Asia World Market (and Central Legacy Plaza in general)
Looks like I'm moving to Plano soon, and I would like to have a central place for people to discuss the Asia World Market, food court and restaurants in Central Legacy Plaza. I usually end up in Richardson right now when I'm looking for these types of eats.
Best bets? Things to stay away from? Is JS Chen on the level of Kirin and Maxims? Is Pho Que Houng any good? Little Sichaun v. the place in Richardson Chinatown? Iravat good enough not to make a drive elsewhere? Umeko's Taiwanese dishes as good as they sound?
If I missed a general discussion in my search of the boards, sorry about that. Feel free to point me to one.
Avoid Pho Que Huong.
Palayok in the food court is solid Filipino food, and I also recommend the hot pot place on the opposite side of the shopping center.
JS Chen is not on the level of Maxim or Kirin.
Little Sichuan and Royal Sichuan are pretty close, both are good in different ways.
I like most of Umeko's Chinese dishes. I'd definitely stay away from the Japanese there.
Little Sichaun is pretty solid although I slightly favor Royal Sichuan.
The bakery inside 99 Ranch one block south is great.
In no particular order (and mostly agreeing with what's already been said):
Pho Que Huong is a bad chain.
I'm not a fan of JS Chen despite their consistently positive reviews (in the paper).
Little Sichuan is good. I think they do particularly well with the Beef with Cabbage and the Tea Smoked Duck.
The food court has lots of good items. All of the pre-packaged items at Palayok are worth taking home, even if you get your meal at a different stand.
Iravat is bad. However, they have good tandoori chicken, naan and kheer if that's your thing.
I really like Umeko. Specifically, the pork chop over rice is my favorite rendition in dallas. Only available on the weekday lunch menu though. I also like the 3 cup chicken and have had some good periwinkle dishes.
The mongolian hot pot place is my favorite hot pot in town.
On a kinda related note, since you mentioned you're moving to Plano, there's a couple more chinese options at Independence and Parker i highly recommend.
First is Lucky City Chinese BBQ. This place does not get nearly enough hype on this board. It puts 1st Chinese BBQ to shame (sorry twinwillow :) The wonton soup is on par with the wonton mee I had in Hong Kong. The roast pork is unbelievable.
Also, I highly recommend North China Restaurant. Specifically, the "jelly with sesame and mixed vegetable" appetizer is outrageously good.
Gladly. So my understanding (this is from a Cantonese friend of mine) is that the original chef from 1st Chinese left awhile back and opened this place. So, take that how you will.
To the food, it's is basically the same menu as 1st Chinese but much better. My primary recommendation is the wonton soup as it is absolutely phenomenal.
I don't know exactly what it's called but the flat rice noodles with beef is awesome. It might just be "fried noodles or stir fry beef with flat noodles". I wish i could be clearer but my friend always orders it in Cantonese and i've always just explain to the server what I want when i go on my own.
I've also had that all inclusive combination fried rice and it's good. The roast and bbq pork are both great though I prefer the roast version as it's not nearly as sweet.
Lastly, i've heard good things about the Pepper & Salt pork chop.
Bottom line, everything I've had is good. Make sure you get the wonton soup (with or without noodles, depending on if it's your entire meal).
Hope that didn't come off as me disliking it, more that I wanna try other stuff that might be good. I didn't see your post until today unfortunately.
And it was actually soup plus four dishes, then a taro/tapioca porridge dessert. Absurd amount of food for $30. The menu detailing that special is in Chinese and I had a friend with me who noticed that it's a pretty good deal. I imagine the white boards have some good stuff too.
Egg drop soup with chicken - lots of egg, but the soup itself was really thin and watery. I'll try your suggestion next time.
Fried chicken - holy msg overload. Did not like this.
Roasted duck - this was a little too salty for me but I did like the crispy skin and the juicy meat. If it wasn't so salty I'd call this better than First Chinese. Retrospect says we probably should've ordered the pork bbq.
Broccoli beef - I did like that they asked if you want Chinese broccoli. I've typically only had Chinese broccoli by itself at dim sum, so this was new to me.
Sprouts stir fry with beef - this was probably my favorite dish. Glad the sauce wasn't in-your-face on the flavor unlike the fried stuff.
RE: North China. I am having the best time eating through the many dishes I don't see on the menu at other Chinese restaurants. I haven't had a bad thing there yet and I really like most of the dishes.
Current favorites are Shredded Pork with Bean Jelly, Shredded Pork with Edible Fungus and Leek Flower, Northern Style Noodle Soup, Braised Beef Noodle Soup (think Korean ramen), Mixed Vegetable & Bean Jelly with Sesame Sauce.
The lunch special selection is more limited but they'll make most things off the main menu if you ask.