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Gourmet Kingdom (Carrboro) issues?

I heard that recently the head chef of GK left over wage disputes and as a consequence, the food there is no longer as amazing. Can anyone confirm/deny? It would be tragic to lose such a gem.

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Gourmet Kingdom
301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

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  1. just ate there last night, it was the Moon Festival and the place was packed with Chinese people. The food was amazing, had Sichuan lobster, pan-fried pork dumpliings and sichuan beef. The best chinese food I've ever had and the freshest. Warning though, the Sichuan beef was way too hot for me & I happily make Southern Indian food.
    It was crazy last night so unless you speak Mandarin I wouldn't go on a holiday, as the waiters' English is kind of limited. But the manager was extremely nice, apologized heartily & didn't charge for the dish that was forgotten. I definitely intend to go back.

    1. Ate there on Wednesday, everything was as good as usual. Had the double-cooked bacon, the cumin lamb, and the Cheng-Du dumplings. The dumpling were a little more delicate than usual and kind of fell apart, but everything else was fresh and tasty.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Bricoleur

        We went Saturday night and didn't taste a slip in quality at all. We had three dishes we hadn't gotten before so no direct point of comparison but thoroughly enjoyed all three:

        Dan dan noodles: bathed in chili oil but didn't feel greasy. A bit hard to eat owing to the length of the noodle but well worth the effort
        stir-fried string beans: saw these on two tables while walking in and had to try, great choice, shredded pork and smoked tofu in garlic sauce: a bit more cilantro than anticipated but it lightened the dish nicely. The tofu had a wonderful texture and the garlic in the sauce was subtle, not overpowering.

        Also, the portions seemed slightly bigger than the last time we were there.

        1. re: brokegradstudent

          I think their homemade tofu is one of the most ethereal things I've ever eaten. Glad to hear it is still up to snuff.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              No. There was a lot going on that day. We're looking into maybe late Nov., although that seems like a busy time.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Well in true Chinese fashion if they are open around Christmas.. you can bet Jews may go there.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  When I lived in DC, I *always* went to the local chinese place for Christmas. The only non-jew in the place (well, me and my ex). It drove my mother crazy (which, of course, made it even more appealing).

      2. I went for lunch after reading this, just to see for myself-- it was every bit as delicious as before. Had the Red Chili Beef Tripe and it was terrific.

        1. Has anyone tried banquet style dining at GK? I'm thinking of it for a 12 or so person dinner, but given that the banquet menu is only in Chinese, I'm slightly intimidated.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Remsleep

            I'll say this.. a group of hounds at 10-15 went awhile back. We ordered roughly 12 dishes including apps and passed the other around. It was maybe 7-10 a piece. So if you don't want to order the banquet you can go a la cart and it will probably be fine. There will be a lot of dishes on the table and you are not guaranteed the order. See the other Gourmet Kingdom post(s) for more descrip.

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            Gourmet Kingdom
            301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

          2. Sorry to say that the head chef has left Gourmet Kingdon, although I think it was much more recent than the August 20, 2010 date of the OP. We have been regulars there for about a year and a couple months ago, we began to notice changes in some of our favorite dishes. Last week, I asked one of the waits if there had been a change in the kitchen and he confirmed that there was. The menu has not changed (other than nightly specials) and we will continue to go there as we still think it is the most authenic Chinese in town but I'm afraid there has been some drop off.