Delicious Chinese Fare At Chia Shiang

Delicious Chinese Fare At Chia Shiang

Chia Shiang restaurant sits on Packard Road, nestled among Morgan & York and Fraser’s Pub, an unlikely location for an imperial Chinese feast.

When Barry Pang and Katherine Li left northern China in 1999, they anticipated that they would be working in the United States for an American corporation for some time. Their US employer’s subsequent downsizing forced them to look for another way to earn a living. Li was raised just outside the city of Xi’an. Barry Pang was a good household cook, preparing dishes reminiscent of home, here in America.

Chia Shiang Restaurant Building

The couple explored the possibility of opening a restaurant, serving foods that they were familiar with. They began by inviting groups to the restaurant location on Packard Road, serving traditional Chinese dishes with an abbreviated initial menu. Li and Pang gradually grew the menu with more items including, now, vegetarian and vegan options. Chia Shiang’s robust hardcover menu feels like holding a novel, packed with myriad flavor variations that tell a rich story of this couple’s interpretation of authentic Chinese cuisine.

Authentic cold noodles, hot!

We started with the Szechuan cold noodles, which, for a chilled dish, boasted a fiery kick tempered with a cooling crunch of refreshing cucumber slivers. The Chengdu chicken, served boneless and slathered in a toasted black bean sauce (there is the option to have the bones left in as the traditional Chinese dish is served) with ovular disks of fried garlic and ginger, ringed chunks of jalapeno and dried chiles, represented a succulent and welcome departure from the too-often Americanized Chinese fare we’re collectively subjected to. The Xi Zhu Yu, spicy sliced fish boiled in a Szechuan-style broth, appeared on our table in a ceramic cauldron and included bean sprouts, greens, scallions, and pleasantly mouth-numbing Szechuan peppercorns.

The Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce was tender, almost silky smooth, with an appealing light purple hue enhanced by a slight grill char, sang in its semi-sweet sauce with green onion shoots and dried chiles.

We also enjoyed a yogurt drink, suan nai, as a creamy repose, somewhat more tangy than American yogurt but with a sweet tinge that proved helpful in softening the other dishes’ pronounced spice.

While Ann Arbor area Chinese restaurants sidestep the near-ubiquitous mediocrity that characterizes Americanized Chinese food, Pang and Li’s Chia Shiang shines as an exemplar of hospitably authentic fare whose home kitchen origins still taste fresh.

2016 Packard St
734-741-0778 | places.singleplatform.com/chia-shiang/menu

Trending

Domino’s Farms Aids Ann Arbor’s Need for Office Space

Domino’s Pizza and Arbor Research are both launching new office building projects at Domino’s Farms. Domino’s Pizza is creating a 33,000-square-foot building on the north side of Domino’s Farms, expanding to their current space. Arbor Research is creating a new 49,500-square-foot headquarters building on the east side of Domino’s Farms. Both buildings should be completed

A Physician’s Perspective on Legalized Cannabis

On Tuesday, November 6th, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Ten years ago, we had become the 13th state to legalize Cannabis for medical use. I voted for the medical cannabis law years ago because, in my view, cannabis is not a dangerous product, and too many people were being imprisoned for its use. At that time, however, I did not subscribe to the argument that there were legitimate medical uses for cannabis. How things have changed.

Tiny Expo at Ann Arbor District Library—A Curated Holiday Gift Fair with Flair

The Tiny Expo is a gem of an indie arts and crafts fair for vendors with original and unexpected products that make wonderful gifts but may not be an obvious fit for Ann Arbor’s mainstream art fairs. Shoppers who crave artistic, high quality products with diverse price points will find a rich variety of unique, handmade products to choose from.

New Tenants in Downtown Ypsilanti

Formerly long-vacant buildings in Downtown Ypsilanti are experiencing revitalization as small businesses and nonprofits are rapidly filling up spaces. Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), a nonprofit organization that, “provides access to the justice systems for those that need it most,” recently purchased the Smith Furniture building at 15 S Washington Street which became their headquarters. Decode