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ANY good Chinese in CT?

I have been upscale and downscale and in between and have still yet to find a Chinese restaurant in CT that makes fresh tasty food. emphasis on FRESH (i have never seen it or tasted it)

any suggestions welcome but I have probably been there

(maybe I am too fussy? i dont think so)

thanks

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  1. Village Gourmet, in the Cranberry section of Norwalk, I know of others who are equally "fussy" and they recomend it highly. I too enjoy their food, I just cannot say I am all that fussy when it comes to Chinese.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jillcooks

      It's not much more than a snack, but the Hong Kong Cafe, in Stratford, makes a fairly good peking duck "thing" (can't remember if they call it a puff, a roll, a pie or whatever, but it's the one on the appetizer section) what you get is basically a peking duck version of a small turnover (looks a bit like those mini spanakopita you can buy frozen) really good filling (just dont try and eat them cold, the pastry get tough then)

    2. lao sze chuan in milford has great food
      not the best atmosphere, but the food makes you forget

      http://www.laoszechuan.com/

      7 Replies
      1. re: goodbyeohio

        I would secon laoszechuan, and add Royal Palace in and House of Choa both in New Haven

        1. re: goodbyeohio

          goodbyeohio: Your link takes you to the home page of a restaurant in Chicago.

          1. re: FoodieJim

            click 'location and map', you'll see the address of the milford, ct location

            1. re: goodbyeohio

              How odd. There is no mention of the CT location anywhere in their site other than the "Location and Map" page. The Home page mentions two other branches (Downer's Grove and Palantine), and the News page mentions even more locations and openings. The Photos pop up has pictures of several different restaurants. But not Milford. I hope it isn't being treated like a poor step-child because the menu looks promising.

              1. re: FoodieJim

                i went a year or so ago and the menu was pretty adventurous, with standard options for the less-daring as well. everything was excellent. i just wish they had a little more attention to decor.

          2. re: goodbyeohio

            Wow, I've got to get to this place for something different. Rabbit, jellyfish, beef tendon, & grass carp listed on their menu. Hope they have all those wonderfully strange dishes at the Milford location.

            1. re: goodbyeohio

              Went to Lao Sze Chuan tonight on this board's recommendations. Really fabulous. Authentic and unusual dishes. For two Californians who know good Chinese, one of whom lived in China, this is the real deal. Tonight we ordered stuffed tofu crepe with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots, shrimp stuffed eggplant in oyster sauce, cumin flavored sliced beef, and stir fried spinach with garlic. All was excellent.

              We've tried Royal Palace in New Haven, Shangri-Lee in Cheshire, and others in the area, but Lao Sze Chuan was far and above these others.

              Our long hard search for good Chinese in CT is finally over. Thanks !

            2. Haven't been there in awhile, but Taste of China in Clinton used to be pretty good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DonShirer

                I think this is the restaurant that Faith Middleton raved about. We're going to try it next time the gang gets together for dinner.

              2. thanks for the suggestions! I used to live in the Cranberry section of norwalk-no longer tho (nice neighborhood)
                I will look out for these restaurants tyvm

                1. I got takeout from Hong Kong Cafe in Stratford - everything was very good. A place that has a killer atmosphere and decent food is:
                  Jani
                  187 Cherry St, Milford, CT
                  (203) 874-1199

                  1. How about Ching's Table in New Canaan.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jfood

                      I wouldn't call Ching's Table a Chinese restaurant. It's "pan-Asian" with a Thai emphasis. It's a good restaurant though!

                    2. Forbidden City in Middletown is very good, but a tad pricy. Not sure what you've seen or tasted, but it's good Chinese Fusion that you probably haven't seen elsewhere in the state.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: politico

                        Just ate at Forbidden City for lunch today. Food was really good and a little out of the ordinary, service was excellent, atmosphere way above the usual Chinese restaurant. Interesting desserts, too. A welcome surprise! If we lived closer we'd be there more often ---

                      2. My two suggestions would be:

                        Royal Palace in New Haven
                        http://www.ctmenusonline.com/royalpal...

                        Butterfly Chinese
                        831 Farmington Ave
                        West Hartford, CT 06119

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: EastRocker

                          I second Butterfly.

                          Also, China Pan in West Hartford - near the mall.

                          1. re: hypertomatoes

                            Definitely Butterfly. They have good lunch specials and the service is always fantastic.

                        2. Green Tea in Farmington was very good.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: krisrishere

                            We tried Green Tea last night. I agree, very good. Everything we tried was tasty, although the lo mein was a little bit greasy. The homemade fried veggie dumplings were especially good, way too many places using frozen these days.

                              1. re: ratbuddy

                                Thumbs up to Green Tea. Tried several in the WH area and this is one of the best.

                                -----
                                Green Tea Chinese Restaurant
                                1067 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06032

                            1. there is a dim sum place next to A dong market(a huge asian supermarket) in west hartford that was really good last time i was there. they had lot's of dumplings fried chicken feet, cuttlefish,stuff like that. after you eat go check out the market it's pretty cool

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: mrporkbelly

                                im pretty sure the place you're talking about has changed hands and is now a thai restaurant... still good IIRC but no dim sum.

                                1. re: goodbyeohio

                                  The Thai joint that opened in its place is terrible. (East West Grille is my favorite Thai in the area)

                                  1. re: Uncledave

                                    good to know i was thinking about heading up there for dim sum.

                              2. I like Great Taste in New Britain. Great food, atmosphere and sevice.

                                3 Replies
                                  1. re: hotwing

                                    We really like Great Taste in New Britain and Butterfly in West Hartford. Also decent is Cheng Du in West Hartford. They are the only ones to do a Boston style (brown) Lobster Sauce in the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

                                    1. re: fxm32151

                                      Looking forward to trying both of them. GT advertises ALOT on TV, proud of their "Best of CT" ratings over the years.

                                  2. There is an excellent place in Derby. Fortune Pavilion. It's dine in and takeout, is on 34 and is in the congested area of all of the shopping marts.

                                    1. Someone in another thread recommended this place in Milford :

                                      http://www.laoszechuan.com/index.htm

                                      Apparently it's quite authentic, right down to the kidneys, ears, stomachs, etc.

                                      1. I used to like East Cafe in Georgetown (Wilton/Redding area) on Route 7, but not lately. A recent order of Chicken with Cashew Nuts contained a ton of zucchini, in fact there was much more zucchini than either the chicken or the cashews.

                                        In these economic times, is anyone else noticing much more filler in Connecticut Chinese food?

                                        I'm not going to buy it much anymore. Not worth it. Zucchini is Italian anyway. For the record, unless the dish has "mixed vegetables" or a specific vegetable in its name, I don't think these vegetables should be the main ingredient. Yes, I am talking to you broccoli, green peppers, and tomatoes.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                          Wow, zucchini in Chinese food, that is BIZARRE!!! I would have sent it back.

                                          1. re: Bette

                                            That's as may be --- if you live in China. One of my favorite recipes, however, in my treasured tattered old Jim Lee cookbook if for Tender-Fried Zucchini. Jim Lee' Cookbook dates to 1968; we are talking about one of the pioneers of teachering Chinese cookery to Americans. (And a charming man he was, too.) There was a lot less fuss about authenticity then, and more emphasis on food that takes good, cooked according to Chinese techniques.
                                            In his interesting discussion of the recipe, he poses this question: "Is zucchini a squash, or is it a gourd?" He then concludes that it is actually a squash, and continues: "It's strange to note that the Chinese do not make distinctions between a gourd and a squash. The Chinese language is so exact... for the English word "uncle" there are three different words which must be used properly" and he goes on: "This complexity also goes for aunts, cousins, and a myriad of other things. Yet the Chinese call melons, squashes, and gourds by one name only." He concludes:
                                            "If you ask the question, 'What is a zucchini?' and find no answer among your literate guests, tell them smugly that it is a 'kwa'." And so he calls his recipe Chow Kwa.
                                            It is, by the way, a vegetarian dish, complete on his own. (It involves black beans, which puts it automatically on my DO's hit parade.)
                                            As for more or less "filler" in Chinese food in these hard times, that's pretty much of a non-question, isn't it? I have a different perspective from you Nutmeggers, who have the luxury of lots of good Chinese restaurants to debate about and choose among. We in the wilds of western MA have little to choose among, and the bar is set pretty low. We either do without, or I cook it myself. Thanks to the ghost of Jim Lee, that's okay. Including my Chow Kwa.

                                            1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                              I was being a wee bit tongue in cheek about the veggies that are on my bad boy list...and yes Mr. Broccoli you lead the pack.

                                              That said, I have no argument with the veggies per se.

                                              But I strongly object to dishes that call themselves "Chicken with Cashew Nuts," when the predominant ingredient is zucchini. Yuck. It's my money and I want chicken, cashew nuts, sauce and maybe a little pepper, onions, and celery...

                                              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                actually now that it think about it so called "hairy gourd" (mao gwa or something like that) has a texture and flavor eerily similar to zucchini, especially when cooked. The same goes for green luffa, smooth or angled (at least the same goes for angled if you remembered to peel it first!) I always just assumed that all of the zucchini was just an inexpesive substitute especially in areas that would not have access to the real vegetables (I dont think I've seen either outside of Chinatown, or at least outside of an asian supermarket.) It a bit like using proscuitto when I'm making basic stock (more or less a quick and dirty version of Superior Broth) since real Yunnan ham (or better, Chin Hwa ham) is hard to impossible to obtain.

                                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                  Speaking of the low bar in these parts, I once ordered zucchini as part of a build your own veggie stirfry from a Northampton Chinese restaurant that will go unnamed -- except they DID deliver which was nice. Anyway, the first bite seemed a little strange, and I realized that someone had put *sliced cucumber* in the stirfry instead of zucchini. NOT a pleasant taste or texture. That was the last time I asked for zucchini. :)

                                                  1. re: hollerhither

                                                    I totally understand that anything can be unpleasant if you're not expecting it.

                                                    If you should encounter zucchini / cucumber in Chinese food again:

                                                    For most of the Chinese population, vegetables are vastly more affordable than meat, and meat is used as a vehicle for seasoning rather than a provider of mass / volume.

                                                    Because of this, Chinese families stir-fry together slivers of meat with zucchini / cucumber all the time -- this style of cooking is sometimes exhibited in the restaurants run by northern Chinese immigrants in Flushing that serve 'peasant (homestyle) Chinese food. '

                                                    Thus, you could consider your experience as authentic as a great preparation of Peking Duck or platter of dumplings, except that your zucchini experience is one shared by many more people.

                                                    (and remember where pasta comes from? China, via Marco Polo. fusion is a good thing.)

                                                    To stay on topic: I add my +1 to Lao Sze Chuan. The manager will sometimes bring out little bowls of sweetened fermented-something, on the house.

                                            2. Do not miss Taste Of China in Clinton. Clearly one of the best Chinese restos that I have been to. Absolutely GREAT Szechuan food.

                                              -----
                                              Taste of China
                                              233 E Main St, Clinton, CT 06413

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Alfred G

                                                Ditto Taste of China! What a revelation on the Shoreline! We had no idea what to expect and were blown away. The appetizers are more inventive than the entree we ordered, but the entire menu was dramatically different than your run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant (note: this applies to the dining room menu only, not the take-out menu). Great beer and wine list focusing on Belgian beers and a wide range of varietals. Elegant dining room. Can't wait to go back.

                                                We are also fans of Royal Palace in New Haven. Order from their "authentic" menu; get the Water Beef or Water Fish and the sauteed snow pea leaves. Lovely.

                                                1. re: Alfred G

                                                  +1 for Taste of China. Our favorite in the area.

                                                2. I agree with the other posters about Great Taste in New Britain. I didn't see anyone mention Char Koon in South Glastonbury. It's tiny, but the food is fresh and delicious. I'm particularly fond of their hot and sour soup and their spicy dumplings in peanut sauce. They're related to the Forbidden City folks in Middletown.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    Char Koon is excellent. The restaurant is small inside, but the food is worth the cramped seating.

                                                  2. Went to Lao Sze Chuan in Milford yesterday for lunch, and found it fabulous! Specially recommend the stuffed tofu with black mushroom and bamboo shoots (cold appetizer), and prawns with bok choy and mushrooms in oyster sauce. Dan Dan noodles, mild!, were plenty spicy for us. For people who are more adventurous and iron-palated, this is your opportunity. Ox tongue, beef tendon, mushrooms with frogs, lots and lots of spiciness. Mostly Asian clientele as well. New York Times gave an extensive and good review to them. BTW, any confusion here about websites is becuz they are third (or fourth?0) addition to a "family" of Lao Sze Chuan, the other members of which are in ----- Chicago! Where there is also phenomenal Mexican. For us, in the otherwise wonderful Berkshires, the lack of decent Chinese food contributed to our feeling of dining in Seventh Heaven.
                                                    (People who quibble about atmosphere ---hey, it's clean and it's bright, and the welcome is warm. That's pretty good atmosphere for the category!)

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                      My vote goes to Great Taste in New Britain. Excellent food. Excellent Service. Fair prices.

                                                      1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                        All of us at the Never Miss a Meal Club give Lao Sze Chuan 10 big thumbs up. Maybe the best Chinese place in Ct.

                                                        1. re: chefstu

                                                          chefstu, could you recommend a couple of dishes for our next time? (We're already planning a return visit southward ;-) We are a little adventurous, but not immensely so ---and it sounds like you really know the menu.

                                                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                            Hi, Tsarina
                                                            We had lunch there yesterday, food was great as always. Here are some of the dishes that I would recommend:
                                                            Hot and sour seafood soup, not spicy but very tasty,
                                                            Ox tongue and Tripe with hot pepper sauce, spicy and my fav.
                                                            Sliced beef tendon in wild pepper sauce, spicy also great
                                                            Dan dan noodles, very good
                                                            Steam buns
                                                            Cumin Lamb with onion, spicy, another fav.
                                                            Fried tofu with General Tso sauce, tofu was crunchy, really great
                                                            wok roasted prawns, order them spicy shell on, wonderful
                                                            Hot Pot
                                                            These are a few of my favorite things.

                                                            1. re: chefstu

                                                              Thanks much, chef stu --- items now a stickie on my desktop, and another trip south a gleam in my eye. Hungrily, the Tsarina.

                                                      2. Beijing in Southington has the best Chinese food!!! Their General Tso's chicken is top notch

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Foodgirl29

                                                          I recently tried "iron Chef" a small, mainly takeout place in West Haven, Campbell Ave near the Post Rd. The twice cooked pork was amongst the best I have had, very clean. I also like Lao Sze Chuan and Royal Palace

                                                        2. I nominate Bamboo Garden in Windsor on Day Hill Road. It's only a mile or so off I-91. I've been to Great Taste and Butterfly and I like this place better. It's kind of a weird location as Day Hill Road is an industrial park. But it's open everyday, a hidden treasure.

                                                          1. Based on tips here, we recently tried Lao Sze Chuan in Milford and loved it (thanks!). Also enjoyed Clinton's Taste of China, but some dishes are more outstanding than others (their Chengdu dumplings come to mind as does a specialty duck dish we ate). We tried to get there on Saturday night, which was a big mistake. Couldn't even park and had already driven 35 minutes to get there. So, in desperation, we tried a new place--Samurai in Old Saybrook (formerly a sushi/hibachi place that changed hands twice -?- since summer '08). Samurai bills itself as "Asian fusion" which I'll interpret as your ability to choose from Japanese/sushi/hibachi, Thai and Chinese dishes under one roof. Not bad! Hot and sour soup was as good as I recall it being in some of my favorite spots. I finally got to try chicken in black bean sauce and liked it a lot. The only funny thing here was I had specifically asked what vegetables were in the dish and was pleased to hear there were "lots of mixed vegetables" including "red and green bell peppers." Great! Just what I like. The dish arrived with "lots of mixed vegetables" as promised, including zucchini, marinated broccoli stem (mmmm!), water chestnuts, broccoli, shoot, a whole garden was in there, but no green or red peppers. Regardless, the dish was quite flavorful and I really enjoyed the saltiness the black beans added. Also, the one roll we ordered was also not as the menu described (spicy tuna inside and outside, said the menu)...but tasty just the same. It had tempura crab on the inside. The warm inside/cold outside was a nice touch. Very friendly service and nice not to have to stalk spaces in the parking lot...it wasn't crowded and there was plenty of room to park and to dine. We'll try Samurai again soon.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              my favorite is schezuan tokyo in west hartford on new britain avenue..small bar, excellent niblets and a bartender that will be more than happy to drink jameson shots with you all night!

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                Lunch yesterday at Clinton's Taste of China. Having not been to ToC since the above post, it was nice to be back.

                                                                Our luncheon specials were great. I had kung pao beef. My guy had some sort of Mandarin combo with beef and shrimp (and something) with mixed vegetables. Each came with choice of spring roll or egg roll, and choice of soup and rice...we both had hot and sour (EXCELLENT, and yeah, it's even better than Samurai). The spring rolls were somewhat greasy, but otherwise tasty. Several other Asian diners appeared to be eating from a special menu since they had family-style plates while we were presented with the "regular" luncheon specials menu. Not a complaint--merely an observation. I might also add I was curious about the "other" menu and asked for a glance of it once, only to find it wasn't written in English. :)

                                                                Service was OK enough--nothing to rave over, but the food was delicious. My top fave for Chinese in CT is still Lao Sze Chuan. For two and three, my love and loyalties are divided between Samurai and Clinton's Taste of China. I've never had a bad meal at Samurai and the owner almost always checks in to see how everything is. He is very welcoming. I have had some less than stellar offerings at ToC, but the majority of their great dishes outweigh the not-so-great.

                                                              2. Taste of China in Clinton is very good. Interesting menu and a fabulous selection of BEER!!

                                                                1. Just had an amazing experience at Great Wall in New Haven (67 Whitney Avenue
                                                                  New Haven, CT 06510 203) 777-8886). 8 of us went and had dim sum and szechuan hot pot. They have special tables with built in heaters for the hot pot and a buffet of raw items to choose from ($20). They also have an interesting selection of dim sum. They also have a full menu with a lot of unusual items, but i have not delved into that yet.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: EastRocker

                                                                    I really like Great Wall too. They seem to have, if not everything, then at least more things than you can try in a lifetime. And it feels more like a big city restaurant than anything we have in New Haven.

                                                                  2. Hao Si Chuan
                                                                    1049 Boston Post Road, West Haven, 203-934-8800.

                                                                    didn't go myself, but tried some dishes that a friend brought back. definitely not standard american-chinese fair. the soup dumplings were amazing, the smoked tea duck was good and some of the other szechuan items were insanely hot but delicious. unfortunately i don't know the names of most of the things i tried but they were all new and interesting flavors.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: EastRocker

                                                                      Soup dumplings? Oh, I am certainly going to have to go and try those.

                                                                      1. re: Pipenta

                                                                        The Pork soup dumplings are awesome, as good as any I've had in NY. We've had mixed reviews on the pork and shrimp dumplings so I stick to the pork. Another think to try( not on the menu) is a Crispy Shrimp dish that the chef makes, it was 10 thumbs up. My fav is the tripe and tongue.

                                                                        1. re: chefstu

                                                                          I ran right out there for the soup dumplings. I had the pork. Didn't see any other kind on the menu.

                                                                          They were so succulent, so savory, so delicious. They made me so happy. Next time I go, I need to bring strong friends to hold me back, else I will keep ordering them and keep eating them until I explode.

                                                                          You know, if I keep reading these boards, I'm going to end up with a shape like a watermelon.

                                                                    2. Treat yourself to Meadow in Simsbury. Best Chinese/Asian food in the state.

                                                                      1. Feng is good. Also, we used to frequently dine at Ching's Table in New Canaan. It was very good, also. They owned another restaurant in Ridgefield, but didn't like as much as the one in New Canaan.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                                                                          Thought I'd add to an old but worthy thread. New Chinese Restaurant I came across (been open for a couple of months I think): Peking Duck House in Orange (500 Boston Post, 203-891-9888).

                                                                          Obviously, their specialty is Peking Duck, but they are the most Chinatown restaurant I've come across in CT (the good food, not the bathroom). Prices good, portions large, and they even stopped me from ordering too much as they were confident I ordered enough food already! Definitely give them a try; I'm hoping they stay in business as its a new favorite!

                                                                          Definitely try the dumplings, plain and spicy schezuan sauce. The Peking duck is the best you'll get in CT and they stir fry a "free" duck dish with the left over duck after you have had the pancakes and crispy part.

                                                                          1. re: allenlh

                                                                            Nice to know--and while we're trading info, I'll add that Great Taste in New Britain does the same thing with their Peking Duck...serves first with pancakes, then as a delicious stir-fry. I haven't had it in years, but remember it fondly.

                                                                        2. Tried Peking Duck House in Orange, CT last night and it was outstanding. Best Chinese I've had in CT. Very comparable to food in Chinatown, NY. It is a relatively small, very modest restaurant. Probably does a fair bit of takeout and local traffice - but the food is outstanding. I love Peking Duck and the Peking Duck compared very favorably to the Peking Duck I've had many times at Peking Duck House in NYC. They have a 1/2 duck option which works very well for 2-4 people, and the 2nd duck course that comes wsith the order is also delicious. All of the food we had was fresh and delicious. I would specifically recommend the Chicken Soong - which again I found better than I've had many other places and is one of my favorite dishes, and the Spinach is Garlic Sauce which was delicious and a nice contrast to other tastes we had for dinner. Relatively new restaurant so they don't have a liquor license yet. Call and check but if they still do not you can BYOB. Outstanding.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ctfoodguy

                                                                              Well, he said Orange, CT, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess it's in Orange, CT. I bet Google even has it on the map..

                                                                            2. re: pajacobs86

                                                                              thanks for your report - I've been wondering if it was any good - now I'll try it.

                                                                              1. re: pajacobs86

                                                                                Really?? I tried that place end of December and the food was greasy and sub-par and the staff couldn't speak English enough to tell me when the food would be ready.

                                                                              2. China Pavillion is pretty good for sit down. For take out, I highly recommend Hong Kong in Milford. Just really terrific basics. Everything I've tried is spot on good. Prices are reasonable. or spend the money, take the train to NYC, hit Chinatown and go to Wo Hop, never a bad meal there in 25 years.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                China Pavillion
                                                                                374 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

                                                                                1. Penang in Greenwich. The absolute FRESHEST and most innovative vegetables are used in their preparations. Reasonable, cozy, and BYO. Best in FFD County!!

                                                                                  55 Lewis Street
                                                                                  Greenwich, Ct. 06830

                                                                                  1. For sit-down, I love Shanghai Gourmet in Orange--great fresh veggies, large shrimp. Try the mongolian beef. I too love Hong Kong in Milford for takeout.
                                                                                    And of course Lao Sze Chuan if you can get a table for authentic chinese.

                                                                                    1. Try Kong Foo at Norwich it's leagues better than the other run-of-the-mill chinese food you find in CT.

                                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/kong-foo-vege...

                                                                                      1. If you enjoy Dim Sum try the Golden Palace on Rt. 32 in Uncasville. Great!!!