($16) and still-crunchy green beans ($8) in a light sauce with a fiery finish. Shiu mai ($6 for four) are bigger than most, filled with coarsely chopped pork and served on individual metal spatulas, making it easy to grab and eat. Good roast chickenI was impressed with the quality of the roast chicken ($16/$32) which had a reddish bronzed crackling skin and a juicy interior, served with a sweet salt and plum seasoning and a small mound of fennel slaw. Peking roast duck ($20) is nicely presented, the skin cut into squares next to a pile of meat, sticks of cucumber and fine threads of scallions. The Small Eats category also has plenty to recommend, particularly the Bang Bang chicken wings ($9), crisp and gooey with a nicely balanced sweet and sour sauce; and Chairman Mao's chicken ($9), a basket of fried nuggets tossed with onions, bell peppers and jalapeno rings. Mu shu pork tacos ($9 for two) have a mild flavor and interesting texture from the chewy meat and crunchy ribbons of cloud ear mushrooms. The wild boar lettuce cups ($9 for two) are beautifully presented in trimmed iceberg lettuce bowls, but the meat was chewy and the pieces too large to make the dish work. Five spice pork ribs ($18) had a coating that reminded me of cold, greasy tempura; sweet and sour pork ($14) was way too sweet; beef short ribs in a clay pot ($25) were too chewy; and kung pao chicken ($14) was surprisingly timid. When it came to dessert (all $8), our waiter almost insisted we order sugar egg puffs, a good suggestion because they are similar to crisp beignets, served with three sauces: vanilla whipped cream, pureed raspberries and chocolate. Purple yam croquettes with a molten white chocolate core, and served with almond ice cream, made for a pleasant cross-cultural blend, as does the M.Y. sundae rice bowl with toasted rice, lemongrass ice cream, rice brittle, coconut sorbet, poached pears and soy caramel.