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Where to bring Chinese Visitors, Northern Central NJ

My co workers from our China office are visiting the week of 2/10/13. What are good places to bring them for lunch/dinner? Dim Sum, Traditional American..Im clueless as to what they would like to eat? Have any of you had to entertain co workers or visitors from China? Our office is in Edison, NJ, I will need ideas in that area but we will also be travelling to Bridgewater and Short Hills, NJ. I am looking for suggestions in Middlesex/Somerset/Essex and Union county.

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  1. In Edison area there are a lot of great Chinese and Korean places, Wonder Seafood on Rt 27 would be good for dim sum. Further down the road is China Bowl which serves Cantonese style Chinese BBQ and noodle and rice dishes. There are also Noodlelicious near the Hmart which serves good Taiwanese-style noodle.

    For Korean food, there is Picnic Garden (all you can eat grill meat) next to Hmart. Also, in the same mall as Hmart, there is a tofu house which is great. Avoid Hmart food court, I really don't think the food there is all that great; the fried chicken booth being the only exception.

    For American food, over in Asia they don't make burgers and steaks like they do here. So if your coworkers are interested in devouring beef, I think a decent steak/burger joint would work.

    Cajun cuisine would work also and might be something interesting.

    I once bring a friend from Hong Kong to try Mexican and he did not like it but that might just because we went to On the Borders :)

    1. I have several friends who live in China that visit the NYC area on business often. All of them agree that even the best of NYC Chinese food is not anything like what they are used to in China. I would probably avoid any Chinese food.
      But, all four of them can't get enough of American fried chicken. Two of them even love Chick Fil A and make it a point to eat there more than once a trip. Not so much KFC as they are already able to get that in the major cities in China, but a real southern resto is a big treat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: seal

        That's a pretty good point. When I was in China there's no way I was eating American food, but people we were with just ate at McDonald's every meal. If they're homesick or timid go Asian, but otherwise you'd do better at a good diner, a steakhouse, maybe a nice Italian place. Something classically American they can't get in China.

      2. Kim Chi Hana in south plainfield is a fun spot they might like. You grill your own meat there over charcoal...pretty cool if you ask me and very tasty!


        1. Fernandes Steakhouse 3 might be a good spot that is something different. Its a brazilian style steakhouse where they serve Rodizio. I am sure they would get a kick out of that (if they like meat, and most people from China that I know like meat.)

          I have never been there but if its half as good as Fernandes 2 in newark, then you will be OK. If Newark is not too far, then definitely Fernandes. I'd recommend the upstairs room if you can get reservations up there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: corvette johnny

            Thanks Johnny for recommending Fernandes Steakhouse 3. We went for the Brazilian Rodizio Sunday Night. Of the 3 Rodizios I have been to in NJ, one in Long Branch, One in Newark and here, this was by far the best. Salad Bar was awful but the meat was great, especailly the garlic steak and the bacon wrapped lamb. Not better than Platform in NYC but very good Rodizio.

            A good rec, probably worthy of its owe thread, which hopefully I will get to.

          2. I would take them to someplace nice that has interesting fish, like Blue Water Seafood on Route 18 across from Brunswick Square mall.
            Or LouCas on 27 at Parsonage Road probably has something interesting and not too weird-seeming for various non-American palates.

            1. When I hosted some visitors from China, I asked what they would be interested in trying, offering several suggestions, and answering questions. Interestingly the "hits" for all was a visit to a classic jersey diner as well as a great Jewish deli. Guess they wanted to experience the iconic offerings they have only seen in movies/tv.

              I found it so funny that when discussing the available options, and the topic of a Jewish deli came up, the guests immediately referred to the classic scene from When Harry Met Sally, and all agreed that was their first choice!

              1. I agree with the poster who commented that you should avoid a Chinese American restaurant at all costs. If they're interested in 'somewhat Home cooking with a twist', I'd recommend excellent Thai at Four Seasons on Stelton Rd in Piscataway (Exit 6 off of #287). It has no room ambience but the food is excellent. Good place for lunch or dinner.

                Should you be in the Bridgewater area, I'd recommend Ovations which is just off of Ex. 11 on #287 - Very good New American, and they do a nice job with sushi. They also make great cocktails. Or some very nice French Thai at Origin on Division St in Somerville.

                In Middlesex County - I'd recommend the lobster at Casa Verde (South Amboy/ Rte. 9 South); a more formal dinner (Northern Italian) can be had Il Castile (Main St) in Woodbridge.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JustJake

                  + 1 Il Castile

                  For the Bridgewater area about 10 minutes further west is Char Steakhouse if they are in the mood for excellent prime dry aged steak.

                  +1 For Casa Verde

                  + 1 for Ferdenes of Newark in South Amboy. (haven't been there just based on their reputation)

                2. I would take them to a great new American restaurant like Nicholas.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Too funny...someone just posted on an old thread of your Joon asking about places to eat in Colts Neck area. (you will see it on the NJ board now)

                    The thread is about 4/5 years old but someone from Holmdel just posted today Monmouth County has no good dining options. I responded to that.....oh yeah what about Nicholas?

                  2. Imagine bringing them to Harolds and seeing the look on their faces when they are served a sandwich LOL

                    I think they would be impressed with stature of the clientele as well, coming from a culture where people are traditionally not too large.

                    1. Thank you all of the GREAT suggestions. Johhny Corevette, I found out that they went Harolds on the last visit and they were blown away.

                      I actually printed this forum and brought it to a team meeting to discuss. Everyone loved the ideas and are now interested in the NJ forum on Chow.

                      We have not set the itinerary, but I will be sure to update you all as to where we went and what they liked. Thanks Again!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jennybird83

                        They will love Rodizio, trust me on this. Its fun, filling, and the meat is tasty with a lot of variety (over a dozen cuts of beef, chicken, sausage, pork, lamb)

                        So if you don't like something, wait for the next delicious skewer of charcoal grilled meat : )

                      2. Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove (Near Short Hills) is where a large portion of the Chinese population of NNJ dines out. Don't go much by the English menu, the good stuff is on the Chinese menu.

                        Your Chinese visitors will think they never left home!

                        89 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009(