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Oct 15, 2007 11:28 AM

Chinese Food in Dallas

So where do most people go to have good Chinese food in Dallas..( a place that is not BYOB)..?

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  1. Over the last 2 years we thought First Chinese BBQ (Richardson) was the best in town; however...

    We recently discovered Umeko--a Taiwanese restaurant serving authentic Chinese and Taiwanese dishes.

    Next week we're going to Tasty Wok (Cantonese), which is reportedly better than Umeko.

    After that, we're going to try Yao Fuzi (Shanghainese).

    All highly recommended by our friend from HK. He says New San Dor (Cantonese) isn't very good. We weren't impressed with their food.

    My other Chinese friend who loves Sichuan likes this restaurant better than Sichuan Cuisine on Park/Coit.

    9 Replies
    1. re: kuidaore

      If by not BYOB you mean places that are a bit more upscale, I would say Yao Fuzi (Shanghai) and New San Dor (Cantonese) fit the bill. The new Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton also has an extensive, Chinese banquet-style menu.

      Tasty Wok is definitely casual hole in the wall. First Chinese BBQ is BYOB.

        1. re: kuidaore

          kuidaore - thats interesting, I had thought Umeko was a Japanese restaurant!

          1. re: air

            I always thought it was a "fake" Japanese restaurant, as no Japanese would name a restaurant "Umeko" ;-) (sounds very uncool to Japanese ears.) My friend said one of the owners was a former partner at Genroku. 90% of people eating there were Chinese.

          2. re: kuidaore

            I'm Cantonese and I tried New San Dor, I gotta say I'm not impressed with the food either. I think First Chinese BBQ is still the favorite for most Cantoneses.

            1. re: prada0212

              My Cantonese friend says the same thing about NSD. We had their special Chinese NY dishes earlier this month. They were just ok except for the crispy garlic chicken.

              Surprisingly, we had the best Cantonese (in Dallas) at Maxim's last night! The chef is from HK. What we had was:
              -Seafood soup
              -Stir fried beef and scallops with Chinese broccoli
              -Crispy pork--THE BEST!
              -Roast chicken--delicious!
              -Shrimp with mayonnaise and mango--better version available at other
              -Clams with black bean sauce--ordinary
              -Steamed fish--everyone thought it was great
              -Twin lobsters--delicious!
              -Crab fried rice--a must. Very nicely presented.

              Our Most Recent Rankings (constantly evolving)
              1. Maxim's
              2. Chef Hsu
              3. Umeko
              4. Yao Fuzi
              5. First Chinese

              (Sichuanese restaurants are excluded because I don't like Sichuanese.)

              1. re: kuidaore

                By Chef Hsu are you referring to the "super buffet" on Harry Hines? Also, what are your faves at First Chinese?

                1. re: kindofabigdeal

                  I was out of town for a month... here's the delayed response.

                  We don't eat at the buffet. You really need to know what to order at Chef Hsu.

                  Our faves at FCB are Yan Chow Fried Rice, BBQ Pork Chow Mein, Shrimp Wonton Soup and Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce (David's fav). We've been wanting to try Roast Pork some CHs rave about.

                  1. re: kuidaore

                    The roast pork didn't blow my mind, but it was good and a great price.

          3. I just went to Yao Fuzi and really enjoyed it. We had a delicious duck dish, and very authentic soup dumplings, according to the waiter/family member of the owner. The soup dumplings were so delicious that we had 4 orders, and there were only 2 of us. Next time we plan on calling ahead and ordering a whole fish.

            1. Finally made it to Yao Fuzi last week, and all I can say is WOW! Best chinese that I have had in the Dallas area...A bit expensive but well worth it....Thanks for the suggestion...

              7 Replies
              1. re: jinet12

                I went to Yao Fuzi for lunch, found it to be expensive, good food quality, but ....

                Overall I like the food better at First Chinese or Sichuanese . Yao Fuzi is much nicer, but overall I was not highly impressed.

                1. re: irodguy

                  yea I get the feeling that the stuff on the regular menu is a bit on the boring side compared to what you get when you have somebody who speaks chinese browbeat chris into serving stuff they mostly took off the menu.

                  1. re: luniz

                    Yeah, someone went back there on her own and ordered from the regular menu. Had a pretty bad experience. Probably the same with Umeko and Chef Hsu.

                    Shanghainese dishes (Yao Fuzi) are very different from Cantonese dishes (First Chinese) anyway. We order very different dishes at these restaurants.

                    1. re: kuidaore

                      Was Yao Fuzi again last night and now they have translated the Chinese menu to English (not elegant translations, but you get an idea of the food). Everyone's favorite dish again was the red-cooked pork belly, but they also had an outstanding scallop dish and I ordered salted duck egg yolk coated softshell crab which was really tasty.

                      1. re: donnaaries

                        Okay will give it a tray with the non standard menu.

                        1. re: irodguy

                          I was there over a month ago. We waited, though a reservation was made and then confirmed a few days later. Once seated we only received 2 menus for the 6 of us. My friend ordered the spare ribs and said they were dry. The table soup dumplings that arrived burst. The service was almost non-existent, we had to walk up to the bar to order our drinks even though we were the only patrons in the restaurant. Then when the waiter returned to our table w/o drinks and we asked again where they were he said they were being worked on. This was 15 minutes after we ordered them, and again we were the only patrons in the place. In addition the entire table was brought a second round of soup dumplings, though nobody had ordered them, then they had the audacity to charge us for them. Hopefully they have pulled it together since that god awful experience. Sad to say I will not be returning.

                  2. re: irodguy

                    We did take out @ First Chinese for the first time (the first time having anything from them ever) and it was delicious. The two noodle soups we ordered we great. We had the fresh shrimp wonton noodle soup and the pork and duck noodle soup. Both were fabulous. The wontons are large pieces of shrimp wrapped in a wonton. It could be the best wonton I have ever had. However once we added a little hot oil and soy sauce the flavours in the broth were really accentuated making the soups even better. BBQ is in their name for a reason. We got the BBQ pork and duck which were marvelous. Also got flat beef noodles on a recommendation and enjoyed them a lot too. Good overall experience.

                2. I happen to like the other Sichuan restaurant that was no mentioned. I went there on Saturday night (of course I have become great friends with the manager (owner is in Seattle and visits on occasion)) and had a great meal. There is no alcohol served at this place and it looks not so glamourous on the inside (First Chinese BBQ down the street looks a bit more modern). Everything I have had here is wonderful and I usually get the spiciest dishes since I think that hot peppers have a holistic property to them (another conversation). On Saturday night I went with my in-laws and my wife. My father-in-law loves this place and my mother-in-law is very skeptical of the place since they hardly have any white meat chicken dishes. The manager came over and talked to us once he saw us and took our order. We go the Spicy Fried Fish (a special on the wall written in chinese), the steamed dumplings, and Hunan chicken. All the dishes came out pretty quickly and were awesome. I really liked the Spicy Fried Fish...not greasy, fried perfect and was spiced just right (some would say it packs a punch). I would recommend finding the manager and talking to him (can be hard to understand at time - fast talker) but he recommends great dishes. The tofu that they sell is purchased from the dealer across the street who makes fresh tofu and they make a decent desert of sweetened silken tofu (think a sweet custard). Sichuan Boiled Fish is our favorite dish of all. They usually have a party of people in every time we go but there is never a wait for a table.


                  8 Replies
                  1. re: soulslinger

                    Hum white meat = tasteless cereal. While some Asian places use white meat for convenience and or demand, most of the chefs would really rather not, just no flavor in white.

                    1. re: irodguy

                      My mother in law likes the white meat....hates duck, dark meat chicken, and orders everything grilled charcoaled (almost carbon dust) including high dollar steaks. I have always liked dark meat chicken better. I understand the chefs don't like to use it much especially at Chinese places that try to give you great food for cheap (which white meat is not cheap).

                      1. re: soulslinger

                        Souslinger, true that dark meat chicken is cheaper in the US and lots of generic, low cost Americanized Chinese restaurants use dark meat chicken (and cheap cuts of meat in general) to cut costs. But also consider that at places like Sichuanese Cuisine, First Chinese BBQ etc, many of the more authentic dishes are prepared with dark meat chicken because in China, dark meat chicken is generally considered more desirable (and is more expensive) than white meat because dark meat has more "flavor." The difference between cost cutting and authentic tastes lies in the execution. Are they chunks of dark meat chicken that is gristly and chewey or whole legs and wings that are moist, tender, and well seasoned? The intent comes through easily.

                        1. re: soulslinger

                          Actually many restaurants that only use white meat do so because they are buying frozen breast instead of actual whole chickens. While the "dark meat" is cheaper, between labor cost savings and may people being on the "white meat" kick, it's easier just to purchase white meat.

                          Now personally I made 20 courts of gumbo this weekend for a neighbored party that I was talked into catering. I used frozen boneless thigh meat, again cheap, but packed with flavor. If people don't know it's not white meat and just go by taste it's rare that they will pick white over dark (just personal observation).

                          1. re: irodguy

                            I have to admit a lot of time I got stuck on silly things and just formed opinions before really trying out a place. Maxim's is one of them. I felt that the fact they stole the name (Maxim's group in HK) so I automatically assume they are cheesy. Also, I tried dim sum once and was disappointed. I think with all the positive reviews here, I may want to pay a visit for the dinner sometime.
                            Also, question about Yao Fuzi - is the menu online not reflective to what they really serve? (then it'll be good news) I can't believe any respectable Shanhai restaurant without yellow croaker ... I'd love to see how they execute some classicals. How are the xiao long bao? And how is the Dong Po pork, etc.

                            1. re: shengtang

                              When we went to Maxim's for dinner on our own, we had a horrible experience and we agree their dim sum is just ok. The experience was totally different when we went with someone (from HK) who personally talks to the chef and knows what to order. I really didn't expect to have real Cantonese food in Dallas!

                              1. re: kuidaore

                                I went. The owners are Taiwanese and they are from (so claimed) a "restaurant family" so I would assume they did not hire out for the chef position. Are you sure the chef is Cantonese? Not that it should make a huge difference of course - but it could.
                                Also, I sense a sad but probably common phenomena around Dallas - they don't have customers on week days, and I don't think they make enough money on weekends. Things are already on the vicious cycle. I feel sorry for them, also for the whole Dallas Chinese dining scene.
                                With gas at what it is now, I can't imagine Dallas restaurant can do well in the authentic Chinese category. Most Chinese population live in Plano, but still too scattered. I would imagine this is the time many consider re-practice their kitchen skills. I drove an hour just to get a mediocre meal at half of my weekly grocery budget. This stops making sense.
                                I talked to the owner too but it's a week day so they just don't have it. It's a shame anyway, eating should not require personal connections. :-)

                                1. re: shengtang

                                  I know the Taiwanese owner. I'll be happy to have you talk to my Cantonese friend about the chef. He'll probably have another meetup at Maxim's in May so you're welcome to join us. He can also answer your questions about Yao Fuzi.

                                  It's not the "connections" that do the magic. He doesn't order from the menu and decides what to order talking to the chef or owner at any Chinese restaurant he frequents to. He says "I tend to want to explore the chef’s talent a bit when I visit the restaurants." I don't go to a Chinese restaurant without him anymore.