What would you think about splitting a plate of "sauteed lamb bellies with hot pepper" ($13.95)? My buddy and I were doubly cautious as we considered our order, in particular because this lamb was listed, for some reason, with the seafood dishes but above all because we were meeting over lunch at a Fujianese restaurant. New York menus that feature the cuisine of Fujian province, on the southeast coast of China, are often annoyingly opaque in translation. (Mysterious and poetic, by contrast, can be charming, especially with appropriate literal context for the figurative language.)
In this instance the original Chinese seemed a match for the English translation; I was readily able to identify the characters for "lamb belly." Until the dish arrived, however, I had no inkling that the intended meaning was "of the belly" or "from the belly." In a word, tripe. Chewing diligently, we enjoyed it nonetheless.
Chang Le Xin Fan Zhuang
36 Eldridge St. (Hester-Canal Sts.), Manhattan