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May 6, 2008 01:07 PM

Ordering tips for Yue Kee Chinese cart?

Just went to the Yue Kee cart for the first time, after reading about it here and elsewhere. I got ginger chicken (it was mentioned in a LaBan review taped to the truck - lots of talk of crisp scallion greens and spicy ginger). It was fine, but pretty much what you'd expect from your average Chinese lunch truck - fresher tasting, less gloppy maybe, but not super special.

Most of the other folks ordering and picking up food looked to be of Chinese descent; I'm wondering if I got the gringo special, or if I just ordered badly (possibly ginger chicken doesn't offer much opportunity for the cook to show his stuff).

Can anyone rec particular dishes? Should I say something to the woman taking the orders to indicate that I want the "real thing?"

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  1. Yeah, remember they are cooking for the masses and the easiest way to get what you want is to specify what you want, or how you want it prepared. Even in C-town restaurant's across the US, regardless how "traditional" they claim to be most of the dishes are "westernized" unless you can read Chinese and order off the Chinese menus. Otherwise, just tell them to prepare it with lot's of flavor/spices, like "they" would eat it.

      1. re: SpdRcr069

        I eat lunch there a lot, and after trying a lot of things, almost always get chicken & eggplant in black bean sauce. It's really good, though I keep meaning to try the pork belly or stewed pork ribs.

        I think LeBan goes a bit over the top in his praise -- but it is the best Chinese cart around by a mile. Not as good as Four Rivers or (so I've heard) Chung King Garden. But very good for a truck.

        1. re: john_salmon

          Agreed on all counts, John. Yue Kee is great as a relatively fresh, cheap but tasty chinese option. I was happy to see LaBan's almost effusive review for Yue Kee's sake, but perhaps it unreasonably increases expectations.

      2. well, as much as i love yue kee, i do not recognize it from laban's write-up. that being said, it is head and shoulders above mostly every other chinese food truck in the city, so some of the praise is warranted.

        i personally love their hot and sour soup, though they focus on hot more than sour. i think it is vegetarian too, if that matters (it doesn't to me). their fried rice, lo mein and yat mein are all good, but their singapore noodles are in fact excellent. the egg foo young is good, i would recommend one of the meat ones over the veggie one. other favies include the ma pao tofu, beef with string beans, pork with chinese vegetables and pork with broccoli and the shrimp dishes are good (sorry, i rarely get chicken dishes at chinese joints). the ma pao tofu (aka ma paul tofu on their menu) is probably my favie, though the singapore noodles are excellent.

        the only dish i would say to avoid (though i hate agreeing with laban on two things) is the szechuan tofu. it is gross and i can't believe yue kee serves it. the sauce relly is a gloppy, ugly, icky pink.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mazza3

          ergh...apparently agreed with laban on three things. :)

          1. re: mazza3

            Ok, I'll try one of these next time. Sounds, though, as if what I'm likely to get is tasty food that's not necessarily going to transport me to mainland China.

            The word "favie" is hilarious.

            1. re: GDSwamp

              it may make you think that i am 16, not rapidly approaching 30....or maybe just that i am a lazy typer....:D

              yeah, definitely not a transcendental experience, but certainly yummy and satisfying....

              1. re: mazza3

                Picked up dinner last night: hot and sour soup, ma po tofu (so many possible spellings...), pork w/ chinese veg and chicken w/ eggplant and black bean. All quite good, and $13 for the whole meal. So, I'm putting the phone number in my cell.

                Since your recs (favies) are good and you're down on LaBan, I'm curious what your other favie spots in the city are...?

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