Five-Spice Pork Shoulder @ China Village, Albany

Five-Spice Pork Shoulder @ China Village, Albany

Steamy goodness: The Five-Spice Pork Shoulder @ China Village, Albany

The photo for this entry may not do the size of the dish any justice: The five-spice pork shoulder at China Village is a massive chunk of flesh meant for at least two people (priced at $18.95), and the spoon at the upper right is actually the large serving variety. Alas, I consider the “serves two” caveat as a dare, especially when it comes to pork shoulder. I entered China Village on a mission to check this signature dish off of my Bay Area bucket list, and I was not disappointed.

China Village specializes in Szechuan cuisine and its other signature dish is probably the West Style Spicy Fish soup, which brings quite a bit more heat than Five-Spice Pork Shoulder (at China Village, the intensity of any dish can be increased upon request, so I’m basing this comparison on their default preparations). Both dishes are presented with a bit of table-side ceremony, with the tender pork shoulder arriving as one solid piece before it’s parsed into the broth with the aid of a serving spoon.

China Village’s Five-Spice Pork features a slight hint of sweetness that brings the dish into balance, and the sauce is garlicky, plentiful, and addicting. It not only elevates the pork, but the bok choy, and an otherwise-ordinary mound of steamed rice.

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