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Chinese In Houston??? Help! I am craving!!!

Hello There,
I was reading another post about chow fun in the Dallas area, does anyone know about Houston???? I was introduced to the dish a few years back by a friend when I still lived in California, and since I have moved to Texas (Houston/ Katy area) I have not been able to find it!!! I miss it so much- I don't know much about Chinese food, but I have tried Lo mein (sp?) but it's a different taste... If anyone could rec. a place with Chow Fun, that would be soooo appreciated!!!

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  1. You might start here http://www.chinatownconnection.com/ho... It's been years since I have been to Houston's Chinatown but as I remember it was rather large.

    1. Hey Crisntina, I learned to love chow fun in CA too. Thankfully, I've found a few good places in Austin for it, but I bet Houston has even more options. Check out Fung's Kitchen, I like it for dim sum, but I know they also serve several chow fun dishes. Unfortunately, I haven't tried it there yet, so let us know if it is good or not if you make it out there.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mike B

        Thanks!!! I will definately check both of these leads out, much appreciated!

      2. I like Qin's Dynasty at Westpart and Buffalo Speedway. It's a very pretty restaurant and the food is good.

        1. Sinh Sinh on Bellaire right by Beltway 8 makes the world's best Chinese. Make sure you get the Chinese menu, which has the good food.

          1. You'll have lots of authentic choices if you head for Bellaire Blvd and work your way east from Beltway 8. (You can go west too, which tends to have more Vietnamese places).

            On your left going east, as noted was Sinh Sinh. They should have chow fun. Also crispy noodles, which are cooked noodles then quick fried in hot oil so that the outside is crispy and the inside is soft, and served with a sauce and meat/seafood or veggies on top.

            1 Reply
            1. re: texnosh

              Next time you go to Sinh Sinh, be sure to get the eggplant stuffed with shrimp.

            2. You can also find it in the original downtown Chinatown by the Convention Center.

              1. As recommended, Bellaire is where all the authentic places are. Sinh Sinh, in particular, is good.

                There's also some kind of "Palace" place around that area that has very authentic Sichuan. I found it from a search on this website.. give that a shot

                1. I must respectfully disagree with all the comments on the merits of Sinh Sinh. I grew up in Houston and have been familiar with this restaurant since its first incarnation on Fondren nearly 30 years ago. The current owner (the founder's son) went to high school with my sister. Its quality has consistently gone down while its prices have gone consistently up. It's well-known in Houston because it was one of the first but doesn't even come close to being the best by a long shot. After my last experience there, I have decided never to return....but back to chow fun. Sinh Sinh's chow fun is only passable. Tay Do in the Hong Kong mini-mall on Bellaire and Boone has the best beef chow fun I've ever had bar-none (also the best blackened seafood combination rice claypot in case you're interested). They have several locations in Houston. By the way, like Sinh Sinh, they are a Chinese-Vietnamese place, not purely Chinese and not purely Vietnamese either, and not quite a conglomeration of the two. The cuisine is a fusion because the founders are 3rd or 4th generation Chinese who lived in Vietnam. The Chinese diaspora in Vietnam is large and over the generations their culture and cuisine has distinguished itself from both Vietnam and China. That's what makes this style of food distinct.

                  For those who actually like Sinh Sinh, get ye over to Chino fast food on the corner of Bellaire and Cook Rd. I believe the founder of that place was the original chef at Sinh Sinh from decades ago and reminds me of what Sinh Sinh used to be in the good ol' days. They are also Chinese-Vietnamese!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: hch_nguyen

                    Thanks for the helpful post, hch. I heard Chino's was good. Went there at lunch one day (late at lunch time, it was empty), didn't find it very special, but I've heard from several people it's good and after reading your post I'm going to try it again. Do you like Tan Tan? One problem with Sinh Sinh is that the tables are jammed together. the floors and bathrooms are grimy, and there's this habit of keeping carts full of dirty dishes in close proximity to the dining tables.

                    Tay Do I like a lot. What other dishes do you recommend at Tay Do?

                    1. re: texnosh

                      You're right on the money with the ambience (or lack thereof) at Sinh Sinh. Another complaint to add upon my list of grievances at that place. I'm not saying the food is horrible, but it's a dive and everything is only passable and not in the true spirit of a chowhunt. Of course, in the true chowhound spirit, I don't turn my nose up at a dive, but there's nothing there to keep me coming back. Great Prices? No. Great service or atmosphere? God No! Great Food? A resounding No. For me its quality went WAAAY down years and years ago, but without realizing it, I think I kept coming back (albeit infrequently) for reasons of nostalgia and familiarity.

                      Back to your question, the thing you'll find about most Asian restaurants (and probably any restaurant in general but especially Asian) is that they excel at a few dishes and everything else is just there to fill up the empty spaces on the menu. Tan Tan is known for it's fried rice-flour pancake and its won ton and egg noodle soup. I live in Los Angeles, so it's been years. I think they're also known for their braised catfish claypot (not sure anymore) but definitely the pancake and wonton soup. If you go in there, you'll know which dishes are good because that's what 75% of the patrons are downing.

                      Same goes for Tay Do. I had the absolute worst honey walnut shrimp there, but they do have the best chow fun and blackened seafood and rice claypot. Their fried calamari is good, too, I hear, but I'm not a calamari fan. They also have a unique version of General Tso's chicken. Before Bodard opened on the corner of Ranchester and Bellaire (next to the police station), I used to like their Nem Nuong spring roll platter (which is a pork dish that you wrap up in rice paper and vermicelli that they provide), but Bodard is now the ONLY place in Houston to get that dish although the rolls come pre-wrapped there. You will not be disappointed in that dish there. I like the sauteed garlic and onion chicken at Tay Do, too, as well as their pan-fried salt and pepper shrimp (shell on for me, please, but they also do a shell-less version for the uninitiated). I started eating at Tay Do when it was a single dive in the Dynasty Mall area and was much more consistent in quality although Tay Do is fairly consistent for the most part. Now Vinh Hoa is in Tay Do's original space. Another Chinese-Vietnamese joint, Vinh Hoa has great fried softshell crab, deep fried sea bass, and garlic stir-fried snow pea shoots (dau hoa lan).

                      You'll have to pardon the English names of the dishes I recommend. I always order in Vietnamese and pay no attention to the English versions of the names on the menu, so these translations are very loose. There is definitely a lot lost in the translation. Somehow, it just doesn't sound as appetizing.


                      1. re: hch_nguyen

                        If you're judging Sinh Sinh on its noodle and beef dishes then you might have a point, but I disagree with you if you're judging it based on the seafood which is superb. The service might be crap and the ambience not much better, but the seafood dishes especially the squid, sizzling platters, and eggplant are awesome. I guess that's the point of this forum; everyone has their own opinion and isn't shy about expressing it. I would recommend a trip out to Sinh Sinh or Hong Kong Food Street to see for yourself.

                        1. re: kalidaemon

                          Well, I agree to disagree with you. For me, personally, in order to put up with bad service or lack of ambience or cleanliness, a restaurant has to give me something I can't get someplace else. For example, the pork spring rolls at Bodard are unparalleled. I can't get the same fix anywhere else (not that I have found). Therefore, I'd put up with a lot more in order to feast on their spring rolls. As for Sinh Sinh, while some of the dishes may be good, IMHO, none of them are unparalleled. For my palate, in 30 years of delectable searches through Houston's Asian culinary sea, I believe unequivocally that they don't offer anything that with a little effort and adventure can't be found at another restaurant done comparably well if not better. Whether I recommend a restaurant (or a particular dish at a restaurant) has to be a balance of all these factors. Quality vs. cost quotient or just plain ol' high quality itself take precedence over everything else, but Sinh Sinh just doesn't cut the mustard. It takes two steps forward with its food and three steps back with everything else. Ergo, I always recommend people go somplace else.

                          As kalidaemon said though, everyone's palate and standards are different. If this were 20 years ago and the choices were as limited today as they were then, I'd eat there in a pinch. The food is not unredeemable in my mind and potentially superb in the minds of others. It used to be my go-to place, but there's just too much available goodness out there now.

                          Now, I am very, very hungry....Never write about food when it's lunch time and you haven't eaten a thing....growl....