I would definitely count lab lunches at Great China as one of the perks of my job. Sure, the lunch specials are pretty good when we go in small groups, but when we go as a big group (usually about 15-20), we order a lot of special stuff, like Peking duck and Double Skins (see below). Plus, the boss pays, and who doesn’t love a free lunch? We’ve even got ordering down to a science (pardon the pun): my boss carries a card with all of our usual dishes written on it, and he’ll recite it to the waiter. Then the waitstaff usually does portion control for us, so that we’re all perfectly satiated by the end of the meal.
The occasion for this particular outing was to mark the end of S’s rotation in our lab. I didn’t take a picture of everything — some of the dishes were placed on the other table, and half of the plate was devoured before I could take a photo of it. But luckily for you, I made sure to capture the special dishes before the hungry scientists got to them first!
We usually start off with soup (though we didn’t this time) and a dish called Double Skins. I’ve never had this anywhere else. It resembles a cold jellyfish salad, but they’ve also added shrimp, egg, chicken, black/ear mushrooms, noodles, carrots, onions, cucumbers, sea cucumbers… and some other stuff I can’t recall. One of the best parts is the “dressing” — a mixture of spicy mustard and soy sauce (and probably vinegar too) that really gives the whole dish a savory kick. Despite its odd ingredients, everyone loves this dish. As biologists, we also play a dorky game of “Name the phyla.”
Another lab favorite is walnut prawns, which are jumbo prawns fried in light batter in a sweet citrus mayo-based sauce. With walnuts, of course!
As I mentioned above, Peking duck is another old stand-by. It’s really good at Great China.
We usually like to order a few veggie dishes to balance out all of the meat. Dou miao is one of the green leafy vegetables that tastes great stir-fried with garlic, salt, and pepper.
This sauteed crab meat dish is one of my favorites. It comes piping hot from the pan, and the raw egg gets cooked as it gets mixed in with the crab along with the sauce. Stuff the crabmeat into the accompanying steamed buns (mantou) and you’ll have yourself a tasty little sandwich. SO GOOD.
Not pictured: chicken with eggplant, braised tofu, and dry braised green beans. Because we’re a big group, they usually bring a large plate of navel orange slices and fortune cookies at the end of the meal. Even though the service is sometimes lacking, I love the food at Great China. Yay lab lunch!