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Chinatown Suggestion?

I will be in Boston in a couple of weeks and want to have dinner in Chinatown one night. From reading this board, it looks like King Fung Garden, East Ocean City, Taiwan Cafe and Chow Chau all get good recommendations. My question is this: Which one of these has the most atmosphere? Or to put another way, which one is "nicest", for lack of a better word. I have seen some comments that some of these are very much "hole in the wall" places, which in certain situations is fine, but I'm looking for something more conducive to lingering a bit over my dinner. Thanks!

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  1. King Fung Garden is most definitely a hole in the wall. Wonderful, but probably not what you're looking for. I love Taiwan Cafe, and it's certainly cheerful and bustling, but I don't know if it's really a place to linger. Chow Chau City is enormous, and comparatively luxe-looking in a banquet hall way, but I think most of the recs here (including mine) are for their dim sum; their regular menu is nothing special. I've never been to East Ocean City so can't comment on that.

    Hopefully others can suggest places with more atmosphere (I can't really think of any offhand.) Alternately you could eat at one of these places and get a drink afterwards -- there are plenty of nice places a short walk away where you can stretch out the evening.

    1. I think East Ocean City would fit the bill. Great Cantonese seafood in a nicer room.

      4 Replies
      1. re: 9lives

        I agree; a *nicer* room than some others in C-Town. Food has been consistently good (even on Lunar New Year, when things can get really hairy), but I have always gone with a native Cantonese, which I think enhances the experience. I've had some incredible (seafood) dishes there.

          1. re: 9lives

            I don't love East Ocean City, but it's more a cuisine preference than anything. They are very consistently good with their fish and seafood and the room is nicer than most places.

            Kaze also has a very nice atmosphere - it's a Shabu Shabu style eatery.

            Taiwan Cafe is fine and clean; I don't think it's particularly nice, but it's not a hole in the wall.

            1. re: 9lives

              I had a very satisfying meal last weekend at EOC (made better because someone else picked up the check.) The twin lobster was delish! As were the fried tofu balls.. haven;t had those before but will get them again.

            2. Actually, I would suggest you try Jumbo Seafood which is on the same street as the Chinatown Arch. It's nice and spacious, good lighting, with big round tables for you and your gfs to sit around and gab while eating really yummy seafood. It's Cantonese-style seafood, too..the best!

              3 Replies
              1. re: taylor_blair

                Jumbo just reopened as New Jumbo so it is very recently renovated.

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  I don't know why, but Jumbo Seafood re-opening as New Jumbo strikes me as slightly hilarious.

                  BTW, New Shanghai is a fairly "nice" restaurant in terms of setting and ambiance. Certainly compared to the Chinatown holes-in-the-walls. It gets very mixed reviews since CK left, but they still have some really good dishes.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    a group of friends and I had a very nice dinner there a few weeks ago. We got the fried soft shell crab, which was slightly spicy and peppery and delicious! The atmosphere is not sultry like Tao in New York but it is clean and presentable.

                    China Pearl is also pretty good for presentation, especially if you get a seat on the pavilion next to the dragon and phoenix. Although I don't know if they do dim sum at night, but it's a more engaging experience to order a la carte.

              2. I like the food at EOC, but it's a stretch to call the restaurant nice. If it doesn't absolutely have to be Chinatown, Shanghai Gate in Brookline/Allston may be a better bet. The food is excellent, and the restaurant has a more modern, slightly upscale feel.

                1. I have to agree with the comments on EOC. I take Asian clients there just because it is cleaner and bit nicer than most places in Chinatown. I also find that the food (especially the fresh seafood) is excellent. Try the Giant Clam (Geoduck)and fried Dungeness Crab with spicy salt.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: RoyRon

                    I'm sure everyone on this site already knows, but geoduck is pronounced "gooey-duck." They're quite bizzare creatures, but very tasty when prepared properly.

                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      Goeduck sashimi is really fantastic. I would highly recommend it!