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May 7, 2008 02:56 PM

Authentic Chinese in Boston Chinatown?

Hi. I'm a NY Hound staying near Chinatown and wondering if there is any authentic chinese food to be had there. I don't care which region it's from as long as it's really authentic. Szechuan, Hunan, Shanghainese, Cantonese, I love them all provided they are the real thing. Any help would be much appreciated.

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  1. Search this board and you should find a lot of rich information to help you - my short list includes King Fung Garden, Peach Farm, and Taiwan Cafe.

    5 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve

        Agreed, but it would help if the OP had Limster to navigate the menu.

        Crab over rice may be my fav there.

        1. re: Bostonbob3

          i liked the kidneys and jellyfish, and i think cauliflower.

      2. re: rlh

        Loved Peach Farm. Thanks for the intro. Was dining solo so had a small steamed fresh bass and pea shoots. Both were really delicious.

      3. I'm sure you don't mean to imply that you assume Chinatown's culinary options consist of a P.F. Chang's and a Panda Express. But that's kinda what it sounds like.

        King Fung Garden, New Jumbo, Peach Farm, China Pearl, Best Little Restaurant...all authentic, but far more importantly, all tasty.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          I don't understand your comment in the first sentence - seemed like an innocent comment by the OP - but the suggestions in the second sentence are on the spot. Also, consider the dim sum at Hei La Moon. You should also feel free to explore the various bakeries in the area. As rlh noted, there are a wealth of threads here on Chinatown eateries. Unfortunately, the really authentic Szechuan tends not to be found in Chinatown.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            Portland Oregon's Chinatown is full of restaurants that aren't nearly as good as P.F. Chang's. So if someone isn't familiar with Boston's Chinatown, they might be wary. Perhaps the OP had bad experiences in places like Portland and thats' why the question was phrased the way it was.

            Anyway, my favorites in Boston are King Fung, Taiwan Cafe, and Hong Kong Eatery (their pea shoots are delicious). Peach Farm and Best Little Restaurant are at the top of my list to try.

          2. Would consider hopping on the Orange Line out to Malden and going to FuLoon. Easily the best all-around real-deal Chinese in the greater Boston area, and he does multiple styles and does them all well.

            375 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

            8 Replies
            1. re: Dr.Jimbob

              Whle Fuloon is excellent, ridiculous assertion that it is better than so many of the places in Chinatown. BLR, Peach Farm, Wings, Taiwan Cafe, (the shanghainese place whose name eludes me) and several others are also VERY chow worthy destinations in Chinatown.

              Heaven forbid you want to eat some pork buns, Bahn mi, congee, etc.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Not to get into an unending Chow-argument here, but I think there is no question that Fuloon is better, overall, than any place in Chinatown. Each of the restaurants in Chinatown proper are confined really only to a single style of Chinese cooking, and they are quite modest restaurants operating with thin margins and almost never offering premium quality ingredients without special arrangements. Fuloon produces excellent Cantonese, Sichuan and Shandong style food with artistry and creativity and high quality ingredients. I do not dispute that there are many Chow-worthy destinations in Chinatown as well, but no place is as broad or deep as Fuloon.

                1. re: lipoff

                  What lipoff said, though admittedly, if you want something specific like soup buns, you'll want to go to one of the specialty joints.

                  However, I was also thinking specifically that a New York based chowhounder does not need to come to Boston to get good Shanghai or Cantonese cookery (the options in NYC are far superior across the board). FuLoon offers some stuff that might be harder to find in New York.

                  1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                    I love fuloon as well as many of the Chinatown places.. Just to play devils advocate though... Seems very common for people here to fault places for doing too many styles or having too broad a menu. So why in this case is it praised? Seems alot of what people talk about here are the places that specialize in single cuisines or even food items.. dumplings, fried clams, ice cream... Not the place that has all 3.

                    1. re: hargau

                      Because most Chinese places that offer cooking from three or four different regions of China don't particularly do so well at all three. FuLoon is the lone exception -- they don't advertise themselves as "Szechwan/Hunan/Cantonese/Mandarin cuisine" (a description that is usually the kiss of death for me, along with Chinese restaurants where there is no Chinese language menu and where drinks are advertised ahead of dinner) but FuLoon really does distinguish itself in each and every of the cooking styles.

                      I'd opt for Shanghai Cafe in Manhattan over any of the Shanghai places in the Boston area, and as I say, advising a New Yorker about good Cantonese food is something like steering a Parisian to Boston's French restaurants.

                    2. re: Dr.Jimbob

                      I've found Shanghainese food in NYC to be disappointing thus far, nothing like Shanghai Gate, recommendations? Though I suppose I should just go search on my own...

                      1. re: avial

                        Howdy, sorry to interrupt the chow, but for recommendations on Shanghainese food in NYC, we suggest that you pose the question on the appropriate board (Manhattan or Outer Boroughs etc...)

                    3. re: lipoff

                      I disagree. Fuloon is good, but for me not as good as some of the key dishes at BLR, Wings, Peach Farm, or King Fung.

                2. One of my NY hound friends always heads for the oysters with black bean sauce at Peach Farm Seafood when she's in town....

                  1. Shangainese: Wing's, New Shanghai
                    Cantonese Seafood: Peach Farm, New Jumbo
                    Not quite Mandarin: King Fung Garden. I say this because while the chef was trained in the north, he and his staff are from the south and while the food is almost great, it's not spot on authentic. Still, I love their house made noodles, peking duck, dumplings, pancakes etc.
                    Hong Kong rotisserie: Hong Kong Eatery
                    Taiwanese: Taiwan Cafe
                    Cantonese: Best Little Restaurant
                    Bakeries: Bao Bao, Ho Yuen, Hing Shing,

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gini

                      I can't get enough Fuloon. Every time it is better than the last. They are very gracious hosts as well.