Han Dynasty - Exton
Is Han Dynasty (Exton) worth a 20 minute drive? If so is there anything particulary awesome on the menu? I see they have a section called "authentic chinese" and I'm not completely sure what that means.
Definitely worth the 20 minute drive. Their authentic section is I believe Taiwanese and perhaps Shanghai specialties. I went for lunch with some colleagues from Taiwan and I let them do most of the ordering. The Taiwan Meatballs were delicious (secret family recipe... only one of the chefs makes them) as were dumplings in hot oil. You can get... adventurous (e.g. pig's bladder) on the authentic menu but I didn't go that route. About 1/2 of the authentic menu is just dishes that you don't find on the generic Americanized Chinese menu that you see everywhere, but are perhaps more regional and closer to home cooking.
I've never been but my friend has and says it's great, but often has a long wait for seating. She says the chef from Chungking Garden in Chinatown is now at Han Dynasty, so Sichuan is a good bet. The Chinese name is Xin Chuan Yue (New Sichuan Canton). If you want to try Taiwanese, I would say get the three cup chicken. That, among other dishes like lion's head (prob the "taiwan meatballs". I'm guessing), is on their Chinese menu online (http://www.handynasty.net/chinese_menu) but not the English (http://www.handynasty.net/menu) at least not that I see. I wish I were only a 20-minute drive away.
20 mins? i wish i'm as close as you. I'm from Sichuan originally. I live and working in Philly for over 20 years. The chef has worked at many different places over the years and we've been following him to restaurants for over 6 years( it's like this for many many chinese people). It has been like a religion for me and my family to dine at his restaurant weekly. If you would like to get a taste of real authantic chinese food without traveling to china (no restaurant
can even compare in the east cost IMO) . You gotta check this place out!! But do ask for help if it's your first time ~.-
We just went and WOW, it was great!
We had chicken soup with wontons, lion head/Taiwanese meatballs, bok choy, and fish with bean sauce. Delicious.
The ... owner? One of the 60something women that seemed to be running the front of the house came over and we had a discussion about how their meatballs are made and then, maybe since I seemed to know from meatballs, she asked me about mine, so I told her about the Italian-American fave escarole soup. There were a bunch of Asian families there, some of whom I could tell were speaking Chinese, and a handful of non-Asian customers.
Thanks again for all the effusions about this place (in this thread and others) - the location isn't not really convenient for us, but we'll definitely be back. It was great!