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

s
samjam101 Aug 18, 2011 03:42 PM

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!!!

  1. f
    FoonFan Aug 19, 2011 01:51 PM

    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

    1. k
      Kinopio Aug 19, 2011 09:32 AM

      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
        Dave MP Aug 19, 2011 01:12 PM

        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. r
        robwat36 Aug 19, 2011 08:37 AM

        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
          g
          Guido Aug 19, 2011 05:15 PM

          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. m
          melon Aug 19, 2011 08:22 AM

          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
            m
            mkfisher Aug 19, 2011 08:30 AM

            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. c
            CookieLee Aug 19, 2011 08:09 AM

            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. barleywino Aug 18, 2011 11:28 PM

              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
                s
                samjam101 Aug 19, 2011 05:26 PM

                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
                  y
                  y2000k Aug 19, 2011 07:35 PM

                  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
                    KWagle Aug 20, 2011 03:36 AM

                    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
                      9
                      9lives Aug 20, 2011 05:47 AM

                      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
                        KWagle Aug 20, 2011 03:37 PM

                        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
                          9
                          9lives Aug 20, 2011 04:10 PM

                          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
                        threedogs Aug 20, 2011 10:51 PM

                        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
                          KWagle Aug 21, 2011 04:24 AM

                          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
                        s
                        STL BOS Aug 30, 2011 11:23 AM

                        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...

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