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New Hot Pot Place on Anderson

i
ieathereforeiam Dec 5, 2011 01:04 AM

Was eating at Chen's Noodle House this eve and found out that he is behind the place going in next to the new bowling ally and chipotle off anderson- chen z hotpot and noodle bar. More good news for the hood.

Also hear that hopdoddy is going in to the corner space that half a block down where souper salads was. And it looks like construction is underway at the new blacksheep lodge down burnet across from ginnys...

  1. amysuehere Dec 5, 2011 01:19 PM

    The place Hopdaddy is taking was built/remodeled to be a high-end Indian place, but apparently got to the end and fizzled.

    I'm terribly excited about Blacksheep if that's true. We actaully make the trek down to the South Lamar one often and it'll be nice to have one so much closer.

    1. chispa_c Dec 7, 2011 09:49 AM

      Big score for the hood!

      1. b
        brentwood Dec 10, 2011 06:09 PM

        Where on Burnet is this Black Sheep Lodge going? We live right around the corner and haven't seen anything. Is it the Nelson Puett real estate building? Or further north near Uptown Modern? We'd be very excited to get more info!

        1 Reply
        1. re: brentwood
          rudeboy Dec 11, 2011 02:23 AM

          I don't see any Building permit applications for this. The only thing that I see active is "Austin Cake Ball" applying for the 5303 space under the new apartment complex. I scanned Nelson Puett for activity - nothing is going on there. That real estate is still for sale. I don't really see anything construction-wise, other than all the new sidewalks that we're getting. ithereforeiam, please let us know what you know so we'll know!

        2. w
          woshimeiguoren Jan 5, 2012 06:35 PM

          Just found out about the new place Chen is opening. Was eating at the original hole-in-the-wall place at 183/Spicewood Springs tonight. Noticed that the Mrs. was the only familiar face in the kitchen, and asked her where Chen was. She told me about the new restaurant and said he's there (working to get it open, I think...her English is better than my Chinese).

          The new place will be called Chen Z, located at 2700 W. Anderson. Phone 336-8888. The biz card she gave me says "Hot Pot + Noodle Bar" below the Chen Z name.

          5 Replies
          1. re: woshimeiguoren
            l
            lixlix Jan 5, 2012 06:42 PM

            well, your name says "I am an American" so undoubtedly her English was better : )

            1. re: lixlix
              w
              woshimeiguoren Jan 5, 2012 06:44 PM

              indeed!

            2. re: woshimeiguoren
              r
              ridgeback Jan 8, 2012 09:05 AM

              Interesting location - it's the same shopping center where Alamo Drafthouse, Korea House, Madam Mam's and Cover 3 are located.

              1. re: ridgeback
                w
                woshimeiguoren Jan 9, 2012 03:32 PM

                I did a personal reconnaissance mission today & stopped at Chen Z. It's right next to Chipolte in strip near Alamo Drafthouse on Anderson Lane. It is NOT open for business yet.

                I noticed Chen Z sign on my way to the violin shop, so decided to stop on way back. The door was open and there were a bunch of people sitting inside. I asked an Asian woman (not Chen's wife) who approached me whether they were open yet. She said they were not, and when I asked whether they had a firm opening date, she said no firm date but opening "in a few weeks."

                The people inside appeared to be wait staff being trained...training involved wine, because there were several wine bottles out and some guy standing up talking, while holding a glass of wine. Chen was behind back counter at far end of restaurant from door.

                The place looks nice -- definitely many, many notches above the hole-in-the-wall location of Chen's Noodle House on 183/Spicewood Springs. Can't wait 'til it opens!

                1. re: woshimeiguoren
                  p
                  PappyAustin Jan 12, 2012 10:35 AM

                  I had lunch today at Chen's and it was terrific as usual. I asked when the new location would be open. Not sure if I believe this, but I was told next week

            3. w
              woshimeiguoren Feb 9, 2012 09:35 PM

              Anybody know whether Chen Z has opened yet? I keep thinking about it, and hoping....

              3 Replies
              1. re: woshimeiguoren
                i
                ieathereforeiam Feb 10, 2012 01:27 PM

                I went by a couple days ago and it looks like it has for a couple weeks now. all finished out with a sign on the door that says "coming soon" The menu is posted and looks badass.

                1. re: ieathereforeiam
                  w
                  woshimeiguoren Feb 10, 2012 04:19 PM

                  omg, i have to go by and check out the menu...just to torture myself a little more before it opens!

                  1. re: woshimeiguoren
                    p
                    PappyAustin Feb 15, 2012 01:08 PM

                    They told me today the delay is getting water. Maybe I misunderstood.

              2. i
                ieathereforeiam Feb 27, 2012 11:59 AM

                Chen Z opened today. It is never fair to review a place on the first day of operations, so this is just meant to be informative.

                Many of the same/similar offerings as Chen's up on research, plus some new ones and also the whole hot pot thing. I also saw ramen and udon on the menu. I dined solo so it limited the amount I could try. This place is best with at least two or more people as the portions are pretty large.

                If you are a fan of the original Chen's food then you will not be let down. My food had the same flavor profile but was a touch more refined.

                The interior is really comfortable. I was surprised at how many tables they got into that space without it feeling crowded. For those of us who have been frequenting his old joint, it is pretty cool to eat his food in a decorated clean place, on nice plates, with young friendly waitstaff and Thievery Corporation as background music.

                I had an iced tea, green onion crepe and rib-eye stir fry spinach noodles. total was $20 after tip. I took home as much as I ate. They also had a beer/wine menu with lots of the usual suspects.

                So glad this place is in the hood.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ieathereforeiam
                  o
                  Optimista Feb 27, 2012 11:11 PM

                  Hooray!!! So excited to try it out. Thanks for the sneak peek, ieathereforeiam!

                  1. re: ieathereforeiam
                    c
                    Carter B. Feb 28, 2012 06:49 AM

                    Thanks for the info ieatthereforeiam. I stopped by mid-afternoon and got a copy of their togo menu (which does not have hot pots, understandably). Some very intriguing items. I've attached a photo below.

                     
                    1. re: Carter B.
                      c
                      Carter B. Feb 28, 2012 05:50 PM

                      We went for lunch today and enjoyed it. The menu is what I posted above with a separate hot pot menu where you pick a bunch of different options--there is also a wine list. I went with a large group and we ended up ordering off the regular menu. I got the ramen after learning the luncheon meat was Spam. How can you resist? At two chiles or whatever the spice indicator is, it is the hottest thing on the menu but it just wasn't that spicy. So like Chen's (and most northern Chinese food?) you don't come here for the super spicy. The flavors of the ramen broth was quite nice. The noodles were pretty good as well. I'm just happy to see ramen on the menu as I keep waiting for the ramen trend to hit Austin.

                      We also did an order of shrimp dumplings steamed in spinach wrap and pork dumplings pan friend in traditional wrap and both were quite good and a bargain considering you get 20 to the plate. I also sampled someones smoked duck and it was very good. The regular Chen's menu options seemed similar to how they are at Chen's so if you enjoyed those, you'll like these. The green onion pancake was ok, but I've never been a huge fan of them. I'd get the leek pie next time. One in our group said Chen (assuming that is the name of the head chef of at Chen's) was in the back.

                      The biggest problem was the timing. We were a large group of 10 or so and we probably slammed their kitchen pretty hard but lunch still took more than 1.5 hours. We'll see if they get their orders filled quickly. The place was packed by noon which is good to see.

                      Anyway, definitely recommended if you like Chen's. The upscale setting is a plus to me considering the prices didn't double or anything.

                      1. re: Carter B.
                        dinaofdoom Feb 28, 2012 08:21 PM

                        i did a double take at the pic posted above, because even 20 small dumplings is still a LOT of food.

                        and, i've been hoping the ramen trend also hits us, too, and not all south or downtown.

                    2. re: ieathereforeiam
                      m
                      mkfoodie Feb 28, 2012 02:45 PM

                      I had lunch there today. Decided to hit the noodles first then come back for hot pot. I ordered the twice spiced chicken which was marked as spicy (not the hotest designation) on buckwheat noodles. I thoroughly enjoyed the noodles, great texture, great bite. The chicken dish had very little flavor and i remarked "they gringo'd it" since it had little spice. I tried adding the hot oil that was on the table, then added again, then again, turns out even the hot oil is not hot. Added some soy, that almost got me to some flavor. Pretty disappointing dish. My partner in crime ordered the vegetarian item on the stir fry, he had the same problem and tried the same remedies. Great noodle, little flavor. I'm going to give them the benefit of day 2 so i do plan to go back and at least try the hot pot....

                    3. t
                      tjswan Mar 3, 2012 07:38 PM

                      found out on yelp that chen z opened this week- will have to check it out!

                      1. i
                        ieathereforeiam Apr 2, 2012 08:12 PM

                        Went back for dinner last week. This time we got the pork steamed dumplings and tried the hot pots. The dumplings were great, as they were last time when I got them fried.

                        The spicy hot pot broth was pretty damn good and had some real spice to it. We got two hot pots and 7 ingredients to cook in them: baby bok choy, wood ear mushrooms, chicken, meatballs, potatoes, spinach noodles and another mushroom i can't remember. didn't care for the texture of the meatballs, but the rest of the stuff was really good. We had a little one with us and ordered her a bowl of udon w/chicken.

                        Service was impeccable.

                        I have one main issue with this place. The portions are just too big. you really need to have three adults to eat the amount of food we ordered. The hot pot ingredients don't really keep all that well the next day. We opted to cook up all our leftovers on the spot and then take it home as a soup. didn't hold up very well the next day. you could take them all home raw and reheat the broth and cook it yourself at home i suppose. but taking home raw meat and chicken didn't really appeal to me at the time.

                        I think if they reduced portions and price by about 25% this place would be a regular part of my rotation. As it is, with a glass of wine and an iced tea total bill after tip came out to around $90. That isn't exorbitant for a nice dinner out for two, but it is substantially more than I had intended to spend at 7pm on a tuesday.

                        The flavors were great and the space was inviting. The noodle offerings aren't nearly as expensive and will keep in the fridge better. I will probably stick to those unless I'm with a bigger group.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ieathereforeiam
                          c
                          conquer Apr 3, 2012 06:08 AM

                          The prices are ridiculous. It's funny because I saw a few Chinese families at the tables (bringing grandpa and grandma on an outing) who seemed more than a little uncomfortable, and grandpa/grandma looked downright pissed. I have a Sanyo hot pot, bought a load of sliced beef, lamb, tofu, pork blood, bokchoy, watercress, woodears, shitakes, enokis, vermicelli, an assortment of dumplings, and satay and chili sauces from MT and made hot pot for 2 for 2 meals under $30, with almost no prep work.

                        2. amysuehere Apr 3, 2012 03:58 PM

                          I went a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post. I was completely unimpressed. We actually asked extra-extra spicy and it was bland-bland-bland...and gave me heartburn. Nope. Not with Madam Mam's so close.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: amysuehere
                            m
                            Mike B Apr 4, 2012 06:45 PM

                            Yes, I went to Chen and encountered the same blandness which is also why I never returned to his original noodle place on 183/Spicewood after my first visit. I also tried the pan-friend dumplings and the bottoms were charred to a crisp which resulted in a not so appetizing combination of burnt taste mixed with bland meat taste.

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