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Dec 3, 2006 12:34 AM

Best Real Chinese Cuisine in the East Coast

What would be the best authentic chinese restaurant in either hunan,hubei,sichuan cuisine on the east coast?
not the americanized stuff..
and since i cant be in China...
i have heard there are some decent ones in flushing..

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  1. Edison, New Jersey is an amazing hotbed of Asian Cuisine.

    The Grand Shanghai, at 800 U. S. # EAst is an example. American menu is ordinary at best, but ordering from the Chinese menu is another matter.

    I love their version of "middlefish", and partial to their soup dumplings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bashful3

      Diann, Bashful3, just had a great meal at Sichuan Spring, which is on Route 27 in Highland Park. I'm going to write a longer review later, but basically, excellent hubei/sichuan, and I went with a real pro (local resident, restaurant owner, food business supplier). apparently they changed owners within the last year or so and the food is great. a packed dining room on a saturday night and all asians, save for 3 or 4 caucasians (always a good sign).

      ask for the real menu (it's in english also anyway) and I'd recommend: chongqing spicy chicken (very dry, almost popcorn chicken and salty/spicy/numby), beef in fresh hot pepper and also fish fillet in red hot pepper (hard to describe but basically, tender pieces of beef bathed in intense chili oil and peppers, excellent), the whole fish with bean paste or whole fish with sichuan cabbage, sauteed double pork bacon with spicy sauce and also the sichuan sausage. get some veg too, the basics like greens sauteed, and also try the dried sauteed string bean with minced pork also. I some neighboring tables ordered the konnyaku bathed in sichuan oils and peppers which looked really good too.

      the word for all of this food in chinese is "xia fan" which simply means "down rice" as in, this stuff will make the rice go down really fast since its so salty and spicy and flavorful; a scoop goes a long way with flavor and its best to go in a large group and sample a great number of dishes, or go with a smaller party and be prepared to bring home leftovers.

    2. Bigjeff:

      If you ask on the Outer Boroughs and Mid Atlantic boards, you can get tons of information on the Chinese communities in New York and New Jersey.

      Still though, it stands to reason that if you can find great, authentic Chinese food in New Jersey and Maryland, you can find it in PA too.

      8 Replies
      1. re: BrianYarvin

        Oops, I didn't put the locale; this place is in Edison, New Jersey, just off Route 22 I believe. I'll put my proper review on the mid atlantic board. I recall that you're an NJ local, right Brian? I remember reading a bunch of your suggestions over the years for the area (plainfield, etc.)

        1. re: bigjeff

          Big Jeff:

          Yes, I'm in Edison and try to keep up on the Asian food scene here. I also work a couple of days a month in Bethesda MD and use that time to check out the food scene in Rockville - where the Chinese food is also outstanding.

          You now have a huge number of great places to check out, but none in PA.

          1. re: BrianYarvin

            well, definitely try out this place Sichuan Spring; the meal was great for sichuan. I can also get some other recs; the people I went with live in North Plainfield and have a pretty good handle on the chinese food scene in edison.

            1. re: BrianYarvin

              I happen to work in Bethesda. Which places do you like?

              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                I like both Joe's and Bob's noodle shops and I've been meaning to try the China Canteen.

                The A&J is also remarkable as is the new tea house/restaurant up by Shady Grove.

                I wish I had more time to explore this area.

                  1. re: BrianYarvin

                    I am totally in love with Joe's Noodle House in Rockville, but there some on the local DC board who have put it down recently, especially its authenticity. How would you compare the preparations at Joe's with the places in Edison, etc?

                    1. re: Steve


                      The best places in Edison are a bit fancier, but the effort is the same. My favorite place here in Edison; King's Village, is similar in many ways to A&J, but with better service.

                      Both Edison and Rockville represent pretty high levels of quality and authenticity to me.

          2. Sweet and Tart Cafe on Mott and sublime. I believe it is traditional Cantonese cuisine, based on a specific "tea lunch", or midday meal. They have a wide variety of cold soups such as the "cold-mountain frog with ginko nuts". The best they have to offer in my opinion is the Shanghai pork dumplings (they come in a bamboo steamer and are perched atop pickeled daikon, and served with a dipping sauce of dark Chinese soy and minced ginger. Not to be outdone by a side order of shrimp and watercress dumpling soup! Amazing!

            I love this little restaurant very much and haven't been back in a while, so forgive me if it does not exist anymore. Check it out and give feedback.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lex

              It does not exist anymore in Manhattan. Their Flushing location is still in business. For the record, I never ate at the cafe but did eat several times at their restaurant, on Mott closer to Chatham Square - including at a banquet. At its best, it was delicious. At its worst, it was weird. Generally, it was solidly good, but that's as far as I would have gone.

            2. There's great Chinese in Flushing Queens! Great dim sum.

              1. The best Chinese I had in NYC (and I tried just about every place) was Wu LIang Ye on 48th st. SIchuanese food, very authentic, very clean and actually in midtown Manhattan. Completely full of ethnic Chinese at dinnertime.
                Anyway, the best QUALITY and taste for Chinese food I had in NYC.

                2 Replies
                1. re: fara

                  ya I've heard that place was pretty good. I now have a new understanding of the cuisine so I'll be sure to check it out. In particular, I think that's the best of their 3 locations in manhattan (one is on the upper east side, I believe, not sure where the other is).

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    I think WLY on 48th is the best. Lexington & 39th is not very good at all, for some reason.

                    I haven't knowingly been to a Hubei restaurant, and I don't know of any real Hunan restaurants (most with the name are faux-Chinese places that use Hunan or Szechuan synonymously).

                    New York has a number of good Shanghai, for instance Evergreen (Midtown) and Shanghai Cafe (Chinatown), though New Green Bo seems to be the Chowhound favorite.

                    Two years ago I would have cited Ping's in Chinatown as the best Hong-Kong/Cantonese in NY, but they've slipped big time.