Pho Real Club

Asian food club in the city of brotherly love

Shiao Lan Kung July 31, 2010

Filed under: BYOB,Chinatown,Chinese — phorealclub @ 10:12 pm

A very famous Philadelphian once said, “Beer is living proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”  I would like to amend that statement: “[The Salt-Baked Squid at Shiao Lan Kung] is living proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”

After a recent visit, the members of Pho Real Club have agreed that Shiao Lan Kung serves up some of the best food in Chinatown.  We ordered about 13 dishes, and I think I said squealed “mmmmmm,” after each bite.  The food is fresh and expertly seasoned.  Plus, they have lazy susans, so you can spin entrees among friends.


The jellyfish appetizer was a sleeper hit, with G.L. nominating it for “surprise dish of the year.”  Gelatinous texture? Natch.  But cool and refreshing on a humid evening, and doused in quality sesame oil. 

M.C. felt “at least triple-ly happy” about her Double Happiness, and A.P. thought the Shrimp Szechuan Style would “make a great lunch special…if they were open for lunch.” (wellllll, technically they open at 3 pm).

Double Happiness

Shrimp Szechuan Style

The veggie sides, Choy Sum in Oyster Sauce and Spicy Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, added great color to the table and were devoured instantly. What is it with me and Chinese eggplant? I just can’t get enough.

Choy Sum in Oyster Sauce

Spicy Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

However, the reigning champions of the evening were the Salt-Baked Squid and the Salt-Baked Softshell Crab.  Imagine tempura batter, but lighter and less greasy, with the perfect amount of salt stirred in.  The squids were like popcorn – I’d definitely bring a bucket of them to the movies.   How can they possibly be SO delicious?  I need to know.  Until that day arrives, I will be content to gorge myself on the salt-baked offersing at SLK. 

Salt-Baked Crab

Salt-Baked Squid (or heaven, as I like to call it).

‘Tis also worth noting that this place is a steal – A 13+ dish feast + 9 people = $25 per person, including tip – and it’s BYOB! 

Shiao Lan Kung
930 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 928-0282

Tue-Thu: 3pm-2am
Fri-Sat: 3pm-3am
Sun: 2:30pm-1am


Rangoon July 8, 2010

Filed under: Burmese,Chinatown — phorealclub @ 6:45 pm

Everytime I come here, I can’t stop repeating Dr. Evil’s monologue from Austin Powers:
“Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons…In the spring we’d make meat helmets.”. F’amazing. The food here is pretty darn good too.

I succumbed to peer pressure and ordered the thousand layer bread and tea leaf salad, because EVERYONE on the Philly food blogs seemed to be doing it. The bread was tasty, but *very* greasy, and the tea leaf salad, while unique, didn’t blow me away. What did blow me away were the Rangoon Crab Meat Dumplings. I’m not one to order Crab Rangoon – I like to keep dairy out of my asian fare – and I was nervous about the grease factor post-thousand layer bread. But these were DELICIOUS. Delicate and wonderfully cooked, the inside had just the right amount of spice and cream cheese. This appetizer was the clear winner – go for it.

I ordered the jungle tofu as an entree. I had been craving green curry all day, but was weary that there would be too much coconut in the sauce. Rangoon did a really nice job – sauce was excellent, light and well seasoned, with a few peppers for kick. My dish could have had more veggies, but no complaints other than that. I also tried bites of the Spicy Rice Sticks and Burmese Cold Noodles (Let Thoke). The Rice Sticks are a carb lover’s heaven; the next time I’m craving noodles, I’m doing a face plant into a plate of these. Cold Noodles were good as well, but LOADED with either dried shrimp or shrimp paste – beware if you’re not a shrimp fan.

Rangoon is nice – it’s not as cheap as some other places in Chi-town, nor is it BYO, but it has a really interesting menu that I’m looking forward to exploring further!

112 N. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 829-8929