Best Chinese in KC?
My favorite is the Dragon Inn in Downtown Overland Park. It ain't the cleanest, but I really like the food. The sauces are darker in color and richer in flavor. I steer clear of Chinese buffets except for Tea Garden in Olathe. Its a small buffet with small portions on the buffet table that are replenished often. I'm not a big fan of the mega Chinese buffets with 100 items. I'll take fewer and fresher everytime.
I'm also a fan of Dragon Inn in downtown Overland Park. It's on 80th just west of Santa Fe. I've been going there since they first opened and that's been nearly 30 years now.
Richard Ling started out working there because his cousins own Dragon Inn but then he branched out on his own with Bo Ling's many, many years ago. I like many of the items at Bo Ling's and I'm especially fond of their dim sum offerings for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Not sure the offer dim sum at all three locations but I go to the one south of the Plaza in the Board of Trade building east of Main most often.
I've tried several of the Chinese buffets from time to time only because I have friends who like trough feeding and I find them all mostly mediocre though a few sometimes have specific items that are well prepared.
The ONLY buffet I make a point to go to is Ma Ma China on Raytown Road in Raytown. It's a relatively small buffet but certain items are terrific -- like their walnut chicken.
I also like the Dragon Inn and a couple of others:
The Fire Wok (on Johnson Drive a bit west of Mission Mall) and The New Peking in Westport (Mill St just north of Westport Rd).
And, if you're way out west, the Red Fortune in dowtown Bonner Springs (it's kind of a destination but, if you find yourself checking out Moon Marble Co., it's only a minute away and worth the stop).
Imperial Buffet in Olathe
On Saturday or Sunday for lunch only. Other times it is just another Chinese buffet. But on the weekends for lunch the "traditional" Chinese menu is outstanding not only for the unusual dishes but for the overall quality.
Here is a list of dishes from previous visits:
Sichuan Whole Fish
Steamed crass carp
Dried Bean Curd with shredded pork
Steamed pork dumplings
Shrimp stuffed green peppers (small very hot peppers)
Pork with preserved veg.
Spiced cold Chinese cabbage
Salt and pepper shrimp
Bitter melon with pork
Fried taro balls
Winter melon soup
A dozen other dim sum
Not all of these are available every week. It depends on what is in season.
11963 S Strang Line Rd
WINTERMELON SOUP! Thanks for the tip; I fell in love with it in LA and had abandoned all hope of ever finding it in the midwest. Do you think they'll look at me funny if I go through the buffet 25 times for just that one dish? I have a lot of lost time to make up for. Can't wait until Saturday. This 'hound's tail is wagging!
Ok so this thread is a bit dated, but I was very surprised NOT to see my favorite Chinese place in KC listed.
Top of my list NOT Bolings, of PF Changs, etc. but Pricess Garden on Wornal just south of Waldo, I believe on 85th and Wornal next the the Smokehouse BBQ (another good eatery).
Princess Garden been there for years, and they've done some remodeling this past year, but their food is top notch. Try the Crunchy Beef and their Pricess Garden Soup.
For Vietnamese head to City Market, the Lettuce Wraps are really, really good.
and for Mongolian, I love Genghis' Khan Mongolian Grill.
I've heard Jen-Jen's (9066 Metcalf) is supposed to be pretty good, but I haven't made it down there yet. I could give a list of crappy Chinese in KC or suggest going to Flushing, NYC or Cupertino, CA but that would be too negative. I'm looking forward to trying the places people have mentioned in this thread.
I went to JenJen's last night and loved it. The quality is just like being back in NY. There is hope for Chinese food in OP and KC. I think it's going to be our "late place" because they're open til 1 or 2am. They don't open til 5pm.
It seems like this is the place where the servers from the other restaurants come and eat. I saw a couple of men still in their busboy uniforms. Interestingly, a couple of small children coming in at 10:30pm with their parents.
We got the hot pot dish with braised pork and mui choy veggie, fried eggplant with chicken and shrimp in XO sauce.
The hot pot dish comes in a clay pot. The sliced pork has quite a bit of fat(that's what makes it taste so good!) that is pretty easy to separate from the meat. The sauce was a little sweet but just yummy piled on rice. I love stuff slow cooked in earthenware.
The eggplant dish came in slices of eggplant dipped in some kind of batter of ground up shrimp and chicken and deep fried. It was sinful, prolly lost a couple of years off my life.
The shrimp dish had nice big, succulent shrimps. What they did well with the shrimps was not to overseason and overpower the shrimp flavor. They had quite a list of seafood and some in fish tanks in the restaurant so I have a feeling the other seafood dishes will be good.