Chinois

A last minute decision to have a post birthday lunch at Chinois was an unexpected pleasure. For those looking for a quiet and unhurried lunch spot in Venice, I highly recommend Chinois. They are open for lunch Wed through Friday. The menu is a smaller version of the dinner menu, but many of the Chinois classics are on the lunch menu — Sweet Curried Oysters, Chicken Spring Rolls, Chinois Chicken Salad, Shanghai Lobster, Whole Sizzling Catfish and Cantonese Duck.

BYO Champagne

Spicy shiso tuna topped with wasabi caviar served on crispy lotus chips with Maui onion endive salad. This was a layered presentation with one lotus chip on the bottom, then some finely chopped “Asian seasoned” tuna, another lotus chip, more tuna and topped with the caviar wasabi. I couldn’t identify all the ingredients of the sauce but it was just spicy enough without overwhelming the dish and in a word terrific.

Garlic chicken spring rolls with Chinese coleslaw in a spicy plum sauce. This was served with a chili based aioli dipping sauce. I use the term aioli as it was similar to a mayonnaise but with Chinese chili as the primary spicing.

The Chinese coleslaw on the right is actually a misnomer – do not think coleslaw. This was a melange of enoki and shitake mushrooms, sliced carrots, scallions and peapods served hot – delicious.

BYO Red Wine

Stir-fried Mongolian beef, Chinese broccoli, scallions, mushrooms (at least 4 different varieties), sliced red pepper in a black bean sauce – another winner

Duck-fried rice

Cantonese duck with fresh plum sauce – always a favorite

Bao filled with stir-fried vegetables for the duck

A surprise and gift from the kitchen – chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet

The wonderful chef – Rene Mata

A lovely lunch.

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