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Mar 12, 2009 07:30 AM

Best Chinese food in Brookline?

What are your favorites?

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  1. 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

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

        1. re: Luther

          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.

    2. Chef Changs goes back a long time and used to be pretty good.
      Website is still there

      3 Replies
      1. re: TheWizard

        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

          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

            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.

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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Taralli

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

          1. 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

              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

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

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                    2. re: C. Hamster

                      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

                        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

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

                    1. re: El Guapo

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

                      1. re: lergnom

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

                      2. re: El Guapo

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