Authentic Chinese in Indianapolis
I'll be passing through Indy soon, and was wondering if there were any authentic Chinese restaurants there. I'm looking for places with a special Chinese menu, offer dim sum on the weekends, or where most of the patrons were Chinese. From screening through some Urbanspoon listings, it looks like Szechwan Garden on the west side fits the bill. Are there any others? Thanks.
I find Szechwan Garden (Lafayette Rd) to be pretty bad. IMO.
As pikawicca says above, there are really no "authentic Chinese" restaurants here. Most are Americanized to varying extents with a few serving passable/decent food. It also helps at those (and some others) if you can speak with the owner/chef (preferably in Chinese)...and get them to make stuff for you "off-menu" or from the Chinese-only menu, playing to the chef's strengths.
On Time Chinese Restaurant (hasn't been "On Time Seafood..." for a while now) is one place which probably comes close to serving actual Chinese food, such as it is, in Indy. The dim sum (featured on weekends but limited items available anytime) used to be much better there in its previous incarnation as Great Garden, but that was a few years back and the stuff there now is OK but not great, some items iffy. Yes, the clientele on weekends, for example, will be largely of East Asian appearance. Cantonese/mixed regional/Szechuan cuisine. Chinese menu/dishes specified in Chinese available.
Sichuan (in Carmel, rather than Indianapolis) has decent Szechuanese food, such as it is in Indy. Separate Chinese menu available (with some English translations). Their Sunday buffet has a selection of "authentic" dishes including jellyfish, beef/pig stomach, tripe, even fairly good dan dan noodles for that matter; decent mapo tofu with mala flavor, etc.
There are some other places which would serve very fresh and high quality ingredients done in a "Chinese style" rather than truly authentic or traditional (a better term) dishes. I would include here places such as Taiwan Tea House in the Castleton area, although I haven't eaten there since its move to its current location.
I'm not particularly keen on Shanghai Lil (also in the Castleton area) which some others like and which you may have also come across in your searches.
Note that the Chinese food you get here in general will be somewhat to way below stuff you would get in Chicago C-town, or NYC; let alone Flushing/SF/SGV/etc etc.
Sichuan Chinese Restaurant
11588 Westfield Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032
Shanghai Lil Restaurant
8505 Keystone Xing, Indianapolis, IN 46240
Taiwan Tea House
3746 East 82nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240
On Time Chinese Restaurant
3623 Commercial Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46222