Chao Zhou in Madison Hts has its grand opening this Thurs--supposedly [DTW]
jjspw's dumpling find is due to open this Thursday (delays possible of course): Chao Zhou on John R at 13&1/2 Mile in Madison Hts. Please post if you get there first. It is next to "Fuji" Chinese Market.
If gan isn't on a 36hr shift at the hospital he might beat me there, but that's a good thing since he can report on Chinese dumplings from a more experienced perspective than can I.
Went for lunch today (opening Thursday). Quite unremarkable. They have some specials and none of the americanized General Tsao's style stuff, a la carte dim sum and noodle dishes. Friendly people but just another cantonese place for me.
Finally got around to eating here. went for lunch of sunday morning, and it was pleasantly packed with non-english speaking Chinese folks.
Like any good Vietnamese boy, I feel that all weekend breakfasts should start with a bowl of noodle soup. I asked what their "best" one was and the waitress immediately pointed to the cambodian noodle soup. I didn't click two and two together at that point so I ordered it and an side of Xiao long bao.
XLB: ooooook. There was SOME juices in the middle, but it wasn't like overflowing with succulent broth. Normally I like it where you scald yourself with every dumpling. The meat filling was tasty enough and reasonably moist. The wrapper was kinda thick though. Edible, order it again? Only if I'm really fiending. Having said that, probably the better XLB I've had here in SE-MI unless someone can point me in a better direction. Kim's (Novi), Best China, Trizest, all terrible.
My Cambodian noodle dish: Its just their version of what vietnamese peopl call Hu tieu. Watch anthony bourdain's trip to cambodia and its the stuff he rants and raves over. And having grown up in a city with a large Khymer population, this noodle soup was only meh. If you wanna try a much better rendition go to Pho Que Huong and order their Hu Tieu Kho with glass noodles. Their broth was clean tasting and didn't leave me parched from msg or salt. but it was kinda flat. Not the deep tasty porky goodness its supposed to have. No side dishes of bean sprouts and lime garnish. tsk, tsk. Meats were meh. three shrimp, a few slices of bbq pork, two fish balls, and maybe one spoonful of ground pork. It lacked MOST importantly, the sign of true greatness in a Hu Tieu place, is that they serve your dish wish a side of a big honking femur to gnaw on. If you ever go to LA or long beach, do yourself a favor and look up a place called Battambang.
Would I go back? surprisingly yes. I was looking around and the other dim sum dishes looked decent enough for me to give it a whirl. More importantly, some of the rice dishes looked really good. Some excellent "peasant" chinese food I suspect is to be had there. Just have to order out of your comfort zone.
Que Huong Restaurant
30820 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071
Much better noodle dish this time. I had the spicy Taiwanese beef noodle dish. It was very yummy. Good flavors, excellent pieces of meat, balanced broth.
Had a side of Har Gow. Good. I give it a 8/10.
I will be a regular.
p.s. its a pure chinese place. I didn't sense any taint from other cultures.
I tried Chao Zhou a couple hours after goatgolfer, the same day they opened. I think it is usually unrealistic to judge a place during its first month of business, because people need a chance to “work out the kinks” (which also is why I would shy away from buying a vehicle during the year of its launch).
Nevertheless, I thought Chao Zhou was just mediocre and sensed that it aspired to be nothing more, even after the kinks were worked out. My conclusion was that if one lived in the neighborhood, Chao Zhou made sense; otherwise, Warren folks should just go to Golden Harvest, Troy folks should just go to East Lake, etc.---unless someone wanted dimsum during off hours (a Chao Zhou feature). I didn’t post as such, because I felt goatgolfer already had said all there was to say, in just a couple sentences. However, after reading some peculiarly favorable reviews, one so over-the-top that it even wondered whether the noodles were hand-pulled to order, I figured I’d better give it another go.
During my first visit I had the un-ruined, but quite forgettable, dim sum, as well as Singapore Noodles and Chao Zhou Noodles, both of which are listed in the “Special Dishes” section of menu but also which were losers. This time I tried the “authentic” Taiwanese Beef Noodles. By Taiwanese, they mean the noodles that Sichuan refugees made/sold when the Nationalist Army, with which the refugees were affiliated, lost to Mao’s Communist Army and they had to flee the Mainland with Chiang Kai-shek and make new lives on the island of Taiwan. In other words, Sichuanese noodles. This is the only spicy item on Chao Zhou’s menu, and it is BY FAR the best dish I’ve tried there.
The noodles had an interesting chewy character, and the broth was perfect spicy-wise, and had a rich, intense tang from preserved vegetables (maybe could have benefited from less sugar). The beef, too, is considered very good, according to Chinese sensibilities. It is boiled shank meat with thin strands of partially softened tendon running through it. Go ahead and Americanize that aspect, for me—thank you very much. I like braised chuck. But, as donbui82 points out, this a strictly Chinese place. So, vtb doesn’t get to determine how things there are cooked. Check it out.
Next assignment: Get JanPrimus to go there and try the Pig Bladder with Bitter Melon. That’s GOT to be harsh.
6880 E 12 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092
East Lake Restaurant
5087 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48085
Wow, that was fast--apparently Chao Zhou already has been bought out by Golden Harvest, and though the name hasn't changed, Chao Zhou's menu offerings and recipes already have taken strides towards corp commonization. Okay by me. I like Golden Harvest (slightly) more than Chao Zhou, anyhow.
6880 E 12 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092