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Jun 20, 2010 06:11 PM

Sunshine Oriental Restaurant - Dim Sum in Concord NH

We went to check out Sunshine, formerly Fusion, on Loudon Road upon hearing that they offered dim sum - not bad, not great, but definitely closer than driving to Bedford or Manchester's North/South Gardens. About a 20 item standard selection, ordered a la carte, not on a cart.

More traditional dinner items also on the menu...

Super nice owners, really trying hard - please go check them out!

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  1. thanks for the heads up. I only stopped at Fusion a couple of times because it ended up seeming to be just another Chinese food take-out place. I haven't seen any mention of a change so I hope they do some advertising.

    1. I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted a sign advertising dim sum in Concord. My wife and I popped in for lunch and we were VERY pleasantly surprised. It's certainly not life changing dim sum, but it's solid standard fare stuff, and it's IN CONCORD!! The owners and wait staff were extremely friendly, and they're super excited to share authentic cantonese food with the locals. They've got Americanized Chinese food for the slow kids, but the chef's menu features a bunch of real Cantonese stuff that I'm dying to try on multiple return visits. A bunch of new hot pot meals we're written out on a marker board and the waitress was really enthusiastic about describing each of them. I REALLY hope this place makes it, because it fills one of the many huge holes in the Concord food scene. Eat there! Now!

      3 Replies
      1. re: crowdingthepan

        My wife and I returned to venture beyond the dim sum menu yesterday and we were rewarded with some very good food. We ordered scallion pancakes (not breaking any new culinary ground there), Singapore rice noodles, and a salted fish, chicken and eggplant hot pot. Good, great and great.

        1. re: crowdingthepan

          Another quick Saturday lunch @ Sunshine Oriental, and another bang up meal in my hometown. Turnip cakes, salted spicy shrimp w/ heads, onion and chicken gizzards, and a very respectable salted fish and Chinese sausage fried rice that wasn't (Hallelujah) turned brown from overapplication of soy sauce:

          1. re: crowdingthepan

            you should try their salted fish fried rice next.. quite nice..
            thanks for the great pics.. Im getting hungry again..

      2. We tried it last week. I worked late so spouse brought it home. I wasn't as impressed as I was hoping. The char siu bao BBQ pork bun seemed like a frozen one, I could be wrong but having lived in China I can pretty much tell homemade buns. The luo bo gao panfried turnip cake was good. We also shared did Ginger chicken which is usually one of the few edible things for me at Chinese restaurants in NH since it has the dry fried string beans and Ginger means the sauce won't be too damn sweet & bland. It was awful, sweet sauce with chunks of pineapple, the string beans weren't dry fried properly. I'll go back & try more things since usually you have to figure out which dishes are edible at which joints. Sounds like owners are eager to please so hopefully can convince them we don't all want sweet glop. A new place I like A LOT is Asian Breeze in Hooksett. They have a separate 'special menu' with better dishes (original Chinese food not Chinese American). It is really good. I will do a separate post about that place soon.
        A new

        Asian Breeze
        1328 Hooksett Rd Ste 41, Hooksett, NH 03106

        6 Replies
        1. re: starvinginNH

          I agree that the Dim Sum isn't mind blowing (The shiny skin on the Char Shui Bao had me thinking frozen, too). It isn't as good as Dim Sum in Boston, which isn't as good as it is in New York, which isn't as good as it is in San Francisco, which isn't as good as it is in Toronto, which isn't as good as it is in Hong get the idea. But, I'm really enthusiastic about authentic Chinese food finding its' way to Concord. The waitress I talked to indicated that if I want a sample of what they do best,I should stick to the chef's specials, and the specials on the marker board. I'm planning a dinner visit in the next couple of days and I'll report my findings. Also, after a little research, I discovered that the Sunshine Oriental menu is almost identical to the menus at North Garden in Goffstown, and South Garden in Merrimack. Is Asian Breeze Cantonese, too? I'd kill for a conveniently located authentic Sichuan spot.

          1. re: crowdingthepan

            By far the best Sichuan place is a lil bit south in Billerica Ma. - you will read wonderful things from people who actually come up from Boston. I'm addicted to Sichuan Gourmet on Rt.3A. We travel up and down from Boston to the Lakes Region for great food - this place is realllly special. My favorite dishes keep growing - making it tough to go just hubby and I - we need to take people so we order all that we love: dan dan noodles, wontons in chili sauce, xing la fish are our top three addictions but honestly everything is outstanding. Do try it someday!!

            You'll see lots of threads on the Boston Board!

            1. re: lexpatti

              I've had number of good, ma la heavy dishes at Fuloon in Malden and Sichuan Garden 2 in Waltham, but I haven't been to Sichuan Gourmet, yet. I've heard great things, though. I live in Concord (NH) and I'm praying for better food that I can grab on a busy weeknight. Even if it's not the greatest Cantonese food on earth, I'm hoping that singing the praises of places like Sunshine Oriental will encourage people to eat well and demand better and more authentic food from local restaurants. Maybe I'm too optimistic!?!?

              1. re: crowdingthepan

                I lived in Concord for years, and always bummed that "great" restaurants just don't make it there. :-( too bad, it's such a great town.

                1. re: lexpatti

                  We went to Sunshine Oriental Restaurant last night on the recommendation of a colleague who lived in China for four years. My dining companions also have traveled to China. We LOVED it! Thought the food was absolutely wonderful. The panfried turnip cakes and sticky rice (wrapped in lotus leaves) dim sum were amazing. The wife of the couple that owns the place waited on us and was very pleased to answer questions and discuss where various recipes and cooking styles were from. She recommended ordering from the Chef Specialties menu or the daily whiteboard specials as those are more native recipes. They do have orange chicken and all the "NH Traditional" dishes one typically sees, but they take particularl pride in the Specialty menu and dim sum. We are going back tonight with my family!

          2. re: starvinginNH

            We ate there again with friends recently Sat am and I was very pleased. The rice congee was great, got you tiao cruller sticks too. Varied dumplings were tasty, got a pork bun that was homemade, filling was different than typical Cha xiu bao. Garlic stir fried greens good. The specials looked good, need to go at dinner. Yay!

          3. We LOVE the food at this restaurant! It's great that Concord has Dim Sum, and it's available every day! The other menu items are tasty and reasonably priced. We have recommended this restaurant to many friends and look forward to going again soon.

            1. I've eaten there about six times in the past three weeks or so--dim sum every time, and looking forward to trying the specialties. Lived in China for 4 years, Taiwan for a year, know something about Chinese food, but don't know Cantonese food well. Have dim sum experience in Hong Kong, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Vancouver. People are right when they say that Sunshine's dim sum isn't the best ever, but different items are way better than plenty of disappointments in cities where you'd expect better. Piping hot right out of the kitchen gives especially the fried things an edge over anything making its way around to you on a trolley. Turnip cake/luobo gao (though people's preferences on this vary) I find to be good--better than many a disappointing luobo gao. Not panfried, I think, but deep fried, which gives it a lovely crisp all around the outside. If you ask for hoisin sauce, they'll bring it. The nuomiji--sticky rice--is very good. The yujiao--what they're calling fried taro turnovers--are very good, better than those off the cart, if just a trifle oily tasting--but don't neglect to order this! The xiajiao--shrimp dumplings--have ranged from great to good; they seem to be getting smaller, less juicy. The bao--I don't think they're frozen. I asked, and was told they make everything themselves. Also, I've bought a few packs of frozen chashao bao in my day, and never had one with that particular filling--the meat in cubes instead of shreds, that particular flavoring, that lack of red dye. As for the chicken claws, I've had better. The fupijuan--dofu sheet wrapped around shrimp filling--is really, really good, better than Chao Chow City's in Boston. The ganchao niuhe--beef chow foon--was pretty good, a bit greasy, add some vinegar--they've got white vinegar. I'm not even sure I want to tell you this--because I want to be able to get a table when I go--but they're having a dim sum sale until December something 2010, a dollar off each and every item. They open at 11:30 on Sundays. I also ordered jielan once--Chinese broccoli--and it was very well made.

              This is a family place. Tina (Qiuxia) is the friendly host, sometimes helped in front by her sister-in-law; her husband and father-in-law do the cooking--and they're good cooks. There are regulars, including a retired NH restaurateur who has been giving advice. I think they're very open to advice and suggestions, so all these ideas here about what we'd like to see....I for one plan to bring them up. I too would love some real Sichuan. I'll try some of the Sichuan dishes on the menu (eventually) and make suggestions. In fact--I think I'll suggest a suggestion box!

              I think I've about filled my dim sum deficit and will soon be trying specialties off the white board. Will report back. Meanwhile, this is a restaurant that really deserves to succeed.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mafan

                I made a quick stop for simple take out last night choosing two things off the dim sum list. It will probably be forever before I get to Boston again. I got the pork barbecue buns and turnip cake. Everything was blazing hot so I ended up not being able to eat the turnip cakes until 2 hours later after a meeting. Not sure I liked the taste but the crispy part was nice. The buns are smaller than I expected but 3 for the price was still decent. I liked the taste of the filling but there were a couple of gristle-y pieces. I love the flavor of the dough and will definitely try all their steamed buns. I plan to work thru their dim sum menu but really would like to try some of the chef's specialities. Definitely some items I didn't expect to see in Concord.

                The place is small and except for a few decorations could be any kind of fast food place - tiled floor, inexpensive tables, order counter but everyone was very friendly. I sat near the counter while I waited for my takeout order. One of the ladies came over and offered me a cup of cold water. It was very thoughtful and something that would never happen in a fast food place.

                I'm glad I kept the paper menu so I can put a star next to all your recommendations.

                Maybe it would help their chances of success if someone like you who is knowledgeable about some of the unusual menu items would explain them. Do I dare try something made with squid ... well, why not, I eat fried clams and scallops. Do I dare try pork intestines? I eat sausages, are they similar?

                We haven't been visiting Chinese restaurants in the Concord area lately. Their menus never change and some of it lacks flavor. I hope Sunshine Oriental is successful.