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Desperately seeking delicious chinese meal

I no longer know much about what is good in Chinatown since I moved from Boston long ago, but we are going for a visit and want more than anything to enjoy a good chinese meal since we don't have any chinese food where we live except for the "fast food" kind covered in generic corn-starched slop. We're looking for the real thing and wondered what suggestions people would have. Oh, we're also bringing our 8 year old child and we're looking for someplace nice but not too fancy. Any ideas?

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  1. What kind of Chinese food? Seafood? Cantonese? Northern? Sichuan? If you're looking for the latter, the best restaurants are actually outside of Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Luther

      Thanks for the reply. We're open all kinds of Chinese cuisine, actually. What are your suggestions outside of Chinatown? Thanks!

    2. My favorites are Shangri-La in Belmont, Shanghai Gate in Brookline, and East Ocean City in Chinatown. I think Shanghai Gate would be the safest recommendation of those three: best atmosphere and most accessible food. For more upscale and more expensive, I'd recommend Anise in Kendall Square. I've had meals that could be described as delicious at all these places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fenian

        I just realized that the place I'm thinking of in Chinatown is Peach Farm, not East Ocean City (which has gotten good reviews, and seems to have a similar menu, but I have never been there).

        Anyway, I think, as this thread suggests, that there is no shortage of good Chinese options in the area.

      2. Taiwan Cafe in chinatown may fit your bill. just search it on this board for reccs.

        1. Old Standbys:

          Sichuan: Sichuan Garden in Brookline
          Taiwanese: Taiwan Cafe
          Seafood: Peach Farm
          Roasted Meat: Hong Kong Eatery (not a particularly nice space, though)
          Peking Duck: King Fung Garden (also not a great space - is a converted pizza parlor)

          1. For Sichuan, Anise in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Bonus with a child: there's parking in a garage less than a block away (and a full bar for the parents). Also much more upscale feeling than the typical Chinatown restaurant, but still has what I believe to be very authentic food.

            In Chinatown, King Fung Garden on Kneeland near Tyler for general Cantonese (and to order a duck a day ahead). For seafood, Peach Farm Garden would be a good choice. Dim Sum is great Hai Le Moon in the Leather District. I've seen young children at all of those places.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kbw18

              i ate at anise the other day...it was good, not great. the rabbit dish that i got was fine, but seemed in no way to rate the three chili peppers depicted on the menu to indicate its spiciness--in fact, it was less spicy than the wild fern appetizer that had none!

              the other thing was that on a relatively mild wednesday night at dinner time there was no one in the place...i saw only three tables worth of customers (including ours) during the entire time we were there and zero bar customers. i don't know if they're attracting people the way they need to in order to survive...

            2. In Chinatown:

              Taiwan Cafe (Taiwanese)
              King Fung Garden (Peking Duck, homemade noodles & dumplings)

              Outside Chinatown:

              Shangri La, Belmont (Taiwanese)
              Sichuan Gourmet, Framingham or Billerica (Sichuan)
              Sichuan Garden, Brookline or Woburn (Sichuan)
              Chilli Garden, Medford (Sichuan)
              Chef Chang's, Brookline (Peking Duck & Americanized Pupu Platter Chinese)


              5 Replies
              1. re: BJK

                Chef Chang's does do outstanding Peking Duck but it is anything but "americanized pu pu platter chinese." It's totally the opposite, though perhaps not up to the level of Sichuan Garden.

                Chef Chang's is outstanding.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  I like Chef Chang's a lot, but all I've ever gotten there is Peking Duck, pupu platters and scorpion bowls. What else should I order there?


                  1. re: BJK

                    I can't remember ever seeing anyone ordering a pu pu platter there (seriously -- in 20 years) , so we probabaly have never crossed paths!

                    You see tons of PKing duck flying out of the place though.

                    If Sue the owner is in the kitchen everything is good.

                    Their H and S soup is great. So are their scallion pancakes and their peking ravioli.

                    SOme of my faves: Pork Cooked Twice, Ta- Chien Chicken, Hunan Pork with Black Bean sauce (which I ask them to make with chicken), Crispy Tangerine Beef, Beef Szechuan, Whole Fish, Green Beans, anything with garlic sauce, Moo Shu.

                    Ask for them spicy.

                    Most rice is good. Avoid most noodle dishes, though.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      I guess I've had more than just Peking Duck and pupu platters. You've reminded me that I also like the hot & sour soup, peking ravioli, pork cooked twice, hunan pork, green beens, and mushu. Our standard order is soup, pupu platter, crab rangoons, plus one of the aforementioned dishes, though it's always way too much food and lots of leftovers for just two of us!


                2. re: BJK

                  Outside: I'd add Mulan near Kendall (Taiwanese). I'm very fond of Wang's but not sure I'd want to make a trip there for my one shot at Chinese--though the dumplings are very good. Depends on where you are.

                  In Chinatown: If you're lacking seafood where you are, maybe kill 2 birds at Peach Farm or Jumbo. Also Shanghaiese at New Shanghai (fancier) or Wing's (homier). Personally I'd lean toward a bunch of small plates at New Shanghai.

                  There's no real consensus here on anything; search the board (filter search results by Topic, which also includes the message body ).

                3. Some of my favorite meals (all in Chinatown):

                  Hei La Moon (wonton soup, chicken in black bean sauce)
                  Jumbo Seafood (Singapore rice stick)
                  King Fung Garden (chicken chow foon)
                  Hong Kong Eatery (chicken fried rice, dumplings with Hong Kong-style noodles)

                  1. Many of the comments here are really good suggestions. Indeed, probably the two most "upscale" looking places are Shanghai Gate and Anise, yet both are still authentic style restaurants (Golden Temple and Changsho also look nice inside, but serve Americanized Chinese food, albeit with high quality ingredients).

                    However, the two places I would suggest most are Fuloon in Malden and Wang's in Somerville. Driving out to either one isn't so bad, and there's plenty of parking. But the real treats are the food at these two outstanding restaurants. For suggestions on exactly what dishes to order, checkout other posts on Chowhound, but you can't go wrong with anything from the back page of Wang's (Northern Style pastries) or their House Specials (which include all the Chinese language only items on the back page in translation), or with anything from the "Photo Menu" in Fuloon. Both these places are really special, and are a treat even if you have access to good Chinese cuisine on a regular basis.

                    1. My favorite in Chinatown is Grand Chau Chow on Beach St. There is the larger Chau Chow City in Chinatown but the one on Beach St is still the best.

                      1. Ho Yuen Ting in Chinatown on Hudson St
                        Peach Farm on Beach St
                        Chef Changs can't go wrong
                        Su Changs in Peabody

                        The Chau Chows are just average but maybe its just my bad luck to have eaten there 9 times and it never really impressed me.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ipsofatso

                          Is the renovation at Ho Yuen Ting over? The chef has been at China Pearl Best Cafe while that's been going on.

                        2. Cantonese: Jumbo (fried seafood), Peach Farm (steamed seafood), China Pearl Best Cafe (char siu rice), HK Eatery (wonton noodles), Lucky House Seafood
                          Shanghainese: New Shanghai, Shanghai Gate, Wing's
                          Sichuan: Sichuan Gourmet
                          Lu/NE Chinese: Qingdao, Wang's Fast Food, King Fung Garden (potstickers, scallion pancake, good value for peking duck)
                          Taiwanese: Taiwan Cafe (noodles, rice plates), Mulan, May's Cafe

                          If you have to have Fuzhou food, there's China Gourmet, but it's not spectacular.