Mojing Comida China
Monday, January 31, 2011
In the late morning, we made another visit to the Mercado San Juan and neighboring shops. The visit was bookended with two Twisted Taxi rides.
Our shopping list was light, and we spent less time at MSJ than usual.
Our dining goal was the Mojing Comida China restaurant, first reported by Nick Gilman as "The Real Thing". It's located at the corner of Calle Humboldt and Artículo 123, south of the Alameda Central, and a block from Metro Júarez station. We could have walked there from Calle Ayuntamiento and Balderas, but we did not know that when we hailed our second Twisted Taxi of the day.
The restaurant is somewhat hidden behind a large furniture store on Artículo 123, with a dire looking colony of homeless men across the street; or better entered by way of the Centro Comercial de China, around the corner on Calle Humboldt.
The dining room is large, and when we arrived soon after 1:00 p.m. on Monday, almost empty of other customers. The staff was sitting down to lunch around a huge bowl of noodle soup. An English speaking young man customer helped us communicate with the staff, who have limited Spanish and no English.
Fortunately, the menu is illustrated with color photos of the dishes, but as we found out, the food is not always congruent with the photos and Chinese and Spanish descriptions. But we managed to choice a reasonably satisfactory meal although there were a couple of duds in the progression.
We started with a dual dumpling order of both steamed jiao-tze and fried guo tieh. The first are steamed or boiled wheat flour dumplings, with a filing dominated by a chopped green vegetable; the guo tieh are essentially the same, but their bottoms are pan fried to a more or less crusty brown. We have eaten hundreds of these dumplings over the years, and I'd rate these as satisfactory but not of the top ranks.
|Guo tieh (Pot stickers)|
Ron ordered Crispy Squid with Salt and Anise, appealing, although the anise was elusive. Sra. Cuevas got a bowl of a noodle soup, which was large enough to share, and although it had an abundance of noodles, greens and some scrambled egg, it was lacking in depth of flavor. Some chopped green onion and a few drops of sesame oil would have enhanced it.
|Noodle soup with greens and eggs|
|Crispy Squid with Salt and Anise|
I requested the Camarones con Sal y Ajo. Those were a tasty dish, but hardly fit the menu description. The dish consisted of jumbo shrimp in a tomato based, slightly chili and garlic sauce. The shrimp had a notably iodine taste. However, we didn't have any problem finishing it.
Our last item was a pleasant dish of stir-fried mustard greens with garlic. The vegetable lacked the pungency of mustard greens, and the taste more resembled loofah, although lacking loofah's slippery texture.
|Mustard Greens with chopped garlic|
In conclusion, it's worth a return visit, but at a busier day and time. It seems to me the sort of restaurant that if you go several times, get to know the menu better, and the staff becomes more helpful in suggesting dishes. However, there is definitely a language challenge for us.
Beverages: Tsingtsao beer available. Other alcoholic drinks from $70 pesos. Sure, the have tea, but we didn't order any, as we were seriously buzzed from coffees elsewhere.
(Our check was $750 pesos, plus a tip. We could have skipped the scallion pancake and the soup.)
Ambience: Spacious, suitable for large groups.
Rest Room: Small but adequate. Could be improved.
Mojing Comida China
c/ Humboldt 56
between Artículo 123 & Júarez, Centro