Salted Fish and Chicken with Eggplant from Feng Cheng Yuan Restaurant Inc. (100 Bowery, 212-226-8778)
This $9.95 casserole — served piping in a clay pot — seems like an odd choice for a summer day, but this afternoon and evening’s brief-but-strong rains cooled the air just enough to make the selection enjoyable.
Like a stew with little broth — save for simmering soy gravy and oil — the dish is a simple combo of eggplant, salted fish, and chicken, with the vegetable making up the majority of the serving.
Though basic, it’s definitely one of the better things we’ve come across.
The pungent seafood adds a welcome muskiness to the mild — and sometimes sweet — flavors of chicken meat and softened nightshade, with the latter giving off the buttery aroma of sauteed squash.
One order is definitely enough to share or break into two meals, even without rice.