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May 20, 2012 05:11 PM

Dongbei Food Comes To Chandler

There's been a small explosion of Dongbei style Chinese restaurants (Northeastern China food) lately, but it's been in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, and Flushing, NY. Consequently, when I saw that a restaurant called Chou's Kitchen had opened up where something called China and Hawaiian had previously stood, I was not prepared to confront a full blown Dongbei restaurant full of dumplings, buns, meat pies, and even Dalian seafood noodle soup. You'd have to go 400 miles west or a more than a couple thousand miles east to find this kind of food. Chou's Kitchen is at 910 N. Alma School Road if you can fight through the road construction on Alma School.

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  1. What did you try and is this a recommendation??

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Well it's more of a discovery than a recommendation in that's it's the only game in town (actually, hundreds of miles) for this type of cuisine, as evidenced by a full house Sunday lunch. I had my favorite green bean sheet with cucumbers and peanut butter sauce. Not as good as that at Dongbei Mama on Geary, but good enough!

      1. re: Chandavkl

        Thanks, I was in Chandler in December in pursuit of paletas and would have checked out this place too, if I'd known it was there.

        I have been wondering about what's behind the recent spate of Dongbei openings at home. Also seeing Xinjiang bbq places springing up, but that's a topic for another board.

    2. We've tried it once and loved it. The menu is huge and there are so many things to try on the next visit! This is now my second favorite Chinese restaurant in the city, after China Magic Noodle. Unfortunately we live in Glendale so both places are a long trek -- but very worthwhile.

      1. Two friends and I had lunch today at Chou's Kitchen and it was fantastic. The clear winner was the beef pies. The fried pork potstickers and the beef buns were also quite good. The only thing that was only okay was the Green Onion pancake that were tasty, but too doughy. We also tried the shrimp and chive dumplings which had a lot of flavors going on, but needed some seasoning.

        All in all, a great trip. The beef items seem to be the best and the beef pies were just all the way around wonderful. Moist, delicious, filling.

        1. I was just in for lunch and the owner mentioned that they will be offering Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings starting next week. Really enjoyed the beef buns I had for lunch.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Hombre

              A friend and I recently "discovered" this place as well and have been there for lunch a couple times. We've been served a small bowl of corn congee both times as a sort of free appetizer. This is basically just a thin polenta. It's completely unseasoned, but a couple shakes of salt and white pepper and it's quite tasty.

              We tried a meatball clay pot with napa cabbage and thin rice noodles - this made a perfect lunch for 2 and we had leftovers. It was quite tasty. The meatballs were obviously made in house and we thought they were really good. The only odd thing is that the menu price said $9.95 but we were charged 11.95. The woman that has waited on us both times is so friendly though, and we want the place to survive so I guess we just didn't have the heart to ask them to change it since $12 split between 2 people is still a steal for what we ate. It certainly beats Paradise Bakery which is where other coworkers often go for lunch. Bleh.

            2. Looks pretty good. I hope they have lots of dumplings and pickled vegetables on their menu! Manchurian or Northeastern Chinese food is based for the most part on hearty meals centered on meat and fresh and pickled vegetables. Grains like wheat, millet and sorghum are preferred over rice and reflects influences from Manchuria, Mongolia, Korea, Russia and Japan. Look for sorghum specs in the rice, if served at all. The cuisine is also known for strong flavors, lots of dumplings and a large variety of cold dishes. Raw fish might be served to start the meal. Garlic is used but not too much ginger.