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Boston Chinatown: Best Chinese restaurant for food, value and service

Is there such an animal in Boston Chinatown? Most of what I have read identifies good food with lousy service or fair service with lousy food or lousy service, fair food with a high price tag! HELP!!!

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  1. What restaurants in chinatown have you read to have a high price tag? Most restaurants I can think of there are low price tag and service is not great at any of them. Q strives for more upscale service and ambience but is more of a hotpot place than a typical chinese restaurant. (Perhaps you're thinking of East by Northeast, which is not in Chinatown)

    9 Replies
    1. re: barleywino

      Thanks to all for the responses. My inquiry arose after reading about the various restaurants on their respective web sites and reading the reviews. We did go to Gourmet Dumpling Cafe at 52 Beach St. There was the expected 20-30 minute wait. But once seated, friendly wait staff served us and the selection reminded me of the Chinatown restaurants in NYC when I was growing up...not westernized Chinese food, but delicious, tasty food my mom would have enjoyed!!! We had sesame chicken that was so-o-o-o tender and delicious, mango chicken that was to die for, real yummy pork and crab dumplings, and pigs feet in noodle soup that knocked my socks off!!

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      Beach St Cafe
      35 Beach St, Manchester, MA 01944

      1. re: samjam101

        The place you went to on Beach Street is Gourmet Dumpling House, not Dumpling Cafe. Dumpling Cafe is on Washington Street.

        I don't understand the constant long line outside GDH. Ate there once and it was okay but certainly not worth the wait when I can finish my entire meal at Dumpling Cafe or Great Taste while you're still waiting for a table at GDH.

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        Gourmet Dumpling House
        52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

        Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant
        63 Beach St, Boston, MA

        Dumpling Cafe
        695 Washington St, Boston, MA 02135

        1. re: y2000k

          My experiences at GDH have been uniformly good to excellent, while my experiences at DC have been mediocre *at best* and even that's a stretch. So I completely understand why someone would wait in line to get good food instead of suffering through bad food.

          1. re: KWagle

            I can't speak to GDH because I haven't been but Dumpling House on Washington has always been very good. Also meets the OP' request for a a "nicer" place.

            I'd add Peach Farm but ask for Tom for translation. He's the owners son who has helped plan many CH dinners.

            New Shanghai is a step nicer and has great Sichuan food.Friendly waiters..great lunch yesterday.

            East Ocean City..HK seafood in a nicer atmosphere.

            Penang...Malaysian and Montien..Thai...both nicer atmospheres and friendly staff.

            I'm guessing you don't speak the same language as many of the Chinatown servers..nor do I. Don't confuse a language barrier with lousy service. I would say I rarely experience lousy service. Is it like Clio or #9? No..but it's usually friendly and efficient.

            All of these places represent a good value and if you can make it for lunch, the specials are really a deal.

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            Peach Farm
            4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

            New Shanghai Restaurant
            21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

            East Ocean Restaurant
            3704 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

            1. re: 9lives

              Just for the record, since your post seems to be a folowup to mine, *I* am not making any claims about service in Chinatown. I was commenting on the food (and in general, service has to be pretty terrible for me to care if the food is good.)

              I don't know that I've ever met Tom at PF, but I usually go there well after midnight.

              1. re: KWagle

                My post was in response to yours..re Dumpling Cafe. I haven't sufferd bad food ther and you never raised any sevice issues

                I have a higher opinion of Dumpling Cafe..the place on Washington near Penang than you do..no biggie. I've enjoyed their food.

                Everything after that is is in response to the OP..and helpful to anyone else reading.

            2. re: KWagle

              I ate at Gourmet Dumpling House once & loved the dish I ordered (think it was some sort of shedded pork that came with greens & rice). Would have loved to have ordered the dumplings, of course, but it's difficult to figure if I'll get TOO much food (I dine alone often, as I did that time). I felt the dumplings would be too much for me to eat (although having lots of leftovers is my kind of problem, lol).

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              Gourmet Dumpling House
              52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

              1. re: threedogs

                GDH has a Chinese name that's something like "North South Harmony". If you didn't know this, you might believe that dumplings are their specialty. I've had friends who made this assumption, ordered mostly dumplings, and said they were quite good, but the majority of their menu (which is quite good) is not dumplings. I believe DC also has a Chinese name unrelated to dumplings, but since I find their food mediocre, I haven't looked into that.

            3. re: y2000k

              I've done a fair amount of investigation into why there is always of line at GDH. I have concluded that the main reason is Yelp (GDH currently has 420 reviews, at least twice as many as other CTown standbys). I also think that seeing people in line attracts more people to join the line, especially for people who are unfamiliar/intimidated by Chinatown. Now, back to work...

        2. I haven't much of a complaint with service or price. If anything, I find the servers go out of their way to help me. I'm not sure what you've read, but it doesn't sound like you've actually experienced dining at any restaurants in "Boston Chinatown".

          1. I have always had great (Szechuan/Sichuan) food at good prices and very friendly, competent service at New Shanghai on Hudson Street. I haven't tried any of the other kinds of American-ish Chinese food they have.

            Their online menu is weird but don't let that deter you
            http://www.newshanghairestaurant.com/...

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            New Shanghai Restaurant
            21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

            1 Reply
            1. re: melon

              Totally agree on New Shanghai. Stick with the Sichuan stuff, but it's great food/value/service.

              Penang is equally good in those areas.

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              New Shanghai Restaurant
              21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

            2. I've always experienced efficient, friendly service at my go-to's, including Taiwan Cafe, Hong Kong Eatery, and Peach Farm. This was discussed in another thread recently, but it's important not to expect a Menton-style car waxing at these places.

              1 Reply
              1. re: robwat36

                Second Peach Farm. Not what you would call up-scale but food and service have always been excellent for me. Remember to pick up the little orange menu of specialties at the door if they only give you the large one.

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                Peach Farm
                4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

              2. I find the service to be a bit more friendly at Dumpling Cafe than other Chinatown spots. And the interior is a littler nicer since the place is new. But I don't go to Chinatown for the service and you are the first person I've ever heard mentioning Chinatown places being expensive.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kinopio

                  I agree that service at Dumpling Cafe is a bit more friendly than other Chinatown spots. However, I think Taiwan Cafe has slightly more reliable/better food, and the menu is similar.

                  But I agree with Kinopio that I don't really go to Chinatown for the service. Most of my regular spots (Taiwan Cafe, Hong Kong Eatery, New Shanghai, Dumpling Cafe, Gourmet Dumpling House, China Pearl) have perfectly fine service though....

                  My immediate thought after reading the OP's question was: Taiwan Cafe. I've been eating there for 10 years now, and it's always good.

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                  New Shanghai Restaurant
                  21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                  Gourmet Dumpling House
                  52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                2. Peach Farm. Great food, great service, reasonable price tag. I've gone there New Years eve with a gang of people with special food needs - one can't eat peppers, one can't eat garlic, one is gluten free. The Peach Farm people took it all in stride and graciously served us a fabulous meal.

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                  Peach Farm
                  4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111