One of the first posts for this blog was for Han Dynasty. So when I heard Han was moving his oft-acclaimed restaurant across the street, I felt something along the lines of nostalgia. Before he moved, I had to try the original location once more. Or perhaps I was just in the mood for damn good Szechuan cuisine.
Han's doing well for himself, having recently opened up his first outpost in NYC. He remains a character, which is clearly evident with his recent drama with the PPA. No doubt, he subsequently gained legions of additional fans, I'm sure.
Here's a shot of the new location, almost directly across the street from the old space.
But let's move on to the food!
Meals must start with the dan dan noodles. These are perfectly al dente noodles, which hold on for dear life to the delicious chili sauce and crispy bits of pork. The GF begged me to drop it to a 4 (on the Han heat scale) this time around, and it turned out to be perfect for her, offering just a slight tingle to the tongue and whetting the appetite for more spice.
Spicy Crispy Cucumber ($6.95)
A ubiquitous dish in Asian cuisine, these cucumbers were perfectly crisp, with the sweet, sour, and salty sauce making this dish a must-order as well. The spice hits the back of your throat, while the sesame acts as the countervailing element to tame your taste buds and imparting some savoriness to each bite.
Pork Belly in Garlic Sauce ($9.95)
This time around, I decided to try the 'other' pork belly dish at Han Dynasty. This dish is served cold, with the umami of the thin-sliced pork belly and the garlic offering an innate savoriness to the dish. The spicy sauce tantalizes your tongue with its heat.
Garlic Sauce Style Chicken ($11.95)
Stir fried with ginger, garlic, bamboo, wood ear mushrooms, bell peppers
The thin sliced chicken was juicy and moist. It's completely covered in a relatively thick garlic sauce. Fresh ginger slices offered a bright element to the dish, with the mushrooms offering a nice earthiness.
Three Cup Chicken ($14.95)
Another must-order is the three cup chicken. Juicy chunks of chicken are stir fried with whole roasted garlic cloves, offering savory and salty flavors. This is meant to be eaten with the spicy, crispy cucumber and rice. The ginger on the finish makes each bite.
As always, Han Dynasty hits the mark for the belly of this pig. If they delivered, it would be on the docket at least once a week. But for now, Han's empire is clearly expanding. So who knows, maybe an outpost will pop up in the Fairmount area as well.