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Chinese food in Dallas Area?

I have just moved to the area and am looking for a place with good chinese food perferably good Beef CHow FUn. I am actually looking for something in the Irving/Coppell/Carrollton area but will travel for good food.

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  1. There is a First Chinese Barbecue in Carrollton, and so far I've found First Chinese (Plano and Richardson) to be the best in the Dallas area.

    I've never tried their beef chow fun, but if you are looking for good Cantonese/Hong Kong-style Chinese, it is quite good.

    First Chinese BBQ
    1927 E Belt Line Rd # 122
    Carrollton, TX 75006

    (972) 478-7228

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kirk

      The Arlington location is equally good, and the beef chow fun at all of them is excellent.

      1. re: David Pearlman

        And the crispy tofu is to die for!

        (along with the in-shell fried shrimp!)

    2. I completely agree with the First Chinese BBQ rec. I've been to 3 locations (including the Carrollton one mentioned above), and the great quality is consistent.

      However, if you ever venture out to the Chinese shopping center in Richardson (Belt Line & Greenville), try Maxim's. It's Cantonese cuisine with the option of the family style dinners (like Asian version of prix fixe, I guess). I had this fabulous garlic crab dish that I just can't stop thinking about. That menu is only available at dinner time (and only in Chinese, not sure if that's a problem for you), as weekend lunches are dim sum only (fabulous dim sum, best fried stuffed taro root in Dallas, just terrible service because they get so busy during dim sum).

      In the same shopping center is Genroku, where most people go for the cheap sushi. I recommend the Taiwanese side of their menu (which is actually about half of the offerings). Memorable dishes: tender stir fried pieces of lightly soy sauced beef with bitter melon, and braised spicy eggplant.

      Now I'm getting hungry :)

      7 Replies
      1. re: donnaaries

        I've never made it beyond the dim sum at Maxim, but will have to try dinner sometime. Maybe someone there will take pity on a diner who doesn't read or speak Chinese?

        Thanks for the Genroku tip, too.

        By the way, have you ever tried the relatively new noodle shop in the same building as Maxim? Again, the lure of Maxim's Har Gau and Lo Mai Gai has overcome my curiosity about the noodle shop, but I'll make a stop there if it is worth it.

        1. re: donnaaries

          I agree with Maxim's for dim sum, but I'm going to put in another plug for Kirin Court. I think their selection is a bit better. I also agree about Genroku. I've had a couple of good meals there from the Taiwanese menu. The fried tofu and the eggplant my favorites.

          I also want to put in a plug for Jeng Chi. I went there today and gorged myself on dumplings. Its just down the row from Genroku. 12 pork and leek dumplings for $5, you can't go wrong. You can also buy them frozen to take home, $5 for 24.

          I want to go back and try some of the noodle dishes. A couple of the other tables were eating them, but I was stuffed.

          1. re: simply_victoria

            Went to Genroku at the recommendation of a Taiwanese friend who said that they had the best basil chicken he's had anywhere in the US. It came out sizzling in a clay bowl--tender, moist, salty sweet chicken. Very enjoyable.


            1. re: simply_victoria

              Thanks for the Jeng Chi recommendation, Victoria. I was there last night and had their beef boiled dumplings and pork and mustard leaf noodle soup. Both were very tasty. The soup noodles were freshly made. Dinner, including tip, was $12.

              1. re: simply_victoria

                My most recent visit to Kirin Court this past Saturday has made me a convert. Though Maxim's and Kirin Court both have their positives, I think this last visit really demonstrated Kirin Court's wide variety of dishes. And the service was actually decent!

                For pictoral review, see http://donnaaries.wordpress.com/2006/...

                1. re: donnaaries

                  One suggestion: make sure to try the mango pudding the next time you stop by Kirin Court.

                  I went there 2 weeks ago with some friends, we had the place to ourselves on that friday morning, so the same lady helped us out several times and suggested it. I'm pretty sure it's on the carts, so make sure to ask for it, it's a great dessert!

                  1. re: air

                    Actually I have tried to mango pudding (on a previous visit), and I liked it a lot!

            2. Are you talking about Ay Chung Noodle? If so, I've never been there but have heard good things about the chain (they have locations in Taipei and LA).

              Along the line of noodles, I have tried the noodle shop in the shopping center across from First Chinese BBQ in Richardson. I believe it's called Noodle King or King Noodle or something ridiculous like that. I thought their beef noodle soup was quite good (order at the counter, cash only). I liked it better than the beef noodle soup at Jeng Chi, which I thought was a tad on the intense side (too salty, spicy).

              The best bowl of beef noodle soup I've had lately was at Sandong Snacks in Houston. I believe the Houston chowhounds rave about it quite often, but sadly it's not in Dallas.

              By the way, I'm looking forward to trying out Zander's House soon after your review!

              1 Reply
              1. re: donnaaries

                Thanks for the tip on King's Noodles.

              2. My wife, who is Taiwanese, tried Ay Chung a few times. She was disappointed, saying the flavors were not that great. I thought the house noodles were ok, but non-noodle dishes were nothing special. We usually go to Genroku for Taiwanese food - try the 3 cup chicken (I forget if that is what the english name is on the menu) - one of our favorites!

                King's Noodles does have good beef noodle soup, and they also have good shaved ice for dessert.

                Also, we do like Kirin court for dim sum - will have to try Maxim's sometime, although it might be hard to convince people to try something different.

                2 Replies
                1. re: babar

                  I am not sure Maxim's dim sum is better than Kirin Court, to be honest. The quality of Kirin Court's dumpings may be a bit higher. But for sheer variety and a massive crowd -- along with completely inattentive service, as donnaaries points out -- I end up going back to Maxim time and again.

                  Thanks for the recommendation of a dish at Genroku, and for the assessment of Ay Chung.

                  1. re: babar

                    Thanks for the insight into Ay Chung.

                    I also enjoy Kirin Court for dim sum. Each restaurant has its "bests," I prefer the fried taro root and shrimp hargow at Maxim's, but Kirin Court has better atmosphere, service, and often, more variety.

                    Will have to give the shaved ice at King's Noodle a shot, although I'm always drawn to Boba Latte for an after dim sum treat. I normally don't like bubble tea but this place uses fresh fruit and it's quite a treat.

                  2. You have room to eat something else after dim sum? I wish I knew how to do that!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kirk

                      Not "have room," more like "make room" and try not to get queasy for the drive back home. Haha.

                    2. Shanghai Restaurant, on the SW corner of LBJ and Preston. Their Shanghaiese dishes are terrific and a nice departure from all the Hong-Kong cuisine everyone else serves. In what is probably a concession to the demand, they do serve a dim sum menu, which is somewhat uneven. For example, the green onion pancake is lighter and flakier than those at Jeng Chi Bakery, but the fried wontons are heavy and greasy since they are deep fried, not pan-fried.

                      As I mentioned, Jeng Chi Bakery (near Maxim's) is a great cheap place for steamed dumplings and noodle soups. Lunch crowds swell on Sunday afternoons, but worth the wait.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: twilight

                        Love the xiaolongbao (juicy steamed buns) at Shanghai Restaurant. My dad is from Shanghai and this is his favorite place in Dallas.

                        1. re: donnaaries

                          I have found lots of good meat bao, fresh (like from a bakery, not frozen), in the area, but have yet to find my favorite-- the dessert kind-- custard bao. the yellow goo inside, not the red bean. do you know of a place?

                          (my favorite is actually a frozen brand called 'octopus'-- having nothing to do with actual octopus-- and they're very very small compared to normal bao! i have yet to find these, too, at an asian market, though i've found plenty of other custard bao there!)

                          1. re: captainshen

                            This may be a late post, sorry, but in case you are still searching.. I enjoy the 'egg custard' buns at Kirin Court. They also have fantastic 'ma lai gao' raised yellow lard cake, I call it, probably has lard in it to make it so yummy. I usually have to special order, or ask for them, not often on the carts. If you do find frozen ones in the area, let me know!

                            1. re: lizlemon

                              Oh thanks so much! I'll definitely check it out...

                      2. The Caravelle on Gteenville north of Beltline, Try the oysters and noodle dishes

                        1. I've been almost all of the places listed. I actually like the Beef Chow Fun at Canton (In the same "Chinatown" strip mall) in Richardson. The dry is better than the wet noodles. They also have excellent house specials menu. I escpecially like the scallion chicken.

                          1. Besides the places in Richardson, you might want to check out Joy Luck BBQ, 2220 Coit Rd. (NE corner of Coit Rd. & Park Blvd. next to the Chinese market); Tai Kee Noodle House, 2216 New York Ave., Arlington (SW Corner of New York Ave. and Pioneer Parkway next to the Asian market); King Chinese BBQ, 907 E. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington; Chau Kee Noodle, 3575 W. Walnut St., Garland (sister restaurant to the Tung Kee noodle chain in the San Francisco area); and My Canh Chinese Restaurant, 4535 W. Walnut St., Garland. Also, Kim Quan BBQ, 9780 Walnut St., Dallas, in the shopping center with the Chinese supermarket and small food court.

                            1. Right in Coppell is Pan Acean, corner of Belt Line and MacArthur. We eat there pretty regularly and have rarely found a dish that we didn't enjoy. And I've said this before - - I think this place stacks up rather nicely against other places in the metroplex. It might not be as good as what you're used to out in California but it's pretty darn close! :-)

                              Pan Acean
                              777 S. MacArthur Blvd

                              This is my first post on the new and improved chowhound so I don't know if there's a better way to post url's yet - - but here's a link to a somewhat aged review in guidelive.com:


                              1. We did like the first chinese BBQ. IT was pretty good. We tried Maxims for Dim Sum and my husband was disappointed. In his opinion it was average but would not stand up to the amazing Dim SUm we had in Califonornia.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: cagirlintexas

                                  You're husband is absolutely right. Unfortunately, in Dallas, you will not find dim sum (or any other Chinese, for that matter) on a par with California's.

                                  1. re: cagirlintexas

                                    Based on the glowing recommendations, we tried the new location of First Chinese BBQ on Jupiter just north of BeltLine last Wednesday night. We were SORELY DISAPPOINTED. In short, it was a clear "F" from the second we walked in the door. To start things off, our utensils were not cleaned properly so we had to request clean ones. That should have been a clear tipoff about the rest of the evening. I ordered the BBQ pork and my husband ordered the sesame chicken. The pork arrived lukewarm ~7-8 minutes before his sesame chicken, so my husband was forced to watch me eat until his dinner arrived. When his sesame chicken finally showed up, it was mostly fat and dark meat and the sauce had little flavor. He barely touched it. To top it all off, we had to wait about 10 minutes before the waitress could be summoned over to bring our check. When we went to the front counter to pay our bill, the cashier couldn't break away from his phone call (clearly a personal call, not a food order) long enough to ask us how things were (he should have asked...we would have been honest) and thank us for our business. Needless to say, we were not amused and will not be returning.

                                    So what went wrong? Did we order the wrong things? Visit the wrong location?

                                    1. re: lisaintx

                                      Hi LisainTX,

                                      I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. I'm not going to try to make excuses for First Chinese BBQ (as the dirty utensils are inexcusable) but let me try to explain some cultural differences.

                                      First Chinese BBQ serves their food family style so there is no distinction of "yours" and "mine" dinners. The BBQ pork arrived before the sesame chicken because BBQ pork is considered an appetizer dish. It was lukewarm because that's the way the pork is served (whatever temperature it is hanging in the display window plus warm cha siu sauce). You would need to make a specific request to get the BBQ pork to come out at the same time as your other main entrees.

                                      I'm sorry to hear the sesame chicken was a poor rendition. I would advise to steer away from Americanized dishes like sesame chicken, orange chicken, etc, when dining at First Chinese BBQ. This establishment is good because of its authentic dishes, not spiffied up Americanized dishes. This is no P.F. Chang's, you're at a casual neighborhood Chinatown eatery. Stick to their Cantonese specialties like Beef Chow Fun, Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli), Black Cod with Black Bean Sauce, etc, and I think you'll be much more pleased.

                                      I can't say anything to excuse the service, except that most Chinese families like to stick around and chat after they've finished eating so it is always necessary to flag down the wait staff for your check (why she disappeared for 10 minutes is another story). I've only had mediocre to bad service the times I've been at First Chinese. I deal with it because the food is so good, especially at the price.

                                      Again, I'm sorry that you had a poor experience. Understand that First Chinese isn't rated on Chowhound as a must visit due to romantic atmosphere or exceptional service, it's about the authentic Cantonese cuisine. If you can deal with mediocre/sometimes poor service, I'd urge you to give them another try. Feel free to ask for menu suggestions (I'm sure other hounds have many) if you need to before revisiting.

                                      1. re: donnaaries


                                        Excellent explanation of some of the cultural differences!

                                        1. re: Kirk

                                          Donnaarries is dead on with how service is at the truly authentic Asian restaurants, since that's the case for the better places I've been to everywhere, and it's simply a cultural difference that isn't going to change. If it's a place where the food will do all the talking, my mindset will adjust accordingly to just enjoy the meal.

                                          Anyway, I've always had a good meal at the ones in Addison and in Plano, so you could try visiting those locations instead.

                                        2. re: donnaaries

                                          Donnaaries - Thanks for taking the time to respond. Maybe I'm just too picky, but when I'm paying to eat out, I want a clean fork, good service, and tasty food. In my opinion, there's just too much competition for dining dollars in the Dallas area for a restaurant to fall short in any one of these areas. Just my two cents! :)

                                          1. re: lisaintx

                                            I've given First BBQ in Richardson a few tries due to its universal praise and I've had the same experience as Lisa. The service is gruff and the meats are consistently fatty, grizzly, almost unedible.

                                            1. re: snatex

                                              Again, I think that's a cultural difference, Snatex. Fatty meat = good Chinese barbecue. Gristly meat = side effect of roasting whole animals.

                                              As for dirty forks, Lisaintx, did you notice that you were one of the few people using a fork? One reason disposable chopsticks exist is that many people find the idea of using "recycled" Western utensils repugnant and unhealthy. I'm not defending FCBBQ hygiene ... I've sent plenty of dirty plates and tea cups back ... but, in the immortal words of the owner of one downscale Japanese place I used to visit frequently in Chicago, "Look, you get what you get. Just face it!"

                                              1. re: Kirk

                                                lisaintx did face it, and she didn't like it. And then she reported on her negative experience here. So did snatex.

                                                I've never been to the restaurant in question, but it's useful to me to see different opinions even on places that are favorites of many local 'hounds.

                                                Chow and let chow!

                                                1. re: MPH

                                                  I don't think I implied that they were wrong to draw their conclusions about their experiences, and if you or anyone else drew that inference I am sorry. I was simply saying that First Chinese BBQ is what it is.

                                                  "Chow and let chow is right," especially for those of among us who live in glass houses.

                                                  1. re: Kirk

                                                    Who among us doesn't live in a glass house? ;-)

                                            2. re: lisaintx

                                              LisainTx, if you're still looking for authentic good Chinese but with a better atmosphere than First Chinese BBQ, I would give New San Dor in the new Asia World Market shopping center in Plano a chance (Legacy just west of 75). New San Dor does awesome Cantonese dishes with a slightly more upscale atmosphere than First Chinese BBQ and more attentive service. There are still some kinks to the service because the restaurant is so new, but it's definitely because of logistics and not because the waitstaff is nonchalant about it. Even the few Americanized Chinese dishes I saw on fellow patron's tables looked delicious.

                                              If you go, I'd highly recommend one of the sizzling plates. Careful, it's hot but delicious!

                                              1. re: donnaaries

                                                I agree, New San Dor is fantastic. Some best Chinese food in this area. Have eaten there several times since they opened. Excellent steamed fish with scallions & soy. Don't miss the crispy chicken with garlic. Also had an excellent braised pork shank. Can't wait to go back.

                                                1. re: mfindfw

                                                  Ditto! The reviews here weren't kidding-- the crispy garlic chicken was excellent. The tofu seafood hot pot also high quality. Taking my parents back there next weekend.

                                      2. Had the beef chow fun ( dry ) at First Chinese BBQ in Carrolton last night. It was excellent. We live in Coppell have been going there every other week or so for about the last three years since I was taken there by a Chinese girl that worked in my office. Also very good there is the orange beef, soft fried noodles w/ bbq pork, chinese broccoli w/oyster sauce, fresh shrimp dumpling soup, fried rice. The same girl also recommended Shanghai Restaurant, and we have eaten there often as well. The pork juice bun, scallion pancake, and wu shi pork are standouts here.

                                        1. I would recommend Maxim and Kirin Court in Richardson...

                                          1. I have eaten at First BBQ in Richardson my entire life and have never had a problem with cleanliness or service. I would also like to point out that the restaurant is based on the "dai pai dong" style of open air street restaurants in hong kong, which is characterized by their "untidiness". Another good dish I like there is the steamed fish with soy sauce and ginger.

                                            Lee's Catfish makes a mean spicy beef noodle soup.

                                            1. We regularly eat at First BBQ in Rinchardson and order only Yan Chow Fried Rice (on a par with Calif), BBQ Pork Fried Noodles (soft) and Spicy Squid. We tried some other dishes, which were disappointing. At any other restaurant, you have to know what dishes to order, whether in Dallas or CA or Hong Kong (we moved from CA).

                                              I don't know why anyone would expect good service at a Chinese restaurant. To me that's a sign of not authentic/good Chinese food.

                                              1. And speaking of Lee's, I remember years ago going in and ordering fish, it comes in several styles and Mr. Lee announced nope not the right one for me. He refused to let me order that style of fish and instead gave me what he thought I should have. This was years before seinfield, so obviously he had come up with the soup nazi thing way before anybody else.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: irodguy

                                                  Drove by Lee's this evening and it was empty with a For Lease sign in the window. Does anyone know if they moved, or is he gone for good?

                                                  1. re: Webra1

                                                    Well Mr. Lee was kind of old 20 years ago when I used to eat there. Maybe he just retired finally.

                                                2. Here are a couple of our favorite authentic dishes at First BBQ:

                                                  Shrimp Wonton Soup - its the best with fresh shrimp and pork wontons in the best broth!
                                                  Cheesy Shrimp - Fried large shrimp with a salty crusty. I know - cheesy and shrimp? Trust us - its wonderful!
                                                  Crispy Pan Fried Noodles - any type will be wonderful - try them all...

                                                  1. Be sure to try Tong's House in Richardson. It's north of Belt Line rd on Coit in the same shopping center as a Wal-Mart grocery store. Don't let the proximity to the Wal Mart throw you off. Tong's house has been there for a long time and has awesome authentic Chinese food. The crispy duck with 4 pancakes (the steamed, puffy type of pancake...wonderful) keeps me coming back

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: KimCheeGringo

                                                      You're the second person who recommended that place. We live around the corner and never paid attention to that boring-looking (and out-of-place?) Chinese restaurant. What else should we order? Are their fried noodle dishes good?

                                                      That Russian restaurant didn't last long, huh?

                                                      1. re: kuidaore

                                                        I've never really tried the noodle dishes at Tong's house apart from the bean thread noodles with minced pork, which were awesome if you like that kind of noodle by the way. The lamb hot pot was good. The steamed spareribs were good (appetizer menue I think), but I haven't ordered it in a while and don't know if they still do that one. It came out in a bamboo steamer basket packed with what looked and tasted like bulgur wheat. Very cool. The fried calamari with spiced salt is good too. I also had a whole fish once a couple of years back that was absolutely wonderful...steamed I think with garlic and black bean sauce. Just don't order one of the Americanized dishes and you will have a good meal. I honestly haven't had a bad meal there at all. Oh yes, I also really enjoy their twice cooked pork, but you have to love pork bellies as much as I do to really get much from that one.

                                                        1. re: KimCheeGringo

                                                          When kuidaore said "Russian restaurant" it sparked a bad memory.

                                                          If it is indeed next to what was a Russian restaurant, I've been to Tong's House and ate the worst lo mein in my life from there. Either I must've gone on a really bad day, or they've made some huge improvements.

                                                    2. We love salt & pepper squid, so that's good news. We always order it at First Chinese, but theirs isn't the best.

                                                      Do you like Kim Chee? Did you ever try Joy Kitchen in E. Richardson?

                                                      1. Has anyone ever been to BoBo China off of 635?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: QueenB

                                                          Bobo was the standard in Dallas for many years, but with all the new really good restaurants in town I just cannot see them being all that great comparitavely.

                                                          1. re: irodguy

                                                            Well, we popped in there for dinner anyway, because it happens to be right on the way home from Mr. B's dad's place. Can't say much for the ambiance, but the food was terrific and the waitress we had was a doll. I spoke at length with her about the items on their Chinese menu (even though we ordered our food off of the American side this time). She was more than happy to spend the time to explain some of the dishes to me and said that next time I come in, she, or any of the other waitresses, would be happy to help me choose off the Chinese menu. Our Americanized food was very tasty and the portions were huge for the price. We both got three entire meals out of each of our dishes. I was completely satisfied with Bobo and will return on another trip over to dad's house.
                                                            I'm interested to try First Chinese as well, so I can compare the two.

                                                        2. I'm in Irving, and moved here last year. I haven't tried First Chinese in Plano yet, but I'll crave cantonese often (I'm from San Francisco), and I go to Royal Chopsticks for my Chow Fun cravings. It's not part of their main menu. It's written on a small white board on the side. But they have the Regular Beef Chow Fun, and they also have the Black Bean Sauce Chow Fun. It's the closest Quality I could find for my cravings in Irving.


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: LucyK

                                                            don't drive to irving for First Chinese. Depending on where you are in Irving, the Belt Line location in Carrolton, or the Arlington location will be much closer. I'm guessing the Carrolton location will be quicker. plus, I've heard some people say it's better. I wouldn't know.