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Most authentic Chinese in KC?

Hello all - I recently moved to the KC area and am looking for an authentic Chinese restaurant. I grew up in NYC and then lived in SF for 17 years so I am a bit spoiled with the options I had in both those locations. I have tried Bo Lings and thought it was some of the worst Chinese food I've had yet. I've also tried several others and was disappointed. Does anyone have any recommendations?

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  1. China Tom's on Rainbow has a separate more authentic menu. I'm not sure if it's only on the weekends.
    Jen Jen at 90th(?) and Metcalf does a late night menu for other Asian cooks to order after they get off work at other restaurants.

    1. what did you order at bo lings? you might like their saturday dim sum, although based on your initial reaction, it doesnt sound as if you'll be back anytime soon. we have a few asian grocers in city market. i think one or two of them has a food counter. we have decent vietnamese in this city. i've never done a chinese crawl but report any gems you find!

      1. You're not going to find what you had in NYC or SF. So many people here love Bo Lings but really the only thing they have that is good is dim sum. If you're looking for something a bit more Taiwanese, you can find Taiwanese inspired dishes at Blue Koi on West 39th in KC (they do have good noodles, and their 'ants climbing a tree' isn't totally authentic but where else in KC are you going to find it??) and just a block away Po's Dumpling Bar (beef and tomato, free pickled cabbage Taiwan style, better dumplings than Blue Koi IMO).

        You might also like some offerings at Pine and Bamboo on Shawnee Mission Parkway - they have dim sum and in some cases better than Bo Lings. No one has good 'luo bo gao' so if you love turnip cake at dim sum...forget it.

        1. About 6 years ago, Charles Feruzza who writes for the pitch magazine (Kc's weekly), reviewed a Chinese restaurant - It had very unique items for the area (chicken feet, etc). I just tried to find it in the pitch archives. Anyone remember what that was?

          I agree, you were spoiled by your NYC & SF Chinese food. :)

          1. Thank you for the replies. Since I posted I tried Jen Jen. Their food was not bad at all. Portions were small, but overall decent food and much more authentic.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mgreps

              I posted this morning about Red Snapper - not sure if it's authentic? but it was really good. Check out their menu online www.kcredsnapper.com

              1. re: mgreps

                I went by Jen Jen's on Friday hoping for lunch. They were closed, sign on the door that I couldn't read from the car. Anyone know what's up?

                1. re: chileheadmike

                  IIRC, JenJen doesn't do lunch. They do take the last dinner order at 12:30am.

              2. If you want authentic Chinese at Bo Ling's you have to ask for the Chinese menu. It used to be printed on the back of the Americanized menu, but that's not the case now. Richard and Teresa Ng have been successful offering Chinese American food, which is now considered passe by many, but is still quite popular with some people who grew up knowing this food as "chinese." I'm sorry that you ordered off the CA menu expecting something else, but please consider trying them again, ordering differently. Ask for the "traditional menu." The best location for dim sum is probably the Plaza, where there's more traffic and the carts empty more quickly. (You can also get it to order, if you don't see what you want.)

                I also second Pine and Bamboo Garden and Jen Jen. I believe the owners of Jen Jen took off for a vacation (?) this time last year, or maybe it was a family emergency, can't remember, chileheadmike. I haven't seen the sign.

                3 Replies
                1. re: amyzan

                  Okay, I was next door to pick up my Mom from a hair appt. Jen Jen's isn't closed for vacation. The sign for hours says basically they are open for dinner and are open late (2 am?) Fridays and Saturdays. Sorry if I created any confusion. Mike, no lunch hours.

                  1. re: amyzan

                    Thanks amyzan, I'll definitely get in there for dinner.

                    What should I have there? I do like the heat.


                    1. re: chileheadmike

                      I'm sorry your post escaped me, Mike. To be honest, it's been a long time since I've had chinese other than dim sum, because of a health issue. I seem to remember they do seafood well at Jen Jen, as well as some homestyle dishes. Other hounds might have more to share, and more recent experiences on which to base recs. Sorry I can't be more help. It's definitely worth a visit. I have vague but fond memories, not exactly the helpful kind when it comes to specifics. I'm glad to hear the OP liked them despite the small portions.

                2. Try Pine and Bamboo Garden on Shawnee Mission Parkway. There are some interesting authentic things on the menu!

                  1. I have to also chime in for Pine & Bamboo Garden. We've been eating there for about 15 years now, and have never been disappointed. I'm not sure how "authentic" they are, but their food is damn good.

                    1. A place that hasn't been mentioned yet is Lucky Wok on 87th and Lackman in Lenexa. It has a great authentic Chinese menu. It looks like your average Chinese buffet, and you have to ask them to get the authentic menu. Prices are good and the food is awesome.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: reenum

                        I have heard the same thing about Lucky Wok. It was told to me by a local Indonesian chef.

                        1. re: jm054

                          I third this rec! It's my husband's and my new favorite Friday night / Chinese place. Genghis Khan used to be our favorite Chinese, but these prices are more reasonable and buffet is really good (love the wings!).