Old Town Taste

Good eating in the Valley of the Sun
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buzzardLuck
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A new Chinese Restaurant in Tempe with Sichuan food (I should have put cuisine here but I couldn't spell it.). All I can say so far is the dry fried green beans are killer, the staff is friendly and the service was good. https://www.azcentral.com/story/enterta ... 161526001/ review from the Republic. I hope to go back soon to try some more items.

Kevin Brown
Food critic for the Brown household
Kevin Brown
Food critic for the Brown household.
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Skillet Doux
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Wahey! Well, it sure was nice to have the first Foodnik Friday in........ *checks watch*....... a very long time. Lovely to see y'all this afternoon :-)

And the perfect opportunity to put a little meat on the bones of this topic.

OTT was mostly on point today, which should come as no surprise but is nonetheless a bit of a relief. Some old favorites, sadly, have apparently moved on. I am more than a little sad that the squirrel-shaped sweet sour fish and the beer-braised duck are no longer available. But that which remained mostly hit the mark.

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Fuqi feipian (Sliced Beef and Ox Tongue in Chili Sauce on the menu) was a very approachable rendition, easy on the spice and fairly meaty, slivered quite thin and light on the tripe and tendon. A touch sweet and garlicky. Nice balance.

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Cool, garlicky cucumbers. Nothing not to like here.

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The braised pork belly is still a strength, and is just as I remember. Look at that glisten... it's as slurpy and unctuous as it looks, and that's a big ol' pile of sweet preserved greens beneath.

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Fish-flavored eggplant felt off to me today. Didn't have the punch or the singed texture of previous visits. A little light on the vinegar and aromatics. Still nice, but this was the only old favorite that didn't quite hit for me.

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Crispy Sichuan fish, however, was dynamite. Searing hot, light and crisp, aggressively spiced, but man those filets stayed tender. This remains one of the best dishes on the menu.

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Still love the texture on these beans as well, with a little preserved greens and fermented black bean boost.

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House dry pot also on point. Especially the spam :-)

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Don't recall if I've had the cumin lamb here before, but this was a solid rendition. They do a light, crisp coating rather than simply stir-frying the meat, so it has a little sizzle and crunch. Needed salt, IMO, but otherwise lovely.

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With apologies to PHXeater, this wasn't the water-boiled fish we expected. More a super simple and clean fish in prickly ash oil with some chile and a horde of bean sprouts lurking beneath. Solid, but not what we were hoping for.

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And another first try, a very mellow "mixed vegetable" plate which basically consisted of slivered pork and tofu stir fried with celery and bean sprouts and nestled under an egg crepe blanket. Simple soul food here.

I'm holding out hope that some of the other favorites will make a return someday. Don't even know if they have the same chef at this point. I'd be curious to hear if the dinner menu is different. But Old Town Taste remains an excellent stop.
Dominic Armato
artvandelay
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We got takeout from here several times during the pandemic when they were not open for dine-in and then went back this past weekend in person. I agree with Dom that the Szechuan fish is one of the best things on the menu, but I was stunned by the difference between eating it after just a 20 minute drive home and eating it fresh out of the kitchen. It's always good but this past weekend, in person, it was exceptional. So glad to be able to be back in person.