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Chinatown for 2

taterjane Mar 24, 2010 02:59 PM

I'm looking for a place in Chinatown to grab a relatively quick dinner (not more than an hour and a half) for 2 people before a show in the theater district tomorrow.

The problems I've always had with Chinese food at restaurants are:

1) I'm used to my parents ordering in Chinese. Thus, I have no idea how to order for myself as I don't speak Chinese and my parents were never able to tell me what the English names were for any of the dishes!

2) I'm used to eating family style. This means that unless I have at least 4 people in my group, I don't go out for Chinese food because it seems so boring to just order 2 dishes and not be able to pick from 5-6 dishes in all. Does anyone else have this problem? Maybe it's just me.

(Leftovers would be a bit tricky to handle, given we're heading straight to the theater after the meal.)

I also can't eat anything spicy.

Some places I thought of: Taiwan Cafe, Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant (have never been), Pho Pasteur (haven't been in a LONG time), Xinh Xinh (went once).

Any thoughts on how these would fit into my requirements and suggested dishes would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Xinh Xinh
7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant
63 Beach St, Boston, MA

Pho Pasteur Restaurant
682 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

  1. j
    jpfoodie1969 Apr 3, 2010 07:23 AM

    I highly recommend Xinh Xinh, a wonderful family owned Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown. It's become one of my favorites for its delicious food, great friendly service, and very reasonable prices. I have eaten there many times, and have introduced over 20 people to this place over the last couple years. In fact, I've had lunch there twice this week with friends. Also good for dinner before going to the theater. My favorite dishes include their fresh spring rolls, ginger scallion chicken, green mango salad, and chicken Pho (especially good on a chilly /rainy day), and never had anything I didn't like. The quality is excellent. They have many types of Pho, bun, and fruit shakes; and serve brown rice with dishes if you want. It's not fancy, but very nice and comfortable and the staff is very welcoming.

    Xinh Xinh
    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

    1. t
      taterjane Mar 24, 2010 08:48 PM

      Am perplexed by Winsor--does it do only dim sum, and dim sum all the time? I'm used to weekend lunch dim sum only...thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: taterjane
        joth68 Mar 25, 2010 06:48 AM

        It does dim sum to order all the time. Dishes that normally wouldn't be considered dim sum can also be found on the dim sum menu at a smaller size. For instance, the salt and pepper squid is probably half the size of the one at peach farm(at half the price).

      2. t
        taterjane Mar 24, 2010 03:34 PM

        Sigh, I was afraid I'd end up with noodle soup, which, though I love it, is where I often end up with a group of 2. :)

        I am not familiar with Windsor, but will look it up.

        Also like shabu shabu, but concerned about the timing issue.

        3 Replies
        1. re: taterjane
          Allstonian Mar 24, 2010 03:55 PM

          Windsor is a dim sum restaurant, but instead of cart service, you order from a menu and everything's prepared fresh to order.

          1. re: taterjane
            kobuta Mar 24, 2010 08:05 PM

            Does it have to be rice and various dishes? Why not order a plate of stir fried noodles (chow mein or chow fun) that will come with a variety of veggies and/or meat.? Or how about a rice plate with roast meat(s). Not sure if HK Eatery is done with their renovations, but some places will also offer the clay pot rice dishes which would work well for a small dinner.

            1. re: kobuta
              barleywino Mar 25, 2010 02:04 AM

              HK eatery is done with their renovations and i agree with Kobuta that it would be a good option (combo plate with several roast meats ("center cut "crispy skin pork etc), panfried noodles etc). Winsor does do non-dimsum items but it is less successful with those imo. It does dimsum all the time although as might be expected, quality is not quite as reliable in the evenings as at lunchtime. For a slightly different experience, Penang would be an option (some roti canai, some satay, coconut juice drunk from a coconut (when available), char kway teow etc). Or go to Jade Garden (slightly less divey than some places) and split an order of twin ginger scallion lobsters, maybe some "prime beef" with soft tofu over rice, pea leaves with garlic (dou miao) etc.

          2. y
            y2000k Mar 24, 2010 03:23 PM

            The #2 issue is difficult to tackle. Why not go to one of the Shabu places then?

            I like Great Taste, and the staff there speaks decent English. But issue # 2 is still there. When I dine there alone, I just stick with noodle soup. Their rice and stir-fry noodle dishes are so enormous that one dish is enough for 2 people.

            You can also go to Winsor and do dim sum only. That way, you can have several dishes.

            1. j
              joth68 Mar 24, 2010 03:23 PM

              Windsor Cafe could work. You could order several different items and not have it be too much food. I like to think of it as Chinese Tapas...haha

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