Early one night last week, Trinity Groves, Dallas' text kitchen, was buzzing with people at Kitchen LTO, Amberjax, Resto Gastro Bistro, and Casa Rubia.
We chose Chino Chinatown, where everyone was sitting out on the patio enjoying dinner at the restaurant helmed by former caterer and cooking show contestant Uno Immanivong. This blend of Asian and Latin cuisines is fairly new to Dallas, but Immanivong is bringing her A-Game, especially with the starters on her menu.
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Most plates at Chino Chinatown are meant for sharing, but you'll want an order of the duck fat yucca fries to yourself. Thick wedges of yucca are fried to perfectly-crisp, and the gold exterior masks something much more delicious: an impossibly soft and fluffy interior. I'm thoroughly Team Potato, but both my companion and myself thought that yucca may now be the superior vegetable for fry-making.
Once the yucca fries come out of the fryer, they're dusted with a house-made duck fat powder for extra flavor, then topped with a mix of fresh garlic, cotija cheese, and cilantro. On the side, you'll find a spicy sriracha ketchup, but it isn't even really necessary. These fries have plenty of character on their own.
Chef Uno told me that she chose to use duck fat powder, created by blending rendered duck fat with tapioca maltodextrin, because her small kitchen can't accommodate a fryer that is dedicated solely to duck fat for one dish. No matter, though, because the dusting of duck fat powder adds plenty of richness without making the fries overly heavy.
If you haven't yet been to Chino Chinatown, let this be your motivation. The cocktails are solid, and the duck fat yucca fries, priced at only $7, might just be one of the most delicious values in town.