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[Houston] Authentic Chinese

I couldn't find any threads from 2006 on this topic so I think it's time for a fresh one. Where should I go for authentic Chinese? Any good dim sum? Is xiaolongbao still impossible to find? Any Shanghai or Sichuan restaurants?

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  1. My parents (dad from Shanghai) prefer Lucky Dragon even though most of the cuisine is Hong Kong style. They serve a Shanghai-style crab there that is excellent.


    Also, I found xiaolongbao at FuFu's Cafe in the new Dun Huang shopping center off of Bellaire. Broth is not quite as savory as the ones from Shanghai Restaurant in Dallas, but they're still xiaolongbao and that's a rarity in Texas.


    FuFu's xiaolongbao: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/21...

    FuFu's sheng jian bao:

    1. Fung's Kitchen has good dim sum, but sometimes the cart service is a bit slow if it is busy.

      1. Kent, just FYI, Fung's is leagues better than any of the dim sum places I've tried in Austin, although I haven't been to Marco Polo yet.

        1. I went to Fung's a few months ago and did not find it all that impressive. I think dim sum at T&S and Pao's in Austin may have been better. Fung's has a lot of variety but not a lot of good dishes.

          Donnaaries, I'll definitely check out those two, especially FuFu. Thanks very much. It's been nearly a year since I've had any xiaolongbao.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kent Wang

            Hmmm... Well, I had some of the worst dim sum of my life at T&S, but maybe I went on a really off day. The majority of the things that should have been hot were cold, the Cheung Fun (spelling?) was bland and hard, and the presentation on all the items was lacking. I even went on a Saturday at lunchtime, which I expect is one of their busier times.

            I agree that Fung's isn't spectacular, but it is decent for what I've had in Texas. Doesn't hold up to the places in SGV/Los Angeles though.

            Let me know if you find a better place in Houston, since I would like to explore a bit while I'm here.

          2. Kent, Brother! You missed my book length post on Sichuan Cuisine where the food is far better, and the selection far more extensive than Austin's Asia Cafe. To whit:


            i went three times in 24 hours!!!


            2 Replies
            1. re: sambamaster

              Sambamaster, I was not aware that your domain extended into Houston. Very nice treatise you've wriiten. Do they have any dishes in the gan bian style there?

              1. re: Kent Wang

                i seem to remember that they do...check the online menu that i seem to remember having cited in that post. if it's not there, it's easy enough to find. i think they have dry fried beef, but can't recall...
                and though not that style, the "cowpeas" or however they've misnamed the pickled yard long beans with pork is astounding.

                it's well worth a visit.

            2. My dad doesn't like Sichuan cuisine so I'll have to try that out next time by myself.

              We went on Tuesday to FuFu Cafe but they were closed! This was not expected. We went to East Wall (I had forgotten about Lucky Dragon) and had a decent meal there. FuFu looks really small.

              Back in Austin, I am now. Next time I am in Houston to see my folks I will try these Chinese joints again.

              1. I heard thatthe old SinTangMingKuan (Diho Plaza where the Diho supermarket is at) is now replaced by a restaurant that serves really good xiaolongbao.

                About dim sum, try either Golden Palace or Ocean Palace at Bellaire, or Kim Son at Stafford.

                Good luck!

                1. DO NOT have dim sum at the Stafford Kim Son. Its horrible. The only place with worse dim sum would be the Kim Son at Bellaire (though they do have an all you can eat hotpot buffet that is really cheap).
                  Ocean Palace is okay if you have non-Chinese with you and they have not been really exposed to more authentic chinese food. Golden Palace is still the best, but they must know it because their quality is starting to lack.

                  1. Fung's is my favorite dim sum place in Houston. Ocean Palace is just OK--actually I think it's about the same as the Stafford Kim Son (I guess I didn't hate it as much as Sahel578). I was really disappointed by Golden Palace the one time I went. Everything was cold and mediocre at best. Plus I had first-time dim sum eaters with me, so it was extra embarassing.

                    1. I am very spoiled coming from NJ. Incredible Chinese food there (Sechuan, Hunan, Han, Henan, etc). Any authentic Hunan places in Houston? I'm dying for some la roa.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: andrewldoe

                        Your question got transferred over from the Texas board and got buried for some reason (anybody else notice CH is not putting the threads with the latest posts on top anymore?????)

                        Houston has a huge Chinatown on the SW side, along Bellaire Blvd, starting about at Gessner and going west for several miles. I'm not familiar with any Hunan places and can't remember any being discussed here, but you could try the search feature on this board (most but not all Houston threads have been moved over here from the Texas board).

                        As far as Sichuan, I highly recommend Mala Sichuan Bistro on Bellaire.

                        1. re: brucesw

                          I agree with Brucesw - I think the hardcores say that Mala isn't what it used to be, but we've liked it. I thought they skimped on the blood tofu, but you know, you can't always win.

                          Something that is really hot right now in the Bellaire Chinatown is Taiwanese casual food - stuff people buy at street carts in the metro Taipei area like fried pork chop, spicy salt and pepper chicken nuggets, beef noodle soup, stinky fried tofu, etc.

                          Although my wife doesn't like it anymore (don't get the beef noodle soup, she says), we used to got Yummy Kitchen regularly - where you can definitely get stinky tofu. She actually also liked Star Snow Ice (for hot food) in the Dun Hua plaza near Bellaire/Sam Houston. I liked both the beef noodle soup and spicy brisket hot pot at Cafe 101 in the same plaza, and frankly, based on lines around the other restaurants in the area, you probably can't go wrong with most of those eateries in that plaza.

                          Lastly, on the other side of Bellaire is San Dong Noodle house - not very nice on the service, but the dumplings, steamed pork buns, fried buns, etc. are pretty awesome. I splurged and had the dumpling and beef soup which was huge soup dumplings PLUS tender spicy braised beef shank in a spicy broth.

                          We are still exploring... About one restaurant in Chinatown a week!

                          Here's a good guideline: Another Chinese friend of ours once said, if there's a line, that's where you want to eat!

                          1. re: neointima

                            San Dong is no-frills but really pretty good. The baos for sale at the counter are among my favorites. We really like Mala Sichuan as well.

                            Another great place is Peking Cuisine. Reserve a Peking Duck and a table in advance because they run low on both, and they don't assume you want one with the other.

                            A wonderful (again no-frills) dumpling joint is the one right next to Arirang located just east of the 9889 Bellaire complex. It only has 3 letters on the storefront ( don't what it says, but i think yelp claims it be The Dumpling King or something).

                      2. Okay, I drove by Suzy Wong's World on outer Westheimer recently and it caught my eye. A sign in the window says "AUTHENTIC CHINESE FOOD!" Hehe. Anyway, wondering if anyone has been there. This is in your stomping grounds, Doobs. Any thoughts?


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Lambowner

                          Next to Phoenicia?

                          Been by it a hundred times, never been in.

                          I will say this, it's been there longer than any of its several predecessors.

                          1. re: DoobieWah

                            I read some positive words about it somewhere many months ago. I'll try it out!