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Oct 8, 2012 10:20 AM

Taipei Gourmet, Lexington

Taipei Gourmet has taken over the former Three Gorges in Lexington. I visited it today with my parents for lunch.

I had never been to Three Gorges, so I don't know if the interior has changed much. About 3/4 of the people there were Asian, and though the restaurant was mostly empty when we arrived at 11:30, it gradually started filling up so that by the time we left at 12:45, the one waitress was starting to scramble a bit.

I was mostly interested in the section in the menu on "Taiwanese Appetizers & Flour Corner" (not entirely sure what a "flour corner" is meant to be, but my carb-loving stomach liked the sound of it). From this section, we ordered scallion pancake with roast beef, xiao long bao, steamed homemade dumpling with pork and cabbage, steamed red bean buns, and pan fried turnip cake. We also ordered noodles with ground pork in peking sauce, ko-cha dish, watercress, and bok choy.

The watercress and bok choy were not really on the menu, though they both showed up as "seasonal vegetable" on the bill. Both were stir-fried; the watercress with garlic, the bok choy with ginger.

My favorite dish was the scallion pancake with roast beef, though the pancake was greasier than I usually like. The steamed homemade dumpling had thick skin (to withstand the steaming, I suppose) and would have been tastier pan-fried. We found the meat in the dumpling to be underseasoned. The soup dumplings were tastier than I expected but not as soupy as the ones at Asia Gourmet. My parents really liked the noodles with ground pork (which we ordered mild) but I found it bland.

The ko-cha dish was something I hadn't had before - apparently a regional specialty that seemed to consist of squid, tofu (the kind with the dark skin), random dark things. It was tasty, but just not something I would order on my own.

Biggest disappointment were the red bean buns, which are the kind you can just buy at a chinese supermarket and steam at home. I was hoping for homemade.

Overall, the food was fine - not great, but not bad if you just want to go someplace close. I thought the prices were a little expensive (the total with tax was about $70, and we did not have any drinks other than tea). If I had unlimited time, I'd probably drive the extra distance to Asia Gourmet, but this place would be acceptable if I didn't. The people working there seemed nice, and though I didn't have anything that wowed me, I'd be willing to try other menu options.

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  1. Interesting! We are right down the street from them...Three Gorges used to depress the hell out of me. I definitely get a hankering for Chinese take-out once in a blue moon. Thanks for the tip! And check this out from their on-line menu:

    Delivery for orders start from $20.00
    Delivery Charge $2.0
    Any Delivery Charge is not a tip paid to your driver.
    Please reward your driver for awesomeness.

    That got a chuckle from me!

    (BTW, I think by "flour corner" they mean "this is the section of the menu that contains things made of flour/dough, such as dumplings.")

    1 Reply
    1. re: digga

      Any Delivery Charge is not a tip paid to your driver.
      Please reward your driver for awesomeness.

      That got a chuckle from me!

      How weird -- that is stolen, verbatim, from the Domino's order page.

      Yes, I've been known to order Domino's, because the places that deliver in my neighborhood suck even worse.

    2. Went for lunch today and I think the interior is the same but I only went to Three Gorges once years ago and never returned. The new owner has previously worked at Formosa Taipei but quit to open this Taiwanese restaurant. She's very nice and did most of the waitressing today.
      With the lunch you get the normal three choices of soup and I choose the Hot and Sour that comes out in a small bowl with a drizzle of chili oil on top. The Soup was OK.
      I ordered the Lunch Special Flounder Fish Fillet with Szechuan Sauce and the waitress/owner said that it was spicy and I said that spicy is good and she asked if I wanted it extra spicy to which I said YES. When it arrived it has, as you can see, a brown sauce and that is not a good sign. It was just mildly spicy at the most. She offered to redo the dish for takeout when she stopped by later to ask if it was spicy enough and I said that it wasn't spicy at all. I declined, they just opened and everyone is learning but I thought the gesture was nice. The fish on the other hand was cooked perfectly and she later said that she had spoken to the chef.

      Taipei Gourmet
      211 Mass Ave
      Lexington, MA 02420


      1 Reply
      1. re: Ferrari328

        Looks like a nice size lunch for $7.99 with soup!

      2. I have a cold and I figured a spicy soup would do me good.
        Spicy Noodles Soup with Pork hit the spot nicely. She did remember me from last week and the soup did come out nicely spiced, and this time I would agree that it was spicy, they even threw in a bunch of sliced Thai Bird Chilies so it got better as time progressed. The noodles were cooked perfectly, chewy with a nice texture without being undercooked.


        2 Replies
          1. re: hargau

            It does! Now if only we had a secret code to make sure it's actually spicy....

        1. Ordered the Beef Sirloin in Noodle Soup for lunch today, marked spicy on the menu. Good amount of tender beef and there was also some baby bok choy and some minced pickled veggies that was a nice addition. It was actually nicely spiced but I noticed that on the bill it said "extra spicy" so it might be worth asking for that. Extra spicy comes out as spicy in my book. Not sure what part of the sirloin their beef is from ;-) but it was flavorful and very tender. Underneath is a BIG heap of nicely cooked noodles!
          The only customers were me and a Asian couple and their dish looked familiar so I asked the waitress what they got and they ordered the same dish as me! Two tables and the same dish, go figure but someone must have good taste.


          4 Replies
          1. re: Ferrari328

            I usually find these beef soups to have way too much fat, was that the case? I hate any fat on my beef...

            1. re: hargau

              Apart from the big piece in the foreground the rest of the beef was nice without too much fat.

              1. re: Ferrari328

                Not a fan of cilantro. Is the soup redolent of it or does it merely adorn its top?

          2. Went here for lunch today. Not too many customers at lunchtime. It's sad, such a nice sunny room and nice people running it. On the other hand, it's a pain to get here from anywhere except Lexington or Arlington and it's even a stretch from Arlington.
            I ordered Pork with Pickled Cabbage Noodle Soup, this was nice, thick chewy noodles and there was some sliced shiitake mushrooms in there with the pork as well. Very light broth.