Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tian Trio: Fried Chicken, Black Beans And Pork

Black bean noodles
This is the season for comfort food, and you can get a lot of comfort at Tian Chinese Cuisine trying Korea's Chinese food -- with a side order of spicy chicken.

Tian is a modern casual restaurant in the same shopping center as Shin Chon Garden, and it brought Korean fried chicken to the county several years ago.  But the main menu offers the dishes that you'd find in a "Chinese" restaurant if you were in Seoul.

Korean fried chicken
We have just tried the basics at Tian.  With several friends, we started with with our standards:  the chicken and black bean noodles.  Korean fried chicken comes twice-fried and really crispy.  Tian's is not particularly spicy, but it's scrumptious, especially with one of the Korean beers like Hite.

The black bean noodles are a real central point for Tian.  They hand-pull the noodles in the kitchen.  You can hear the thwack, thwack, thwack if they're making them while you eat.  The tender noodles come topped with a thick black bean sauce -- a deep and complex flavor that makes clear that it is as "simple" as a terrific Italian tomato sauce.  At $7, the bowl is one of the greatest bargains in the county.  At any price, they're one of our favorite meals.

Sweet and sour pork
We tried something new by ordering sweet-and-sour pork or "pork tangsuyuk."  That was deep-fried chunks of pork -- crisp, but still tender inside.  We got the spicy version with a sticky sauce that came with dried red peppers and pineapples.

That trio would be a terrific start to anyone who wants to try Tian.  I think we did two noodles, two pork and a platter of chicken for six adults and one child.  We probably could have had a single pork.  Tian has a compete menu -- all in English - that you can explore.  On other nights, I enjoyed the stir-fried squid over rice.  But this trio -- noodles, chicken and pork -- are really accesible flavors for anyone who likes American Chinese food.  It's a great idea for anyone who wants to eat warm and hearty.

I know other folks have really enjoyed Tian.  What else do you recommend there?  Or at the other local Korean-Chinese restaurant, Hanjoongkwan on Rte 40 in Ellicott City?  How do they compare?


Trip Klaus said...

Still haven't tried the Korean fried chicken here as every time I've visited, they didn't have it. Anyone know if there is a special schedule as to when it's available. The staff wasn't very helpful.

HowChow said...

@TripKlaus -- I have eaten there a half dozen times, and they always have had the fried chicken. Sorry that I can't help. I think we have mostly been on weekends.