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Han Dynasty in University City Disappoints

I have eaten at HD in Old City many times -- always fantastic. Had dinner last night at HD in U City and it was an entirely different experience. One of my favorites, the twice-fried fish, was a soggy mess. In Old City, the exterior of the fish remains crisp and dry, while the interior is tender. There is no pool of oil left on the plate. The service in UC was incredibly slow. The chairs at the high-top tables are SO uncomfortable. I was wearing a silk skirt, and I kept feeling as though I was going to slip off the chair. All of that, I would endure, happily, if the fish wasn't soggy!

Were they just having an off night?

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  1. I haven't eaten at the W Philly location yet but I've been wondering if Han could keep up the quality while expanding so rapidly. Did you have any of the drinks? The cocktail program looks interesting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      No drinks last night (too many the night before!), but agree they look interesting.... I didn't see many people ordering cocktails.....

      1. re: barryg

        The cocktails are great. I live in West Philly and go just for them and some snacky stuff.

        But hey, Katie designed them, so it's really no surprise. She's a gem.

      2. I too have been to the Old City Han Dynasty many times and I'm a little surprised you've never had a single "dud" dish there before. I think they fail to live up to their usual standards about 5% of the time, I know there are others who feel similarly.
        I think it could have been an off night (and I bet your mediocre Han Dynasty meal was still better than most Chinese meals eaten in Philly that night...)

        1 Reply
        1. re: caganer

          Definitely agree that my mediocre HD meal was still way better than most!

        2. I love Han Dynasty (Penns Landing) and travel from Jersey for it. However, the service there can be really slow also

          1. Ate at the manayunk HD the other night. Seemed as strong as ever (though we've only eaten there 2x, and in Old City 1x).

            1. Any more thoughts on HD UCity? Am going to be in UC on a Sat night and would love to finally try HD...it would be much more convenient to go to UC but would travel to Olde City if food was that much better. Thoughts?

              8 Replies
              1. re: cook262

                The Old City HD has had its ups and downs in my experience, more often than not it's excellent but I've had a few visits that were not very good. I've been to the UC HD twice (both in the last couple of months, so well after the experiences in this thread so far) and had very good meals both times.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  I'll also add that the UC location is much more pleasant to be in, thanks to its former life as MidAtlantic. The space is very nice. And of course you have Katie's cocktails available.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    I was at the Old City HD again a few days ago and it was OK, but I don't think I'll be going back for a while. The UC location has now given me two good meals in a row and the OC location has given me two lackluster ones in a row.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      What was lackluster about OC? The spicing? Service?

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        1. No szechuan peppercorn in dishes that should have it (dan dan noodles mainly)
                        2. Spice levels totally unhinged from menu descriptions
                        3. Sitting for 15 minutes eating spicy food with no water to drink

                        Everything was just not as good as it's been there in the past, and not as good as the exact same dishes at the UC location. It wasn't horrible, but I'd rather go somewhere else.

                  2. re: cook262

                    I've had nothing but good experiences, but usually go for lunch.

                    The dan dan noodles are just as good there as the other outposts, so far.

                    I think it's worth your while. If you don't have a good experience, talk to the manager, Germaine. Nice guy who will do his best to make things right.

                    (I think he's still the manager)

                    1. re: Boognish

                      Got take-out last night from the UC. It was fantastic. The cumin lamb leftover will make a great lunch today. So good.

                    2. re: cook262

                      Thanks for the info. Will keep reservation and go to the UC location in 2 weeks. Will let you know how it is. Can't wait to try the dan dan noodles