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Halifax: Chinese Food

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Newbies to Halifax, we are looking for a good source of Chinese food...by which I mean the old-fashioned kind (I realize this is not very `foodie`, but its what I like.) Sweet and sour, honey garlic ribs, egg foo yung, good egg rolls...you get the picture.

My husband is more adventuresome and is looking for Szechuan food.

We did try China Town (in a little gulley off the Bedford Highway) but that was really not very good and, frankly, a bit grubby.

We realize we may not be able to get both styles of food well done at the same place. We are prepared to take-out if that is necessary, but an eat-in place that satisfied both needs would be ideal.

Driving distance is no object!

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  1. Your husband should check out the Hungry Chili on Blowers Street in Halifax for great Szechuan -- but he should do it soon, as they are apparently closing at the end of the month and don't have a new location planned at this point.

    For places that might do something you would both enjoy - perhaps Fan's in Dartmouth, or King Wah or Cheelin in Halifax. It's been awhile since I've been to any of these three but they are all places that I've heard people with a range of tastes speak highly about in the past.

    3 Replies
    1. re: parleek

      I second the Cheelin recommendation. I've heard that they happen to be the restaurant that can claim to be the biggest user of farmers' market goods in the city, which is a little bonus on top of the fact that the food is pretty darn good. And definitely(!) try to hit the Hungry Chili before it closes.

      Jean's Chinese in Halifax is a good junk foody Chinese place. They have huge portions and good prices. New Asia and Silver Dragon also have their fans, but I can't say I've eaten at either. (And I think people maybe only think New Asia is good because North China, which was there beforehand, was great. I could be wrong, though.) And there's also Robie Foods, which has a sort of cult following. It's a greasy spoon Chinese joint that has great prices. I haven't been in a while, but have a little soft spot in my heart for it.

      I've heard a lot of people rave about HK Wong's in Dartmouth, too, but I was kind of underwhelmed when I went. Could have been an off night, though.

      1. re: MB.

        Never experienced Cheelin's food, but have heard before from others that it is good.

        Silver Dragon is the same kind of ambience as Robie foods (situated a couple bloks from each other on Robie St., between Young St. and North St.). Reasonable prices and acceptible fare, but if you found China Town grubby, I wouldn't recommend you eat in.

        I usually enjoy the food from Great Wall, on Bedford Row. King's Palace on Quinpool is OK - I mostly like to go there for the over-the-top ceiling tiles and weird low-rise international-style building.

        1. re: eastcoastal

          Great Wall (Dresden Row) and Fan's (Dartmouth) are two of my favourites as well.

          For Szechuan, head further down the Bedford Highway to the Szechuan Restaurant (980 Bedford Highway). The decor is non-existant but the food is fantastic.

    2. Ahh, China Town, with the lights glittering off the harbour...

      It's really too bad that Halifax's good old tiki palace has gone downhill so. I remember practically growing up in the place. (Periodically of course!) The owner was ALWAYS there. A personal dedication that is a far cry from the corporate dives of today, with their "managers" who change like your socks.

      A bastion of pu-pu platters and bo-bo balls... Egg rolls and chow mein.

      For a young Nova Scotia kid in the eighties, it was like going to another planet, all bamboo and umbrellas in the drinks and such. I loved it.

      It really was great at one time, in all its inauthentic glory!

      Singapore Sling please!

      8 Replies
      1. re: seemac70

        It is true!!! I worked at Chinatown while going to high school. It had just undergone a huge renovation and was the last word in PuPu platter chic. And, yes, it had a Tiki lounge!!! (Complete with bamboo framed dance floor!)
        It is definitely a part of my childhood that I will never forget! (Homemade eggrolls too! there was 1 lady that made them, that's all she did!!!)

        1. re: troutpoint

          The egg rolls were the best!

          Still my favourite ever. Probably, they are still good, even with the decline.

          1. re: seemac70

            If you think they were the best go back to the sixties to The Polynesian Village (who remembers that one!) on Spring Garden Road near the present Il Mercato up on the second floor over a popular 80's dance club in the basement (name forgotten). Now that was a Tiki room with bamboo chairs hanging from the ceiling and a pond, food was decent but the egg rolls were spectacular. They were the size of a rolled up Sunday NY Times. Everything inside was fresh and crisp.

            1. re: chilibeanpaste

              What was the name of the chinese place on SGR just past the old thackery's ? (I can't remember which direction either...just that it was on the same side of the street as the library...) It was long and narrow and had booths down the middle... and we are talking the 80's....Just had a MAJOR flashback!

              1. re: troutpoint

                Do you mean the Gag and Spew aka the Garden View?

          2. re: troutpoint

            i read on the main chow board that tiki is BACK! bring on the bamboo, baby!!!

        2. Just checking in to say thanks: dinner last night at Cheelin was a success....not quite the return-to-yesteryear dining experience I long for but very good food! We had the dumplings to start and an eggroll (which was MOST interesting, more like a samosa, filled with spicey meat) and the chili chicken which was excellent.

          1. I second the recommendations for Jean's for the "junky" stuff and Fan's for the more authentic. There is also a great place called "Hong's Kitchen" in Lower Sackville that has pretty good "authentic" stuff; my Chinese brother-in-law eats there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CanadaGirl

              Original poster checking back in after visit to Jean's (on Spring Garden at Robie).

              Went at lunch on a weekday and it reminded me of Italy, 'eateries with attitude'.

              Place was packed with all sorts of folks: a table of healthy young lads doing construction locally, scholarly elder couple making notes for a book, office workders cautiously avoiding getting 'red sauce' on what used to be known as power suits, leggy students galore debating Foucault and Picnicface...and the massive portions of authentically junky and delicious chicken balls, ginger beef (actually really GOOD GB)...all well cooked by Chinese(?)-Canadian(?) staff in back with one of those truly great character waitresses serving the front-of-house. She was like someone who had been cast for the part of bossy, lovable, caring, efficient homey waitress.

              Even if the grub wasn't good, I'd be back for the theatre of this steamy gem.

            2. "Driving distance is no object!"
              if that really is the case, or if you're ever heading to CB or PEI via Pictou County, you should definitely try Ming's. Been around for ever, and not due to a lack of competition. Still run by the same friendly guy, who's a bit of stickler for quality - ol' school.
              It's right up your alley: "Sweet and sour, honey garlic ribs, egg foo yung, good egg rolls...you get the picture."
              Tip 1: Order from the menu, it's so much better than the buffet... which is also good. Meh, just go!
              Tip 2: Is Szechuan also known as Sichuan? If so, you're husband won't be impressed. I like the Szechuan dishes at Ming's, but they don't fit into the category of what I know to be Sichuan. Does that make sense?

              1 Reply
              1. re: growinggourmet

                We are planning a trip to the Island in the spring and I will put this on the 'things to do on the way" list...thanks!