Mary Chung Restaurant
460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Being from the NY Metro area, I've been exposed to some pretty top notch Chinese food — authentic Canontese and Shanghai is pretty abundant where I live. But when one of my journalist friends told me there was a serious Sichuan restaurant in nearby Cambridge, a legendary hangout of the MIT crowd, I had to go check it out.
The storefont on Mass. Ave in Cambridge. This particular location has been around for about 15 years now, but Mary Chung's has been serving Sichuan cuisine to hungry MIT students and faculty for about 25 years.
The dining room doesn't look particularly special, but never mind that.
Suan La Chow Show — one of the signature dishes of the restaurant. These are meaty wonton skin dumplings served atop a bed of fresh bean sprouts, with a spicy and vinegary soy ginger sauce. Truly outstanding, its a must order if you go.
Fried Tofu with Dun Dun Sauce. This is an alternative to Dun Dun noodles, which has the same tangy, spicy sauce with pork meat. The skin of the tofu is nice and crispy, with a custardy smooth tofu inside. I highly reccomend it.
Kung Po Chi Ding — Kung Pao Chicken. White and Dark meat chicken, sauteed with sichuan peppercorn, hot chili peppers and peanuts in a brown sauce. One of the best renditions I have ever had.
Not shown which I took home was shrimp fried rice (the nice brown colored kind, with lots of peices of egg omelette in it, very good) and a very good scallion pancake (scallion pie).
This is a restaurant I will be sure to come back to in a couple of weeks.
Ahhh…. Mary Chungs! Your post brought back fond memories of my days as an MIT student and my 8 subsequent years living in Boston, when I would head to Marys all the time for a fix of Suan La Chow Show.
I’ve searched high and low in NJ and NY for a place that makes “swans”, but alas, I’ve had no luck. (I promise to treat anyone who finds them for me!)
I still head to Mary’s for my swan fix whenever I’m in the greater Boston area. In fact, I now have my kids asking when we can go back to Mary’s for their dim sum brunch.
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