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Where do the Chinese eat out in the Triangle?

  • s

I asked the woman who works at a local Chinese place where I get takeout sometimes and she goes to Chosun Ok Korean once a week.
We were just at Chosun Ok again tonight and I heard a bunch of Chinese spoken. I'm sure there are more gourmet Korean restaurants in the world, but I had their cod soup and it was crazy good. Okay, so there are a bunch of bones in it, but that just makes it more authentic and keeps me from inhaling my food - not that the iron bowl doesn't have that effect anyway. I never regret going there when we're in the mood to get dinner out (vs. "dining", which we rarely do anymore). Try it, if you haven't been. Also try Vit Goal Tofu restaurant closeby. They have excellent seafood pancakes.

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  1. So far, I've only been to one Chinese restaurant that has been populated with a majority of Asian patrons, which is Eastern Lights in Durham. Of course, I have not sampled the star of chinese cuisine in the Triangle, Red Palace, which I hear is as authentic as one can find in these parts.

    1. Well, I'm kinda sorta Chinese, and I really like Magnolia Grill, Starlu, and the Federal. A lot of my Chinese friends like the Guglhupf, too. I mean who doesn't like mango mousse cake? Mmm, mmm.

      If you meant "Where do Chinese people go when they want Chinese food", this is a different question: I was recommended 35 in Cary, with the caveat that it's gone downhill. Also, the Hong Kong buffet off of 15-501 (near where Franklin street splits off, near the McDonald's and Sheraton), though that may not necessarily be because it's so tasty as because it's also pretty inexpensive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DingoWallaby

        Dude, you need to stop being friends with whoever recommended the Hong Kong buffet off 15-501. He/she is trying to have you killed!
        If you must do Chinese buffet try China Buffet next to the Chucky Cheese in Durham.

        1. re: DingoWallaby

          Okay, sorry - I should've added "to eat Asian food" - I'm not so culturally idiotic to think that people from China don't enjoy non-Asian restaurants. My apologies if I came off that way. I lived in China myself for a few years and am always in search of authentic Asian food. It sounds like you hang out in Durham a lot. Have you tried Eastern Lights? It has a few nice dishes. 35 in Cary was recently recommended to a friend of mine.

        2. Red Palace would be it from what I've seen. As long as you don't sit near the buffet, that is. That room is 100% non-Asian.

          We were there last night, as it happens, and were floating the idea of a Chowhound get-together there. It's selfish, really. We don't have many friends who like authentic Chinese and we just want to taste a lot more than 2 people can order in one meal. As it is, we usually order enough for four. I know you can't do the organzing on this board, but if enough people are interested, let me know how one organizes this type of thing and let's go for it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rockycat

            We ate at Red Palace on Friday, and thought it was *okay.* The food was fine, but I probably wouldn't trek there from Durham again, unless I was already in the neighborhood. We got the 5 Spice Beef app, which was a bit like sliced deli meat from Food Lion, but with a tablespoon of tasty sauce on top. The Tea Smoked Duck was very good... terrific smokiness. The Dan Dan Noodles were pretty good, but by no means the best I've had. I didn't see anything that looked like a peanut in it... was more of a sesame oil flavor. Finally, we had the Chicken with 3 Special Sauces & Basil. The sauce for this dish was yummy -- very sweet, but balanced with vinegar and soy sauce -- but the chicken meat itself had a spongy, unpleasant texture.

            Red Palace is located in a depressing strip mall, full of empty storefronts. The interior is a fun and campy. Wait staff was helpful, and laughed when I asked for Mai by name, given that posts about her are all over this message board.

          2. i haven't had that many great experiences with chinese food, or most asian food in general, in this area. i have tried red lotus and i thought it was pretty good. okay prices, and they give good sized portions. i wasn't a big fan of the hot and sour soup, but the dan dan noodles were tasty. jujubee (sp?) is also pretty good, it's more of a fusion restaurant, but the meal i had there was really good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: californialoving

              Cali - have you checked out Vit Goal Tofu Restaurant for Asian? We went there again last night and finally tried something besides the tofu soup (try the mushroom and dumpling soups) - the bbq was excellent, as was the seafood pancake.

              1. re: suse

                i don't live in this area, but i visit my bf who lives in this area a lot. i just heard about Vit Goal through this site and i will definitely check it out...i love tofu too, thanks for the rec.

            2. I'm Chinese American and have lived in San Francisco, NY and LA. Sometimes i feel that the Chinese food is deplorable, but i feel better when I look at my house and school district. i think Red Palace is about as good as it gets, but I rarely get there from Chapel Hill. (For some reason that seems a long drive even though I used to drive crazy distances in LA for food)
              Try the Dim Sum at Hong Kong Restaurant in Durham. It's not bad. You need to get there right at 11 or be prepared to wait. 35 used to be ok, but the spice is enough to kill the usual Joe. It has gone down hill and uses too much salt the last time I went.
              Otherwise:
              Pho Cali
              Chosun OK
              Thai Cafe
              Merlion
              Thai Lana (may have changed name)
              I buy my sashimi direct from Tom Robinson's seafood hovel b/c that is where all the Japanese grad students go

              1. For Dim Sum, I like Neo China on Maynard, near the intersection with High House Rd in Cary. I'm no expert on Dim Sum so others may have different opinions but we've always enjoyed their setup. The same advice applies for Neo China, get there early.

                Aside from Hong Kong in durham, there is one near the intersection of Hwy 54 and Hwy 55 that has Dim Sum as well. I think its called China One, but could be wrong. We've eaten at all three and thought they were all good but we go to Neo China because they are nearby.

                1. There's a lunch counter at the Grand Asia Supermarket at Cary Cross Roads (Buck Jones and Walnut). I see a lot of ethnic asians eating here lunchtime that sound like they're speaking some dialect of Chinese, so I imagine it's a Chinese "restaurant".

                  Mind you, this place isn't full service; it's set up like the CP&L cafeteria (which is AWESOME, btw) where you point at what you like and your meal gets put together, or you have something cooked to order.

                  They've got steam tables of entrees - the lunch box special is any time items on the steam table + rice: $5.95. Drinks are extra.

                  Personally, I think the steam tables are a food poisoning outbreak a la Taco Bell/Olive Garden waiting to happen. I've gotten some entrees a number of times that were ice cold (tofu and beef some beef dish).

                  My advice: order an item cooked to order.

                  Here's my feedback:
                  1) 35 Chinese - sucks
                  2) Neo China - sucks
                  3) There was a place up in Durham (15+501/I85 near Eno State Park) a few years ago that served a Dim Sum - the building looks like a big red barn. Is it still there? - So So.