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Best Chinese food in Brookline?

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emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 07:30 AM

What are your favorites?

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  1. Luther RE: emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 07:51 AM

    The only decent (verily) Chinese restaurants in Brookline are Sichuan Garden and Shanghai Gate, and the latter is technically over the border in Allston.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Luther
      CoryKatherine RE: Luther Mar 12, 2009 08:26 AM

      My boyfriend really likes Dragon Wok on Harvard Ave, but that is also over the boarder into Allston

      1. re: CoryKatherine
        Luther RE: CoryKatherine Mar 12, 2009 11:08 AM

        lol wut

        1. re: Luther
          CoryKatherine RE: Luther Mar 13, 2009 01:33 PM

          haha funny, because he also loves that expression...

          I can't tell you. I don't really eat take-out Chinese. But he is very VERY particular about takeout (read: it has to be the best, worst, most americanized food you can imagine. he is not a gourmet guy). Anyway, I know he likes their lobster sauce. Take it or leave it.

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      TheWizard RE: emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 09:02 AM

      Chef Changs goes back a long time and used to be pretty good.
      Website is still there http://chefchangshouse.com/

      3 Replies
      1. re: TheWizard
        C. Hamster RE: TheWizard Mar 12, 2009 09:37 AM

        Sadly Chef Changs has gone downhill.

        Sometimes it can be good (as in my lunch on Tuesday, which was very good) and toehr times it can be just ok or sometimes pretty bad.

        Not as bad as Chef Chows, though. Ugggg. Last time we ordered lunch it was repulsive. We asked to take it to go and left without touching it.

        1. re: C. Hamster
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          SmugLump RE: C. Hamster Mar 12, 2009 10:12 AM

          Chef Chang's has gone downhill?? I haven't been threre in over a year but I have been a ton over the past 20 years and everytime it was always the best I'd ever had. It's tough to hear that it isn't what it used to be.

          1. re: SmugLump
            C. Hamster RE: SmugLump Mar 12, 2009 10:14 AM

            I've been eating there for 10 years more than you (YIKES) so it's sad to say, but yes.

            Though perhaps more inconsistent than anything else. I think Sue and Tony have trouble keeping chefs.

            Let's just say that you don't want to hit CC on a bad day.

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        Taralli RE: emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 10:04 AM

        Again, over the border in Allson, Jo Jo Tapei.

        -----
        JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
        103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

        1 Reply
        1. re: Taralli
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          SSqwerty RE: Taralli Mar 18, 2009 02:23 PM

          Second Jo Jo TaiPei. If you don't want the standard fare they have Cantonese listed under "other." And it's really GOOD Cantonese!

        2. alwayscooking RE: emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 10:17 AM

          Having eaten at most in Brookline, I'd say anywhere but . . .

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            lergnom RE: emmie31 Mar 12, 2009 11:39 AM

            Look, if you're talking more "real" Chinese food, the answers are above: Sichuan Garden in the Village, Shanghai Gate at Harvard & Comm Ave and JoJo Taipei a block farther into Allston. If you want more Americanized food, Chef Chang's can still do that, as can Golden Temple in Washington Sq. I'm sure other people have favorites for more Chinese-American food - which I don't eat much by choice myself - but it's important to note the difference between the more Chinese Chinese places and the more American Chinese ones.

            13 Replies
            1. re: lergnom
              BobB RE: lergnom Mar 12, 2009 12:56 PM

              To the Americanized Chinese list I would add Chef Chow's in Coolidge Corner. They're one of the few restaurants that has actually improved in recent years. I had heard they got a new chef in from China - I haven't verified that, but I will say that I now have little trouble getting them to spice their Szechuan dishes up to a level I find interesting.

              1. re: BobB
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                Andymayo99 RE: BobB Mar 12, 2009 12:59 PM

                Golden Temple on Beacon Street

                1. re: BobB
                  C. Hamster RE: BobB Mar 12, 2009 01:01 PM

                  I'm sorry, but I find much of their food horrifying. Inedible.

                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    BobB RE: C. Hamster Mar 12, 2009 01:13 PM

                    How long ago did you last eat there? As I say, they've improved recently. My wife loves the place (albeit partly for sentimental reasons) so we eat there from time to time. Even at their worst I've never found them horrifying or inedible, just bland.

                    Just noticed your post above - I've never been there for lunch, they might have a different lunch chef. Or you hit a day when the chef was out sick. Or you and I may simply have different definitions of horror. ;-)

                    1. re: BobB
                      C. Hamster RE: BobB Mar 18, 2009 10:06 AM

                      It was about 2 months ago. We ordered lunch. The hot and sour soup was fine, but when the entrees were placed in front of us we were absolutely disgusted. Gloppy, saucy, greasy and in one case frighteningly orange colored, like Tang. And it wasn't orange chicken or sweet and sour. I can't recall what it was but it was something that is traditionally spicy and in a type of brown sauce at other restaurants. It was ghastly.

                      The other was chicken and broccoli in garlic sauce. The "garlic" sauce was composed of a heavy hand of corn starch, water and soy sauce. It was gross.

                      We did actually eat one or two bites and decided we couldn't go on. We made up an excuse of having to leave unexpectedly and asked them to pack it to go.

                      Then we went to Chef Changs.

                      It was seriously the worst Chinese food I've encountered in a very, very long time.

                      Hopefully it was a glitch or something.

                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        BobB RE: C. Hamster Mar 18, 2009 12:44 PM

                        That does sound pretty awful, and not at all like what we're accustomed to getting there. Mid-winter, the chef could well have been out sick.

                        1. re: BobB
                          C. Hamster RE: BobB Mar 18, 2009 01:01 PM

                          Chef Changs has consistency issues and seems to have trouble keeping chefs. Maybe Chows does too....

                    2. re: C. Hamster
                      Bob MacAdoo RE: C. Hamster Mar 14, 2009 02:23 PM

                      In 2001, I attended an engagement party at Golden Temple with an Asian (Taiwanese) family. The highlights of the multi-course menu were the soy chicken, traditional peking duck, steamed fish (sea bass and mullet), minced crab and corn soup, and a cold beef appetizer. The food was simple, delicious and authentic.

                      The point is that Golden Temple was (in 2001) capable of serving up traditional dishes.

                      Methinks that they offer 'Americanized' fare because that's what the masses deamnd. Thank goodness, there is such a wide variety of options for us. Having spent time in upstate NY and Central OH, I know too well what it's like when there are NO options.

                      1. re: Bob MacAdoo
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                        lergnom RE: Bob MacAdoo Mar 18, 2009 03:04 PM

                        An oddity generally is that Chinese restaurants will turn out better food in banquet settings, while most restaurants turn out worse. I've had simply amazing food at Chef Chang's in a banquet setting, much better than anything I've had in the dining room. Same with other places.

                  2. re: lergnom
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                    El Guapo RE: lergnom Mar 12, 2009 01:07 PM

                    Isn't there a King Fung Garden now in Brookline that's gotten some praise here?

                    1. re: El Guapo
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                      lergnom RE: El Guapo Mar 12, 2009 02:07 PM

                      It's essentially a takeout place on Rt 9. I've never tried it.

                      1. re: lergnom
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                        drb RE: lergnom Mar 13, 2009 01:53 PM

                        Its pretty good. They do their Peking Duck but I think you need to give 24 hrs notice.

                      2. re: El Guapo
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                        L84Dinner RE: El Guapo Mar 14, 2009 02:48 PM

                        Yes - original owners who moved there from the Chinatown place. Same food - excellent peking duck - same 24 hour notice as before.

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                      emmie31 RE: emmie31 Mar 13, 2009 09:27 AM

                      Thanks everyone!

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                        kaohound RE: emmie31 Mar 14, 2009 09:30 AM

                        I live in Brookline and unfortunately, I think the options for Chinese food here are lacking (in stark contrast to Japanese, which is quite good in Brookline). Chef Chang's and Chef Chow's are too Americanized for my taste, and Sichuan Garden isn't particularly authetnic. The best options in the area are in Allston, as other people have pointed out. Try the Super 88 food court in Allston - my friends from Hong Kong eat there all the time and love it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kaohound
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                          lergnom RE: kaohound Mar 14, 2009 11:17 AM

                          Kantin, which is good, is not the same kind of Chinese food as Sichuan Garden.

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                          lizbomze RE: emmie31 Mar 14, 2009 02:40 PM

                          The food off of the "Chefs Specialties" section of the regular menu and the single page laminated Sichuan menu (you need to ask specifically for it) is often really good.

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