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Cantonese Restaurants

StriperGuy Feb 2, 2011 05:40 AM

(Note: This thread was split from: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632... -- The Chowhound Team)

Hmmmm, is Wonder Taste any good?

Wonder Taste
38 Salem St, Medford, MA

  1. kobuta Apr 9, 2011 10:29 PM

    Ming's Seafood in Quincy (in the former Dee Dee's Lounge space) has been recently converted to a Cantonese seafood restaurant. It used to be a restaurant that specialized in Fuzhou cuisine, so I'm sad to lose a place that had some unusual items on its menu not found in other Chinese restaurants in the area. Didn't get there often, since the place is on the small side, but had a pretty good meal.

    Tonight we returned to see its Cantonese incarnation (the Chinese name has changed, though the English name remains). Dishes are quite solid, though individually I found elements of the dishes that I preferred elsewhere. The most pleasant surpise was what they called "ragar clam (??)" stir fried with sliced fresh lily bulbs. Never had fresh lily bulbs in a stir fry before and they were sweet and delicate, and matched well with the clams in the garlicky sauce.

    EDIT: In searching the dish by its Chinese name, turns out it's not really a clam, so much as the internal organs of a sea cucumber!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobuta
      teezeetoo Apr 10, 2011 07:14 PM

      cantin in the super 88 has wonderful cantonese food.

    2. KWagle Apr 7, 2011 03:25 PM

      Wonder Taste's website claims they are 'officially' closed and will reopen in 'April' with sushi.

      I finally stopped by Joyful Garden for a menu, though I haven't translated it yet. It does seem to be the real thing, though, with tanks of fish ready to be eaten.

      Joyful Garden
      1234 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston, MA 02135

      Wonder Taste
      38 Salem St, Medford, MA

      3 Replies
      1. re: KWagle
        tatsu Apr 7, 2011 04:07 PM

        Glad to see it's still with it's original concept. Seemed very novel to me when it opened, a Canto place in a Days Inn! But I liked it, I thought the food was clean and well executed. Haven't been back because it's so odd a location almost never think about it.

        But when I drove past it for the first time in 2005 or so, I immediately stopped and checked it out, I thought it might be good. For the most part, my instincts served me well again.

        Days Inn
        RR 1, Kittery, ME 03904

        1. re: KWagle
          FoodDabbler Apr 7, 2011 04:12 PM

          You're a more disciplined man than I. You're constantly popping into places and leaving with just the menu in hand. I'd leave with a menu in my hand, but also with a boatload of food in my belly.

          1. re: FoodDabbler
            KWagle Apr 8, 2011 02:00 AM

            Well, I need to roust enough people to be able to order a sufficient variety of dishes!

        2. m
          myladyfae Feb 3, 2011 06:22 AM

          Since the new owners took over about...6 months ago? I feel like Wonder Taste has really taken off in terms of quality. Their West Lake Beef Soup is just as good as anything I've had in Ctown. The braised fish fillets hotpot and the taro baked duck are also favorites.

          They also have good off-menu deals, but you'll need someone capable of translating them heh.

          Wonder Taste
          38 Salem St, Medford, MA

          1. Aromatherapy Feb 2, 2011 06:32 AM

            I've eaten there shamefully seldom but what I've had has been good. They've changed the menu considerably (much less interesting) since they opened, don't know if changed the chef, but it's less ambitious now. Stick with Cantonese.

            1. itaunas Feb 2, 2011 06:32 AM

              My experience is its reasonably consistent and good, but not outstanding (new Jumbo is better, Peach Farm has a lot more options and is more interesting). Keep in mind its a Cantonese Seafood restaurant, not Taiwanese, Sichuan or Northern Cusine. Its useful, though, because trips to Chinatown and Cambridge/Allston/Watertown are scarce so it satisfies certain cravings close by so those trips can be spent in pursuit of more interesting chow. Of the two, I strongly perfer Chili Garden, but Wonder Taste could use some attention from locals.

              Peach Farm
              4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

              Wonder Taste
              38 Salem St, Medford, MA

              12 Replies
              1. re: itaunas
                StriperGuy Feb 2, 2011 06:38 AM

                I was interested BECAUSE it was Cantonese. Not a lot of that in Boston and brings back memories of my NYC youth.

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  beetlebug Feb 2, 2011 07:42 AM

                  Ummm, most of the seafood places in C-town are Cantonese/HK style cooking. East Ocean City, Peach Farm, the now closed Ocean Wealth, Chau Chau, etc. Plus, all the dim sum cart places are all southern chinese cuisine. Most C-towns in this country are southern in origin because of historical immigration patterns to the US.

                  Peach Farm
                  4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                  East Ocean City Restaurant
                  27 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                  1. re: beetlebug
                    StriperGuy Feb 2, 2011 07:56 AM

                    I'm aware that the earlier Chinese immigrants were largely Cantonese.

                    But the restos above essentially emphasize seafood and for me, have not been as strong on non-pescatarian dishes.

                    At Chau Chau I've only eaten Dim Sum so might have to give that a whirl.

                    Somehow the particular style of Cantonese cooking popular with NYC restos way back when is a bit harder to find. Even in NY Chinatown they are mostly gone now, replaced by restaurants run by more recent immigrants. None of the places in Boston are quite what I remember from back in the day.

                    Dishes like a really good beef with black bean sauce with big slabs of onion. Lo Mein with some real char from the wok, etc. In fact I can't say I've ever had Lo Mein in Boston that I really liked. Perhaps just my own nostalgic thinking.

                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      jfung77 Apr 10, 2011 06:17 AM

                      Just wondering where you find your dried fermented black beans in the area? I've been looking for the dried ones, but most places - e.g., Hong Kong Market, H-Mart - only seem to stock the bottled sauce.

                      Thanks in advance.

                      3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                      1. re: jfung77
                        PinchOfSalt Apr 10, 2011 06:39 AM

                        I've gotten dry fermented/salted black beans in both places. Super 88/HKM is a reliable source, with several different brands, including my favorite, Pearl River Bridge. They are NOT by the bottled black bean sauce, fwiw. (Wish I could describe exactly where they are in the store, but alas that is escaping me now.)

                        1. re: jfung77
                          StriperGuy Apr 10, 2011 07:04 AM

                          Every Chinese supermarket has them, but they are NEVER where the bottled version is.

                          1. re: jfung77
                            galangatron Apr 10, 2011 05:07 PM

                            any chinese market should have fermented black beans. they're usually in bags in the bottom bin of the spice aisle

                          2. re: StriperGuy
                            itaunas Feb 4, 2011 07:48 AM

                            I haven't seen beef with black bean sauce and had mixed experiences with Wonder Taste on noodle dishes (and for dry fried chow foon, I have had much better at Wangs or Fuloon -- the latter I believe has a 30+ year old wok they use). I always thought the Lo Mein dishes at King Fung had nice wok char, particularly a lamb one which had minimal sauce and one other I am not remembering. I heard that Erwin and Doris changing the offerings a bit when they moved to Brookline, but I would bet that is the kind of thing they could do regardless.

                            Wonder Taste
                            38 Salem St, Medford, MA

                            1. re: itaunas
                              StriperGuy Feb 4, 2011 07:54 AM

                              I agree King Fung did a very good job with noodles, but it still was not quite the lost Cantonese Lo Mein of my NYC youth.

                            2. re: StriperGuy
                              SuzieCK Apr 5, 2011 07:32 AM

                              Do you remember Yee Hong Guey in Chinatown? Delicious Cantonese fare about 30 years ago. Is there anything to compare to it these days? Something with a fine, delicate lobster sauce, for instance. Sometimes, I just crave those soul soothing foods.

                              1. re: SuzieCK
                                StriperGuy Apr 5, 2011 07:51 AM

                                Gosh, that predates my Boston Arrival by a bit. Sorry.

                                I think the places mentioned above cover it all with regard to Boston options.

                                1. re: SuzieCK
                                  EllenMM Apr 5, 2011 08:34 AM

                                  Wow - a blast from the past. I LOVED their food,

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