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Aug 16, 2005 09:31 AM

Chinese restaurants in Central Jersey

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I'm looking for a GOOD Chinese restaurant in the Central Jersey Area. Any place near Princeton, Somerville, Bridgewater area would be great. I'm going out with a friend this weekend and I'm craving some good Chinese food.

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  1. In West Windsor/Princeton, there's a good place called Happy City on Route 1 South--it's in the same strip mall as a Whole Foods and a Wendy's. The food is Cantonese and some of my favorites are the stuffed tofu clay pot, the crispy chicken with ginger & scallion, and the snow pea leaves or water spinach.

    I'd call it good Chinese food in that it's pretty authentic and everything tastes the way that it should, but it can't compare to those banquet Chinese meals that I grew up with in California.

    You'd probably have decent luck around Edison too.

    Happy eating!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Amy

      Re Edison: Grand Shanghai, on Route 1, 700 Route 1 North in a miniscule strip off the HWY the food is my idea of fantastic, as long as you ask for the Chinese menu, and confine your selections to that menu, not the American version.

      Juicy buns, yum! "middle fish": awsome.

      Beautiful decor; very reasonable; lovely service;fab food.

      1. re: Amy

        I echo the Happy City comment its quite good. For a little nicer ambiance, you might also try Sunny Garden which is right there too. Both are on/off Route 1 in the Princeton/West Windsor area. Also in downtown Princeton there is a noodle shop which I think is called Tiger Noodle or somthing like that (everything in Princeton is Tiger this or that). The walk before or after the meal makes the experience really nice.

        1. re: marcharlan

          I'd add to the earlier post about Happy City changing ownership. New owner less friendly, food not as good. Passable (especially for young kids) lunch buffet has been cut out.

          Tiger Noodles on Nassau Street in Princeton - very good value - nice to eat outside in warm weather. Speedy service.

          1. re: John

            We stopped in Tiger Noodle this past Saturday, and despite the fact that we were freezing sitting in the attrium, it is indeed a great value. Zelda opted for an order of spring rolls, and I went with the eggroll. Let me say that it may very well be the best egg roll I have had in NJ. Maybe they were made fresh that day, but the veggies were incredible, and it was cooked absolutely perfectly, and came out steaming hot. What a treat. Entrees were chicken in garlic sauce and kung pao chicken, and both good. Great value indeed! -mJ

        2. re: Amy

          It is excellent but ONLY order from the Cantonese menu. If you don't they'll give you the American menu. That's what happened the first time I went there and everything I ordered was mediocre. I almost didn't go back until I found out about the other menu. Ask the staff for advice and they'll be glad to help you. Try one of the many eel dishes.

          1. re: Amy

            I tried Happy City yesterday. It turned out that they just changed hands, and is doing more Peking style than Cantonese style. We asked them for recommendations, they suggested a fish and a vegetable dish. The fish was small, and they charged almost $30. Our bill without drinks came to $50 (including tips). The food is passable, but the prices are high. One suggestion, do not let them suggest off-menu items. It is a rip-off. I suggest you ask how much if they quote Market Price.

          2. Probably much further than you care to go but there is a great place in Scotch Plains town center called Hungs Shanghai. Nice little place, might be the best chinese I've found in NJ, good enough to be in Chinatown but even higher quality of the ingredients they use. Interesting specials every night, and the service is wonderful. I think they've been in town for like 20 years or so. Very close to the Stage House (another great restaurant in our tiny town!).

            1. Wonder Seafood on Rt 27 in Edison--much has been posted here on this board, and the raves are totally justified. We love this place and we've been bringing friends and family there. Impeccably fresh seafood prepared Cantonese-Hong Kong style. Don't bother with any land dishes--very pedestrian. If the manager offers his recommendations, go with them.

              1. I Love Chineses food and I will reluctantly share our spot. Dragon Palace on Rt 27 in Edison is by far the most authentic tasting food you cab come by. It has a large dining area, expect to wait, but well worth it. The parking lot is laways full of cars from NY. That should say something as well. The owner (Rudy) will happily guide you through the Chineses menu. The food off of the Chinese menu has a very different taste than the "American" menu. Not to sound racist, but I am usually only one of a few non asians dining or picking up the food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Big Jim

                  I don't want to give the impression that I think Dragon Palace is dissapointing. I've never had a meal there myself and I look forward to giving it a try, but with regards to being one of the few non ethnic people in a restaurant: The more places I try the less I find it to be a reliable indicator of the quality of food. I've been to many ethnic places where I'm the only caucasion in the room and the food ends up being dissapointing.. I think there are plenty of people from other cultures that are more than happy to eat the equivalent of an olive garden italian meal. I value the license plates coming from NY.. .

                2. If you're in the Princeton area, give Shanghai Park a try (it's right at the Princeton Shopping Center on N. Harrison). Good, authentic Shanghai-nese cuisine (think juicy buns). There is another Shanghai Park (same owners but this is the original) in Highland Park right on Route 27 (next to Charlie Brown's).