[DFW] Carrollton – First Chinese BBQ Review
Visited: 02/03/07, Saturday @ 2:00pm
Strip-mall location, bbq duck hanging in a meat case when you arrive, linens, but I don’t think you go here looking for ambience…
Very friendly, but a tad slow due to a crowd and only two servers. I don’t really expect fantastic service at a Chinese restaurant.
~$30 for two, Cash only
The menu was huge, and was in both Chinese and English, which to me, is a good indicator that an authentic meal is to follow (beaten only by an all Chinese menu).
(SHREDDED PORK WITH GARLIC SAUCE) – Pleasant dish. Small, shredded pork strips enhanced by in a spicy, garlicky sauce. Terrific with rice. I did get a small piece of bone in my pork, but at least that means it is not processed food stuff.
(MIXED VEGETABLE HOT POT) – Served in a small pot, glass/cellophane noodles at the bottom and a variety of extremely fresh vegetables (snow peas, water chestnuts, broccoli, bok choy, baby corn) on top in a light sauce. This dish was nicely balanced and the sauce added a slight flavor instead of overwhelming the taste of the vegetables. This was our favorite dish out of the three.
(SHRIMP PAN FRY NOODLES) – This was unexpected. It was sautéed shrimps on a bed of dry, crispy egg noodles with a light shrimp sauce. It took a while for the sauce to make the noodles soft enough for us to eat… Maybe this is a cultural difference, but I didn’t really prefer to eat the noodles dry and hard. The shrimps were silver dollar sized and seemed very fresh (had that pop when you bit into them). Maybe next time I will try shrimps on chow fun. I think we were expecting a pan fried noodle (soft, but crispy on the outside). Maybe there was a mix up seeing as we don’t speak Cantonese…
Overall, the food was delish and seemed very similar to the bona fide Chinese/Cantonese food we are/were used to experiencing in California (SF – Chinatown). I don’t think I would try ordering the “Americanized” versions of Chinese food here… I will stick to more authentic dishes. We’ll be back. Best Chinese so far – Recommend.
I know this way after the original post but here it goes:
The "Pan fried" crispy noodle is a Cantonese technique and yes YOU ARE RIGHT in trying to let noodle soften by the mixtures. However, First BBQ, just like other Chinese restaurants here did this dish wrong - not that they don't know, they just don't bother with the effort - you see the noodle should be "pan friend" not "deep fried". When it's deep fried the whole thing grew so big it's hard to get soaked by the juice at once. Then you end up with the bits and dots of broken noodle.
Comparing this place to Sam Woo is a bit off. I feel bad living in Dallas when Chinese food is concerned. If First BBQ (and the char-siu... ah.. is that pork jerky?) is already #1 here ...
There are better Chinese restaurants here now (thanks to more Chinese ppl moving to the area). We don't go to FCB as often as we used to.
My Cantonese friend who used to live in LA agrees to my comparison of FCB with Sam Woo. He wouldn't go to either! (BTW, Sam Woo's food greatly varied, depending on the location. Some only served Americanized Chinese dishes.)
I followed your link above and read something about New San Dor - wow, honestly I might be harsher but I was literally angry after my first meal there. I so agree with your friend on the NSD.
And btw, even without the "backings" from your friend, I still respect your opinion of course. Eating is totally subjective to personal preferences. Even liking Americanized dish is no sin - I was a restaurateur before, I must admit I did "Americanize" food on purpose. :-)
The pan fried crispy noodles has a Chinese name called "Leong Min Wong" meaning "double side yellow". There is a Shanghai version which I heard is quite different from the Cantonese, I wish I can try sometime ....
We moved from SoCal 1.5 yr ago (used to live in San Jose, too.)
First Chinese BBQ is very similar to Sam Woo in SoCal (of course, cash only) and our most favorite Chinese restaurant in DFW.
We were VERY HAPPY to find First Chinese here. We have been able to replicate most of our favorite dishes. We like Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce, but we usually order Yan Chow Fried Rice (really on par with Sam Woo), Salt and Pepper Squid (not as good as Sam Woo's, but pretty good) and BBQ Pork Pan Fried (Soft) Noodles. I think you ordered the wrong noodle dish--they have crispy ones (which I didn't find impressive) and soft ones. We had to go through several noodle dishes to find our favorite.
We always go to the one in Richardson (the original and supposedly the best?) The waitresses (at least a couple of them) are from Taiwan and speak Mandarin.
First Chinese is definitely tasty at all their locations. You might want to try Canton Chinese on Greenville North of Beltine in China Town. We used to refer to it as the Chinese in the old Dairy Queen, but they have seen upgraded the building so it does not exactly look like a dairy queen anymore. If one of the better examples of Cantonese in town.