In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
|May 22-28, 2008
• Feeling the pinch
As food prices rise, habits change
by Emily Nunn
• Food Bites
Finding Chinese soul food
Golden Lotus unfolds some culinary surprises
by Clay Fong
I had always been wary of Boulder’s Golden Lotus restaurant, fearing it only served up dishes best described as pseudo-Chinese. Certainly the menu, featuring cream cheese wontons and Grand Marnier shrimp didn’t dispel this fear and the tastefully calm ambience didn’t help either. I’m used to chowing down on authentic fare such as braised oxtail in seedy Chinatown joints with a BYOB policy and gratuitously obnoxious waiters.
My friend Shifu Solow (Shifu being a Chinese honorific applied to respected teachers), an accomplished practitioner of Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu, recently suggested we meet here for lunch. I was disinclined to make an alternative suggestion. While Shifu is unquestionably a man of principle and peace, one of my prescriptions for healthy living is not to argue with those well-versed in the martial arts.
Sitting in a quiet booth, I noticed our server had delivered a menu refreshingly free of sesame chicken. Shifu explained this was the traditional menu, available upon request. We decided on a humble meal of a $4.95 chicken corn soup, a $7.95 platter of crispy tofu and a $9.95 clay pot loaded with hot and spicy chicken. While these were simple choices, they nevertheless were wonderfully soul-satisfying.
The chicken corn soup could have made a light meal on its own. Like many Chinese soups, it wasn’t as flavorful as our other selections, especially the exquisitely tender clay pot chicken. This spicy poultry was enhanced by the classic Chinese triumvirate of garlic, scallion and ginger. The resulting gravy was perfect over a bowl of steamed rice. While the crispy tofu’s interior texture was pleasingly soft, its blanket of bland brown sauce dotted with diced red and green pepper didn’t live up to the quality of the rest of the repast.
Impressed by the traditional offerings, I decided to return with friend Jen to sample the special menu’s $36 special dinner for two. This offering splits the difference between down home family fare and a celebratory banquet menu. For starters, we enjoyed a seaweed tofu soup that didn’t scrimp on any of its namesake ingredients. I waxed nostalgic over the next course, a banquet-quality cold appetizer consisting of ribbons of lightly marinated jellyfish and thin slices of spiced aromatic beef.
The aromatic beef made an encore appearance, this time as the centerpiece of a stew slow-cooked in a clay pot. The meat itself was falling-apart tender and a fine foil to the accompanying chunks of turnip. Pulling it all together was a sublime gravy with a subtle undercurrent of cinnamon and licorice that made this dish an example of Chinese soul food at its finest.
The next course was a palate-cleansing platter of baby bok choy and garlic, which set us up for the meal’s climax, a whole fried flounder. Despite the fact that this fish was covered with the sauce that came with the lunchtime tofu, the fish’s flavor and texture left little to be desired and was a reminder of why this selection is so popular on family tables.
As we enjoyed a green tea ice cream dessert, Jen and I agreed that, despite any previous contentions, our meal was as good of a Chinese meal as you’ll find in Boulder. Those seeking something a bit different in their Asian fare will find much to appreciate at Golden Lotus.
Golden Lotus 1964 28th St., Boulder, 303-442-6868
Clay’s obscurity corner
Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu
Shifu Solow is the founder of Boulder’s Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu (SHMKF) association, which offers classes at the Academy of Chinese Martial and Cultural Arts at 1750 38th St. in Boulder. This martial art traces its roots back to the original Shaolin temple and emphasizes the importance of respect, honor and loyalty among its practitioners. Local students also participate in performances of the classic lion dance, a lively Chinese New Year’s tradition designed to shoo away evil spirits and foster future prosperity. Additional information on SHMKF is available at www.shaolinhungmei.org/ or by calling 303-507-3800.
back to top