Center City’s DanDan is Here

This week, siblings of Han of Han Dynasty fame opened a Szechuan- Taiwanese restaurant in Center City. I zoomed right in on the Taiwanese specialties, specifically the Taiwanese pork bun/hamburger which I have not encountered in Philly yet, but absolutely love. Sadly, they haven’t started making them yet- which means I already had a reason to come back before even trying the food.

We had to order Han Dynasty/ any Szechuan restaurant staples: dan dan noodles and cold cucumbers. It is pretty impossible to not compare to Han Dynasty, so we didn’t even attempt to be unbiased. Here, our group preferred this version of spicy cucumbers, while the namesake noodles were not as flavorful, the sesame dominated a bit too much.

Wontons in chili oil packed in the Szechuan peppercorn numbing heat- in the best way possible.

Its hard not to like fried fish covered in a sweet and sour sauce, so the Lychee fish was a win.

Black bean chicken was simple and a break from fried or spicy things, but really, we just wanted fried or spicy things.

The “Golden Dish” entree comes with duck yolk coated  bonapi mushrooms, fish, or shrimp. The mushrooms ended up being a favorite dish of mine- the eggy flavor came through. This is perfect to go with beer (DanDan is BYO for now).

Fiery rib eye brew pot is  a good thing to save for last, when you are ready to blow out your palate and get the sweats going.  The red broth instantly tells you what to expect. Thin pieces of rib eye, cabbage, and glass noodles float around, daring you to dig in.We were not asked out preferred spice level for any of the dishes, but I liked the range of what we were served with things like the mushrooms and fish being not spicy at all, to the wontons and hot pot being hot but not painful.

I am definitely looking forward to trying the Taiwanese section.

DanDan, 126 S 16th Street


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