Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Sometimes it happens that the best thing you eat at a restaurant is the one thing you haven’t paid for.

That’s what happened on my recent meal at China Blue. This is the second restaurant from the team behind Midtown’s Café China and this one, in the far western reaches of Tribeca, focuses on specialities from Shanghai.

Just like the Midtown restaurant, it is designed beautifully with old 1930’s flourishes. And it seems like a real discovery – especially considering how far it is off-the-beaten path

I came here one day for lunch and was tempted by their lunch specials. Being a Shanghai restaurant, I had to also order the soup dumplings (which I’ll review in a separate post) and a dish called Soupy Rice which I have never encountered before. I was a bit underwhelmed by both dishes, but the thing that got me really excited and the reason I’ll be back to the restaurant were the complimentary baby cucumbers provided to whet my appetitie.

This small bowl was included with the lunch special, but it is also available (presumably in a larger portion) as an appetizer.

The crisp juicy cucumbers are marinated in vegetable oil and plenty of garlic. But there is also a sweet vinegar flavor and a hint of smokiness. Not sure what the secrets are, but the flavors were bold and bright enough to make me devour the entire thing well before the main dishes came out.

I truly considered ordering another order of these. Perhaps that’s how they get you. Based on the mastery and simplicity of these cucumbers, I imagine some of the dishes on the regular (non-lunch) menu are superb and I’ll have to come back to find out. Or next time, order the lunch special, eat the cucumbers, and dash before anything else hits the table. Price: Complimentary with lunch special or $7

CHINA BLUE
135 Watts Street (at Washington Street),
Tribeca
(212) 431-0111
chinabluenewyork.com
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

One Response to DISH OF THE WEEK: Baby Cucumbers at CHINA BLUE

  1. Ttrockwood says:

    Sounds like these made with a bit of black vinegar (which is awesome here but also can be strong so use sparingly). I like these with the sesame oil too but doesn’t sound like this version has it. Not kidding i make this several times a week all summer!
    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/09/sichuan-style-smashed-cucumber-salad-recipe.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with me

Link to our Youtube Page
Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Rss Page
Link to our Twitter Page

WATCH

LOCALS KNOW: BOHEMIAN TALES OF THE CITY in ATHENS AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
EMPIRE PLATES OF MINE A DAY IN THE LIFE
EAT THIS BOSTON: IN THE SOUP SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BREWED


DREAM A LITTLE CREAM CHEESE


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINATOWN


ICE CREAM


KOSHER MEAT MARKET


PIZZA DAY


Instagram Feed