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Aug 19, 2007 12:51 PM

Chinese and Indian in Cleveland Ohio

We are hosting my daughters college roommate this summer, and I am taking her to Cleveland before they go back to school. She is from Hong Kong and I would love to take to her a authentic Chinese restaurant in Cleveland. I know that she loves dim sum and I'm debating between Li-Wah and Bo Loong. My knowledge of Chinese food is limited to the Hunan on Coventry and Chinese takeouts.

I took her to the WSM and the Chinese grocery on either Superior or St Claire a few weeks ago, but we were rushed for time. I have never been to either of these restaurants and I am wondering is 3 people can get authentic Chinese cuisine for $50?

Does anyone have any recommendation for authentic Indian food for a spice tenderfoot? My daughter is adventurous but she hasn't developed much of a tolerance for heat. I love Vindaloo but she is still learning to appreciate Dal and mild curry. A restaurant on the west or SW side would be preferred but I am familiar with the east side as well.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. By far the best Chinese food in the area is Siam Cafe. Obviously, they also serve Thai food and in addition to that they serve Vietnamese. The Chinese is a mix of authentic and Americanized. The Americanized is good in a way but the authentic is fantastic. I've discussed it at length in numerous posts and mentioned some of my favorite dishes.

    The owner's brother owns Asia Foods. It's mainly a grocery but it also has a small "teahouse" in the back. The three times that I've eaten there I was the only one. Nevertheless, the food was fantastic. It's also a mix of Vietnamese and Chinese food. (The family is Chinese but lived in Thailand and Vietnam.) The menu is small especially compared to Siam Cafe and it's mostly Vietnamese. I think there are only 4 or 5 Chinese items. I had the Hong Kong Style soy sauce chicken. It was phenomenal. They also have Hong Kong Style pork, Hong Kong style duck and a couple other dishes I can't recall at the moment.

    I'd like to meet three people that could eat $50 of dim sum and not need a long nap. $50 will also be more than enough at Siam Cafe.

    For Indian food, the only place I found to be reasonably good was the Saffron Patch. It's been a long time since I've been there too but I think it's the only game in town. The lamb chops are consistently excellent as is a shrimp appetizer called ???.

    The photos are the chicken at Asia Food and a red bean sesame ball and an unidentified sesame fried dough object also from Asia Food.

    Siam Cafe
    3951 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

    Asia Food
    3126 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

    1. Li Wah is quite authentic. I've heard great things about Siam Cafe, which the other poster mentioned, too. Of course, my favorite is Hunan on Coventry, but they've known me since I was 5 years old.

      Indian: I always loved Cafe Tandoor but haven't been in a few years. Alwaysw found it quite easy to eat there, even with people who dn't eat much spicy food. It is on the East Side, though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whiner

        There is a Cafe Tandoor in Westlake as well. It is in the sears plaza across from crocker park, on the other side of detroit, where the McDonald's sits right on the road. However, my Indian friends say the unassuming Udupi cafe is really the best, I've had very good food there too, that's in parma heights: Udupi Cafe. 6339 Olde York Rd. Parma Hts., Ohio 44130

        1. re: rockandroller1

          I love Udupi, but not sure it's the best place for a spice tenderfoot. I like spicy and can never order more than "3" :-) If it matters, it's stricly vegetarian.

      2. As far as Indian for your spice tenderfoot, you might want to try a lunch buffet to give her a nice variety of what's available along with some spicier options for you. I've not been, though it's on my list of things I have to do very soon, but have heard very good things about India Garden in western Lakewood (18404 Detroit). Another place that I have been to, though it's been a while, is Kashmir Palace on Brookpark Extension near Great Northern.

        Another suggestion for dim sum is C&Y. I was there earlier this year for a group dim sum and we had a wonderful feast for $16 per person which included tax and tip.


        1 Reply
        1. re: kasw

          my favorite Indian is Saffron Patch in Shaker Heights. They will go as mild and spicy has you want , but they are authentic and I think I actually met my match when I ordered Indian as opposed to american medium. There is a distinction I wil tell you. I have been to India Garden and it was pretty good as well (but have only had the buffet there-not sure of it is fair to judge). I had to fight to get something to spice the food up. I heard Udupi is great- but have not been. I am not a fan of Tandori Oven in Cleveland Heights. I never liked the service (rude) and thought the food tasted warmed over with a fridge after taste. I kept giving them chances b/c I used to live down the street. I like Toms Seafood for dim sum (in Asia Town). I know this sounds bad, but it is all you can eat for 7.95. It is not on a buffet line, but on carts like must dim Sum places. A few times I have not seen a favorite on the carts, and they go make it for me to order! Lil Wah in Asia town is also pretty good for dim sum (I really get peeved though with the regular menu-they always want to give me the american food stuff or seat me on the ango side of the dining room). I like Bo loong a lot but concur Siam is excellent. Siam does not have dim sum btw. Oddly I thought C&Y's "dim sum" was too heavily influenced by SE asia to seem authentic.

        2. I want to thank everyone who replied.

          I let Cynthia (she doesn't use her Chinese name when she speaks English) make the decision and she decide on Bo Loong. We were to late for the dim sum but we her order. She ordered jasmine tea, and a fish and Chinese parsley soup to start. She had planned to order a winter melon soup, but they didn't haver any melon. We had Schezuan pork and a salt-baked soft shell crab. the soup was something that I had never heard of but it was quite good. The Shezuan pork was quite hot, but it was what my daughter liked. The salt-baked crab was the star of the dinner. It had sweet crispy texture, almost like lobster, and was a perfect compliment to the hot and spicy pork. We had stopped at the Chinese market down the street, and she instructed my daughter and I in the proper method of peeling and eating lycee for a desert.

          Cynthia was quite impressed with the food and service, and asked to come back during winter break to try the dim sum course.

          I am going to try the Saffron patch when I return to Cleveland.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kelli2006

            i LOVE the saffron patch, but i would avoid saturday nights if possible. they do a booming business plus often do weekend catering, and i think that the quality suffers a bit.