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Dec 1, 2008 05:52 PM

Chinese in Austin

I'm not sure how to describe the type of Chinese food I'm looking for in Austin. Some dishes with sliced fish with wasabi, items that are not drenched in sauce, not "old style" Chinese, some spice to the dishes, lots of veggies in the dishes, creative Chinese maybe?

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  1. Din Ho on 183 and Ohlen Road (near Target) has been the go-to place for most of the last 5-6 years, but I've been hearing some grumblings here about it.

    A place that used to be downtown, now (I'm assuming its still there) at a strip mall on 360 in Westlake, Pao's Mandarin House--outstanding Dim Sum, only place as good here as places in San Francisco. I'm a serious meat eater, but must attest that Pao's has some vegetarian dishes that are just amazing. My reco--go there at 11am on Sat or Sunday and definitely look at the Chinese menu which has translations.

    Note that both these places also has the American style Chinese (General Tso's Chicken, etc) just as places like Asti have pasta and pizza, they do this in order to stay afloat, but all three have really outstanding stuff for the adventurous eaters.

    3 Replies
    1. re: taliesin15

      Isn't Pao's on 620 in Lakeway? That's where I've always gone.

      1. re: austinfood

        That was the original location. Pao's is still open in Lakeway and still great!

        1. re: austinfood

          Pao's was "originally" downtown, on Brazos....

      2. I second Din Ho, and there's also First Chinese BBQ, as well as Pao's (our annual stop for traditional Chinese New Year Dinner). However, if you want authentic Sichwan (or is it Szechwan) go to Asia Cafe, inside Asia Market on 183/Anderson Mill area.

        1. sherry3,

          It sounds like you're not looking for traditional Chinese food at all but more like Asian fusion, maybe? Mars (now on South Congress) and Roy's (downtown) sound like they're more in the ballpark of what you want. I've only been to Mars a couple of times when they were by the UT campus; they had a fun atmosphere--deep red rooms, if I remember correctly--and the food wasn't bad.

          By the way, most "real" Chinese food is not "drenched in sauce"; that sounds like American Chinese food (like PF Chang's). The suggestions you've been given are among the best "real" Chinese food in the Austin area. They exhibit a fairly wide variety of cooking techniques including steaming, braising, roasting, baking, stir-frying, and deep-frying. They're not what I think you mean by "old style" Chinese. If you've never
          tried these sorts of dishes, give them a try. You might like them!

          2 Replies
            1. re: amykragan

              It merely moved. It's now at 1400 S. Congress, very close to Guero's.

          1. A great place for dim sum on Sundays is Tien Hong on N. Burnet. They open at 11, and that's the only time to get there -- arrive after 11:15 or 11:20, and you'll be facing longer and longer waits. They have great stuff -- I really like the rice cake when it's on (sometimes after a humid Saturday, it isn't quite as good). They have a zillion different steamed, boiled or fried dumplings, buns and so on, and boy, do they taste fresh! A dozen or more carts are circulating all the time.

            4 Replies
            1. re: senatus

              I thought Tien Hong had closed already. Is it still open?

              1. re: senatus

                Didn't they close back in August or sometime around there?

                1. re: senatus

                  They closed, back in July I think.