At the suggestion of my long-time friend and colleague, Virginia, she and I ventured to the delightfully quaint Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia for lunch at CinCin. I ate a lot of meals in Chestnut Hill during the 90s and CinCin was one of my somewhat regular haunts back then. But this was the first time I’ve been there in many years.
It’s moderately upscale and has a more elegant appearance – both inside and out – than the average Chinese restaurant, while the menu features a mix of old-school standards and more modern cuisine.
Virginia started with the more traditional – crispy spring rolls; while I opted for what has become an extremely popular appetizer at various genres of restaurants in the Philly area – cheesesteak egg rolls, which also happen to go well with the theme of this blog. While I enjoyed the crust very much, their small size made it impossible for much meat to fit in the egg rolls.
I weighed several entrée options, including my old favorite, Sweet & Sour pork, as well as the interesting-sounding beef with brandy-hoisin sauce. But it had been a fairly long time since I’ve had General Tso’s chicken, and I went in that direction. It was excellent, both in terms of flavor and presentation.
Virginia’s Sichuan sesame chicken wasn’t exactly what we expected. I’m used to sesame chicken being breaded, almost like General Tso’s chicken with the addition of sesame seeds. But CinCin’s version came sans the breading. Virginia enjoyed it nonetheless, although she was disappointed that her old-school stand-by – Kung Pao chicken – was not on the menu.
On the side, we were presented with a bowl of good fried rice, which was a nice step up from the usual steamed white rice.
I’ve got a different style of lunch scheduled tomorrow with yet another old friend and will be back to report on it late in the afternoon.