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Chinese in Fresno

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Does anyone know about Tien Ju in Fig Garden Village? Is it open yet? I'm looking for good Chinese with some sort of atmosphere. I love Imperial Garden's food, but...

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  1. I was over in FGV a few days ago and it wasn't open yet, but you never know, it could be open by now.

    Have you tried Joy Luck Chinese on Blackstone and Nees? It might be what you are looking for, upscale atmosphere, etc. It seems to get favorable reviews here and several friends have said they enjoyed it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: glazebrookgirl

      Hi GBG, did you peek in to get a feel the type of atmosphere? Went to JLC when they first opened. It is the best for atmosphere in town that I know of AND the food was good too.

      1. re: Gail

        I have walked by it several times (live very close to it) and it always looks upscale and relaxing. The smells coming from it are pretty good as well!

    2. Today's Villager newspaper says that Tien Ju in now open.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PolarBear

        Thanks,saw that too PB. Would like to "talk" to someone who has been there. Am real picky about Chinese food. Loved seeing that a new Thai place is opening in the Palms Place area.

      2. The web site for Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis says that a Tien Ju will be opening there, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alanstotle

          Stopped by Wine Styles on my way home from work today at FGV and noticed that Tien Ju was finally opened. Tonight was apparently their first night and they seemed to be verrrry verrrry slow. Didn't have time to check out the menu but I have friends visiting from out of town this weekend so we may have a chance to check out the place, as they are always up for something new.

        2. I stopped in to Tien Ju at lunch last week and ate at the counter. The "counter dining" concept is something I really appreciate since I often eat lunch alone. The woks are right in front of you and it makes a great show. The lunch specials are about $9 and include soup, a drink, and one of several main dishes--I chose the Kung Pao Chicken. Out the door, with tip and tax, it was $12 and a fairly good value--there was too much food for me to finish. I'd say the quality of the food is 7/10. The menu listed the dish as "hot", but to my taste it was quite mild. I noticed the dinner menu didn't have two of my favorites--BBQ Pork or Eggplant. Returned a few days later for dinner with the entire "Traveler" crew and, for the most part, we were disappointed in the food. The Walnut Shrimp seemed to have too much mayo and the green beans were bland. Overall, we miss East-West!

          11 Replies
          1. re: FAT Traveler

            We had a chance to check out Tien Ju on Saturday. And all the spice girls agreed--we were all disappointed. I suppose the first disappointment was that the Villager article mentioned that this was "upscale" Chinese Food. It also mentions bringing a feel of LA to Fresno and having brought in speciality dim sum chefs. So we were very surprised to find a restaurant that didn't feel upscale nor a menu that reflected any type of interesting/dim sum food. What we found was a basic Chinese Restaurant with the usual familiar food, i.e. Kung Pao, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, etc. To begin, we had the chicken potstickers. The waiter suggested these because they "are not frozen and shipped in" but made in house. They were "doughy" at best but tasty inside. Next we ordered the crab rangoon.. Of the three of us eating, two of us liked it but for the life of us could not find the crab ???? All we tasted was cream cheese and the fried won tons. It's served with a generic sweet and sour sauce...not awful just nothing original. We also had the hot and sour soup. After reading the above post, I didn't expect anything too hot or spicy. This soup was quite the opposite. In fact, it was way TOO MUCH spice for one of our spice girls and she had to send it back and exchange it for the egg drop soup. :) We also tried the sauteed shrimp with spinach. The shrimp was good but the spinach was oversalted which left the dish very unbalanced. Here was the bright spot of the meal--we had good service and two really great cocktails. They only serve wine and beer, however, since sake is a rice wine, they do offer cocktails such as the Appletini. Instead of vodka, they use sake. Surprisingly, they were delicious and we would have it again. As for the food and the ambiance, I am afraid we left feeling like it was just a step or two above Panda Express and very much prefer the food at Imperial Garden. For Chinese food, using the freshest ingredients, Imperial Garden is the best place to go!

            1. re: spicegirls

              Spicegirls, thanks for the detailed write-up. Just as I thought, Imperial Garden is the best Chinese in town.

              1. re: spicegirls

                I agree with Gail: very good report. Thanks.

                I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about opening two versions of the same restaurant at the same time (the one in Fig Garden Village & the other at Sierra Vista Mall) that somehow communicates impending mediocrity.

                1. re: alanstotle

                  Oh, I didn't know about the SV Mall one. Good point, the attention gets stretched too thinly.

                  1. re: Gail

                    And it suggests (perhaps) a corporate mentality.

                2. re: spicegirls

                  Thanks for the report!! I am very picky when it comes to Chinese food (my grandfather is from China and has cooked spectacular food since I was a wee one) so maybe this isn't the place for me. You can't go wrong with Imperial Garden, wonderful cuisine!!

                  1. re: cocktailqueen77

                    OK, I'd forgotten about IG--I'm currently in Germany, but when I get back to FAT, I'm going to Imperial Garden--I really miss good Chinese in Fresno and East-West was our favorite. Thanks for the reminder about IG.

                    1. re: cocktailqueen77

                      CQ: If you are picky when it comes to Chinese, we say you must stick with Imperial. You are right, you can't go wrong. Never had a bad meal there! We especially love any of their chow fun dishes, the salt baked fried squid, the roast duck, the dim sum pumpkin dessert (Served early on Saturday and Sundays only) , the eggplant dish, etc, etc, etc. The list just goes on and on..

                      1. re: spicegirls

                        Yup, that is why I hardly ever stray away from IG. I haven't been for dim sum in awhile, thanks for the reminder (and the heads up on the pumpkin dessert, that is one item I have never tried!!)

                        1. re: cocktailqueen77

                          I also love Imperial Garden. Really can't go wrong there. They make a broiled fish dish that is to die for. You have to phone in a day in advance to get it and you end up with a whole fish. I haven't ordered it in a while but I think it was about $30 or so. It depends on the size of the fish. I HIGHLY recommend it if you are having meeting a group of people there. Absolutely delicious. BTW, so is their Chinese Chicken Salad but ask for shrimp on it instead of the chicken.

                        2. re: spicegirls

                          SG - We've been to IG's dim sum on both weekend days many many times and have never come across a "pumpkin dessert".. could you describe it? We love their dim sum and chicken salad, but not that impressed with the rest of the menu.. we've yet to find the "perfect" chinese place in Fresno that has it all.... especially great fried rice. Han's on Gettysburg and Fresno used to have the best fried rice and eggrolls in town, but they changed hands and changed recipes.. the place smells of rancid oil now. Ming's on First and Bullard has better rice and used to do perfect wings, but again, they changed the wing recipe.. why can't things just stay the same?

                  2. Don't waste your time, Gail. We just returned from the most blah Chinese food ever at Tien Ju. We had looked forward to patronizing a new business, but we were sadly disappointed. Lettuce wraps were not made with minced chicken as described in the menu and were pretty tasteless. Don't ask them to pan fry any noodles for you; you'll get a nest of deep fat fried, tasteless, brittle noodles. The vegetables were quite mediocre; mostly frozen peas and carrots garnished the wraps. We love black bean sauce, but even that added no taste to our food. We spoke to the manager to inform him of the poor quality of the meal. He comped us the $30 we spent for 3 dishes. We won't be back.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gibcott

                      I'm glad to hear that you did what I find so difficult. The owner needs to know these things, but if it is that bad, I figure he knows, but perhaps not.

                      Thanks for the review as I haven't been there yet, and now, won't. Well, it's back to Imperial Garden with poor ambiance and great food.

                      1. re: Gail

                        I grew up in Fresno and visit it frequently and agree that Imperial Garden has been serving consistently the best food for sometime now.