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Cantonese Restaurants

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

Hmmmm, is Wonder Taste any good?

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Wonder Taste
38 Salem St, Medford, MA

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  1. 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.

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    Peach Farm
    4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

    Wonder Taste
    38 Salem St, Medford, MA

    17 Replies
    1. re: itaunas

      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

        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.

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        Peach Farm
        4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

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

        1. re: beetlebug

          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

            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.

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            H-Mart
            3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

            1. re: jfung77

              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

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

                1. re: jfung77

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

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  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.

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                  Wonder Taste
                  38 Salem St, Medford, MA

                  1. re: itaunas

                    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

                    Stripe...
                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: SuzieCK

                          Yee Hong Guey was the best..the best! We used to go all the way there from Western MA when we were in our twenties..years old that is..Hey..do you know where I can acquire some resoppies(sic) from there? That is..recipes..of course..

                          1. re: johnnycakes1

                            Oh my, back in the 70s when I was a student we would go to a movie screening on campus and then head to Yee Hong Guey for late-night food. This was back in the days of the combat zone, so if the meal was boring one could always watch the action outside. Heh heh.

                            1. re: PinchOfSalt

                              ha! yep, i think i had my first beef w/ broccoli chow fun there, did you also go to Bo Shek? I regularly bought their baked pork bao.

                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                Oh snot...

                                Bo Shek... What is that?

                                I think I used to grab that late at night, too...

                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                  what a gross exclamation.

                                  Bo Shek felt like a dim funky coffee shop with a long counter, and they made v good baked pork bao- like Windor's but larger. Bo Shek was across the street from what is now the Imperial Tea House.

                                  p.s. would someone enlighten me about wet and dry chow foon? Are they just a matter of preference or do they come from diff regions?
                                  Are the foon typically wok charred in the dry version but not the wet? thx much.

                3. 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. 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.

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                    Wonder Taste
                    38 Salem St, Medford, MA

                    1. 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.

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                      Joyful Garden
                      1234 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston, MA 02135

                      Wonder Taste
                      38 Salem St, Medford, MA

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: KWagle

                        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.

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                        Days Inn
                        RR 1, Kittery, ME 03904

                        1. re: KWagle

                          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

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

                        2. 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

                            cantin in the super 88 has wonderful cantonese food.