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New Asian restaurant in KOP

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We went to The Blue Dolphin the other night & were very impressed! (It's next to Ruths Chris, where a diner used to be). They have another location in Abington area (Hunan Village). I was there with 4 others, so we tried a variety & were very pleased with everything. The wonton soup which they all ordered had real fresh homemade wontons, not the thick pasta standard type. One person said "it's the best I've ever had!" I ordered the hot & sour soup which was the perfect consistency. We had some type of spring rolls that were excellent (I didn't order them, so not sure exactly which ones, a few on the menu). For entrees we ordered a variety of dinner dishes & everyone loved everything. The General Tso's chicken was ordered as white meat, and it came out without heavy deep fried breading, full of flavor, which I really enjoyed. Others were braised duck, chicken lo mein, & chilean sea bass.

There is a variety on the menu of styles of food, including some American type things- one person ordered a garden salad as an app., nice portion size.

Please try & keep this one in business!

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  1. The diner you refer to was previously "Denny's" before it was transformed into a more upscale diner. Hard to believe that Denny's folded, one of the few decent medium-priced non-mall restaurants in KOP. (Remember when Bonanza or was it Ponderosa was in operation in front of the court? THAT was the BEST, of such restaurants in KOP. How they made any money on their all you can eat dinner buffet was beyond me. Sort of like Old Country Buffet but with higher quality food. That's probably why they closed.) By the way, there IS another diner up on DeKalb Pike, where McDonald's use to be. The closest area that has a variety and selection of medium priced stand alone restaurants is in Norristown/Plymouth Meeting. Guess KOP has priced its real estate out of affordability for medium priced operations. Even The Bagel Factory said the area was too high priced for a location by them.

    What style of Asian cooking is The Blue Dolphin - Schezuan, Hunan, variety of Asian styles? What price range are dishes? Almost every new restaurant that opens up in KOP is $$$, with the exception perhaps of that new diner to replace McDonald's.
    When I go there, I will ask them if I can still get a fish filet like I used to get at McDonalds. They used to use cod, years ago, in recent years the less expensive pollock.

    1. i'm sure this one will often be confused with blue pacific, the sushi place IN KoP mall. oooh, i work down the street in chesterbrook though, so i'm sure my asian-food-loving boss and i will be checking it out soon!

      we went to shangrila (rt 252?) today where i was pleasantly surprised by a chile tofu + veges (which they gladly used to replace the chicken at my request). unfortunately managed to splash "thai fire pot" soup in my eye - the name says it all - OW!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rabidog

        rabidog - very funny - I have heard that when "thai fire pot" soup is splashed in the customer's eye, it is a sign that they like you, and is a sign of initiation , of making you part of their "family."

        You know, the owners of Shangrila, I believe, used to own Hunan in the Valley Forge Shopping Center. It was a beautiful place, very tastefully decored, giving you a sense of peace. I noticed that that restaruant had lines of small lights draping its exterior walls. Then I noticed that Shangrila did, too. Back then, it seemed like a signature moved by the owners, identifying their "properties" as opposed to other similar looking restaurants.

        I thought Hunan did a good job with its Japanese/Chinese food. I have heard good things about Shangrila. Must say something about the owners, that they know how to run high quality restaurants. I think they own other restaurants in the area, but don't know their names.

      2. Has anyone else had a chance to try it? We returned with other people who also loved their meals- especially all the soups! Also, another lover of the braised duck meal (with chicken & prawns). I just wish it was more well known- you can hardly read the sign & it's in an off location. Apparently the take-out menu has more typical selections. I'm interested in seeing the lunch buffet when it starts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pamd

          You are right about its "hidden" profile. It is located at the furthest most distance of the commercial district of King of Prussia and unless you are aware of the place, you would not know it is there. If the restaurant was located where a Magianno's is, or even Ruth's Steak House, I'd think it would draw larger crowds simply due to the street traffic. Even when Denny's was at that location, I was surprised that the place wasn't more crowded. If I was the owner, I'd do a mass mailing of huge discounts for the first meal, just to motivate people to go to a location they might not go to. And I know it's very close to the mall, but most people who seem to go to the KOP Mall want to stay very close to that area, even though The Blue Dolphin is no more than a few minutes drive from there.

        2. I spoke with the staff the other night, they said they are working on advertising. They really need a bigger brighter sign.

          1. We drove by the Blue Dolphin last night and, baed on what I read here, decided to check it out. Parking lot was next to emprty, which was odd for a Saturday night by the mall and movie theater. There was a big sign on the door saying "Liquor License applied for, for now please BYOB." We went in and saw that, while the restaurant looks very nice and newly remodeled, it was completely empty. We ended up taking a glance at the menu and ordering take-out (shrimp pad thai and tangerine beef), and sitting at the desolate bar watching the Food Network while we waited. One other person came in for takeout, and a small party came in for dinner while we waited (a few people came in to ask directions; the hostess said this is a constant occurence). Our food was quickly prepared and smelled wonderful, so we headed home. And the food was exellent! The pad thai was great, if a little on the mild side (but the hostess had included containers of chili, explaining it would be easier to make it more spicy than less. Also enclosed with our food were two green tea bags, which I thought were a nice touch). I'm told the tangerine beef was also good, and it looked tasty. We also had steamed pork dumplings, which were outstanding. All in all, very good food, very good price (two entrees and an app for ~$30). I'll definitely go back when they have their liquor license, which I hope will mean they will be able to entice more patrons. Thanks for the recommendation!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chao

              another great meal there...and tried new dishes- Amazing chicken was excellent (we had it made spicy though). It was still quite empty, but we went early. Go check it out if in the area!

              1. re: pamd

                Do they have their liquor license yet?

            2. Tried Blue Dolphin last night based on the reviews here, and unfortunately, I cannot agree with the recommendation. The decor was nice and the people seemed friendly, but I found the food incredibly disappointing.

              We started with fried dumplings, which were okay, but tasted to me like they came frozen out of a bag rather than being freshly made. The "hunan style sauce" for one of our dishes did not have any flavor besides that of diluted soy sauce, and the "garlic sauce" on our mixed vegetables was unnaturally sweet with no hint of garlic in sight. Both sauces overpowered any natural flavor that the meat and vegetables may have had. The salt and pepper prawns (usually one of my favorite dishes) were deshelled, completely breaded, and not crispy - they were actually not too bad, but nothing like the traditional dish.

              Overall, the food we had was much more like Americanized fast-food Chinese takeout than anything else. Which may not be a bad thing if that is what you are looking for, but I would definitely not recommend Blue Dolphin to anyone looking for an even remotely authentic Chinese dinner.

              5 Replies
              1. re: worshipsf

                I tried it about 2 weeks ago also based on reviews here. I had Hunan Style Prawns, and started with the pork dumplings - I won't be going back. I agree with what worshipsf said - when I try other Chinese restaurants sometimes it makes me realize how good Margaret Kuos is, no matter how much it costs. I just thought this was mediocre, and nothing special. It was also very unnerving being the only person in there on a friday night.

                1. re: DanielleM

                  I've been & had wonderful meals. Nothing fancy or as gourmet-ish type meals as Margaret Kuos, but great tasting typical chinese dishes, better than other standard places in the area.

                2. re: worshipsf

                  sorry you didn't enjoy as we did, but as for your last comment, something interesting I actually pointed out to my husband when I was there last in April, is that the menu changed. It originally had more interesting dishes, and the typical "Americanized" dishes were for takeout only, like Margaret Kuos does. Now the menu is more of the typical "Americanized" dishes, I'm wondering why they changed it. If I want authentic, I go to my faves in Chinatown. But nearby, it's the freshest I've found for typical.

                  1. re: pamd

                    It's closed now. They moved Hooters there.

                    1. re: JustThat Guy

                      First Denny's.....then the Diner (which I thought was atrocious)....then empty for a while....then Chinese....now Hooters....

                      Seems like a culinary black hole.