When I called tonight and Mr. Wu asked me if was ready for my dinner, I assured him I was indeed hungry. After a long walk to a nearby park and a day spent addressing various chores inside and outside the house–I was hungry. What a beautiful day it was today–there is something so perfect about a fall day when the air is cool and the sun feels warm.
Next, as always, Mr. Wu asked if there was anything that I particularly wanted to eat tonight, and I told him I had truly enjoyed the spinach that had accompanied the Royal Panda shrimp of the previous evening. “So something with spinach,” I told him.
“Ahhh, you want shrimp and spinach or maybe scallops and spinach?” he asked.
“You choose, ” I told him, “Whatever you decide I will love–I always do,” I assured him.
When I arrived, the boxes were waiting for me, and they contained his superb spinach and scallops. If you have never had Mr. Wu’s sauces, then this is hard to comprehend, but if you have eaten at the Royal Panda, then you know that Mr. Wu pairs sauces with his dishes in much the same way that a sommelier chooses wines for various courses. In Mr. Wu’s restaurant, the sauce is the thing.
I’ll have to use a photo from a previous meal to illustrate. I tilted the boxes tonight as I was bringing them in because I had gone shopping on my way over to Mr. Wu’s, and was bringing in too many bags at one time. The brown rice and the spinach and the scallops got all mixed up together–and while it could not have been tastier, it looked more like a casserole than three separate dishes.
The marvel of Mr. Wu’s cooking is that he can take two very simple ingredients, spinach and scallops, and turn them into something that is a gourmet joy with a sauce that fits the dish like a glove. It’s a real art, and it is all about presenting an ingredient so that it shines and is enhanced by the sauce.
Bravo, Mr. Wu!