China Village Szechuan Cuisine Restaurant to Reopen Early July
1335 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA
Albany, 6/19/13 – Albany’s favorite Go-To Szechuan Restaurant is slated to open the first week of July, 2013.
After a year of renovating and remodeling his restaurant, Chef John Yao is ready to open the doors to his China Village Szechuan Cuisine restaurant.
“Over a year ago, we hired a company to do our cleaning and they used a flammable product in the kitchen, which caught fire. It was unfortunate but we stayed positive and used the opportunity to remodel our restaurant and add some exciting new dishes to our menu. We are looking forward to re-opening and seeing all of our customers who have become friends over the years”
Chef John will keep all of his customer’s favorite dishes on the menu, including the live crab, lobster and fish, fresh from the tank and prepared to order. Over the past year, Chef John has been busy creating some new dishes that will appear under “Chef’s Signature Dishes” on the menu. Accompanying the Michelin recommended West-Style 1000 Chili Pepper Fish Fillet and the Famous Five Spice Hot and Spicy Pork Shoulder, China Village aficionados will now be able to enjoy the Spicy Mala Duck served in a Beer Sauce served Hot Pot Style, the Sautéed Whole Crab with Roasted Chili Pepper and a respectable selection of new items prepared using Clay Pot or Hot Pot cooking techniques, which are Szechuan cooking methods in Chef John’s repertoire.
“Clay Pot is the technique of cooking food in an unglazed pot which has been soaked in water to release steam during the cooking process. After soaking, the pot is filled with ingredients and placed into an oven. The evaporation of the water prevents burning so long as the pot is not allowed to heat until it is completely dry. It creates a tender and flavorful dish.
Hot Pot is a type of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and cooked at the table. Hot pot ingredients include meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings and seafood. The cooked food is accompanied by a dipping sauce. It is fun, interactive and delicious”
In addition, China Village also boasts a new cocktail program that offers hand-crafted beverages to compliment the fiery spice of Szechuan cuisine. China Village foodies can now cool down the palate with a Chinese Mule made with Chinese Baijiu, Ginger Beer, Cilantro, Lime and Ginger or a Chrysanthemum created with Dolin’s Dry Vermouth, Benedictine, Absinthe, Orange Peel and Chrysanthemum Flower.
Chef John Yao has over 39 years of experience cooking Chinese cuisine. He is easily considered to be one of the top Szechuan chefs in the Bay Area. He has owned and operated four restaurants in Albany and Belmont, California.
Chef John mastered Mandarin and Cantonese cuisines early on in his career. However, over time, his passion turned to the fiery chili peppers and spices of Szechuan cuisine, a style that he learned predominantly from the world renowned Master Chef and Culinary Teacher Zhongyi Liu. Chef John managed to coax Liu from the Grand Hotel in Beijing fifteen years ago to assist him in launching his restaurant concept in Albany, California. Together they shared ideas and techniques and the outcome was a Szechuan inspired menu, prepared with time-honored technique and using hand-selected spices and chili peppers roasted in-house.
“If you ever had the honor to be invited into our kitchen, you could mistake it for a Chinese pharmacy. We infuse all of our chili oils in-house and carefully hand-select our spices and roast our own peppers. Nothing is pre-mixed or pre-made”
Chef John went on to hone his Szechuan culinary techniques, launching a signature dish inspired menu that quickly turned the first time China Village guest into a loyal customer. His signature dishes won him a Michelin recommendation in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“When I opened China Village almost 15 years ago, I wanted to present Chinese cuisine in the way that it is eaten in the best restaurants in China. My philosophy was to authentically represent 2000 years of culinary technique and ultimately to be an Ambassador for my culture and cuisine. At that time, Chinese cuisine in the Bay Area was considered Fast Food. My goal was to change that perception and offer a more upscale menu using the highest quality ingredients and prepared with time-honored techniques. Although we use local and sustainable market product from the Bay Area and my ingredients are changed to reflect the wonderfully fresh and local products, I adhere rather strictly to the heritage of Szechuan preparation techniques. After 39 years of cooking professionally, it is still my hobby and I am crazy about it.”
The restaurant has undergone a stylish renovation that includes a modern yet comfortable bar area where the China Village patron can enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail or glass of wine and a small plate while waiting for a table or during happy hour. The banquet room is perfect for a birthday or celebration and seats up to 120 happy guests. Chef John is on-hand to create a one-of-a-kind menu for that special event.
China Village Szechuan Cuisine Restaurant is a full-service, family-friendly, destination restaurant specializing in Szechuan cuisine. The restaurant offers an ample selection of classic Szechuan favorites, regional specialties and chef-inspired, Michelin recommended signature dishes. There is also a large selection of to-go items for carry-out. There is a bar that offers hand-crafted cocktails and a respectable wine program. The Hours of Operation are 7 days per week from 11:00am – 10:00pm. Happy Hour is from 4:00pm – 5:30pm daily. The restaurant has a banquet room that serves private parties of up to 120 persons. The restaurant is ADA compliant. There is ample street parking. All major credit cards are accepted. For reservations, please call 510.525.2285.
“There are seven basic flavor profiles in Szechuan cuisine:
sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty, aromatic and fragrant”