Yi Palace in Wilmington
I just noticed an advertisement for Yi Palace in Wilmington claiming to have 'authentic' Chinese food. Anyone been there and if so how was it? I'm not even sure where it is. Thanks.
Just asked my former colleague who works across the street: her answer was "not so authentic." Given that the menu on their website includes such authentic Chinese dishes as Crab Rangoon and Shrimp with Mayonnaise and Honey Walnuts, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. There were also some dishes on there that looked interesting and more authentic, though, so maybe if you order carefully you can get a decent meal. I think I'd stick to Dumpling House.
I don't know about "authentic" as I have never had access to really great Chinese food. But, I was there last night and both of the dishes that I sampled were really good. We had Chinese Bacon with Snow Peas and Hong Kong Bay Shrimp, both found on the Chef's Recommendations menu. The Shrimp were coated with a light cornstarch coating and fried and sauteed with crispy rice noodles and a few veggies. They were well seasoned and still moist on the inside. The outside nicely crisp and not heavily coated. The pork belly had been obviously cooked as a slab and them was sliced really thin, and sauteed with the snow peas and some scallions. It was a little sweet and smokey and really delishious. Service was very good as well.
There were a few of more adventorous or :authentic" items I saw on the menu, like tripe and tendons as well. I did not ask if there was a "Chinese" menu.
Having eaten at The Dumpling House (small menu but will return,) The Crownery (only OK but should return,) Szechuan Restaurant (very limited “authentic” menu) and Takumi (despite what Eric Ruth says, this place is not a fusion restaurant) Yi Palace is so far as good as it gets in Wilmington for decent Chinese fare. For starters they do not offer any dreadful, American-Chinese deep fried all-you-can-eat buffet (like Szechuan Restaurant.) Be sure to look for the 2-3 (or more) daily house specials listed when you enter. Over the course of several visits the best dishes I’ve had are:
Quick Fried Cucumbers – served cold with lots of garlic and dried red chili peppers. Excellent.
Chinese Bacon with Hot Peppers (辣炒辣 – La4 Chao3 La4) This was a house special and was delicious. Sliced bacon, red and green peppers, onions, scallions and hot peppers.
Shredded Duck with Ginger – very light dish. Yum yum…
Hot and Sour Mung Beans – here ground mung beans are turned into cellophane noodles and served in a mildly spicy sauce with peanuts and greens.
Shredded Potatoes with Vinegar – a classic Sichuan dish. Fair rendition.
Fried Tofu – dipped (in cornstarch?) and then deep-fried. Decent appetizer and helps to balance the heat.
Mongolian Beef – simply prepared with onions and scallions.
Cumin Lamb – (no photo) but here it is served “wet” not “dry.” Both spicy and tasty.
Sliced Chicken with Hoisin Sauce and Shrimp with Cashews leaned closer to American-Chinese fare: they both pretty much tasted the same.
For a slide show:
in the Concord Square Shopping Center
4435 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
I noticed your photo albums are amost all NYC spots with a couple Delaware places like this thrown in. Have you been to Philadelphia Chinatown? I think you would enjoy the Kung po chicken at four rivers. Peanuts, scallion chunks, spicy red sauce and sautéed chicken. Looks exactly like all the Kung Po pictures you have from NYC places. I agree Yi palace is the best there is in wilmington although I prefer Szechuan's dry hot pepper chicken more even though it is a little bit more oily they use actual mala which I never get from Yi.
I have had rather bi-polar experiences at Takumi. Albeit I have only gotten sushi from there. With the exception being scallion pancakes which were good but only served with plain soy sauce. What have you had Chinese food wise that you really liked from there?
I recently got the Chinese Bacon with hot pepper and Fish Stew from Yi Palace. The fish was good but it contained many "hard" pieces of vegetables that kept throwing me off. Although, as you can see there was a dusting of Szechuan peppercorn which is always appreciated :).
The real surprise was the Chinese Bacon dish. I thought it was great. Totally unexpected smokey bacon flavor permeated the entire dish but was not overwhelming. And the okra(?) and thin slices of pepper were fresh and crisp which was a great balance with the soft chewy Bacon. I have never tasted a dish like this before in Chinese cuisine and am really glad I tried it! All because of your picture of it so thank you.
As you can see my version did not have the red peppers in it at all. I was fine with that though.