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Feb 15, 2013 06:30 PM

Favorite restaurants in Chinatown?

Need recommendations for good (authentic) Chinese restaurants in Boston's Chinatown, please.

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    1. I don't know if what I eat is authentic Chinese food really, but I like The Best Little Restaurant.

      1. The Best Little Restaurant is good. My family used to go there all the time when I was growing up as a kid to eat periwinkles in black bean sauce. The ownership has changed but the food is still pretty good there. I like the ginger scallion beef served in a hotpot.

        My favorite restaurant is probably New Golden Gate. The service is pretty bad and the waiters are old men who always oogle my wife, but the food is great. Favorite dishes are satay beef udon, salt and pepper calamari, roast beef with green beans, conch stir fried with bean sprouts.

        2 Replies
        1. re: trillen

          I have a Chinese friend who has been going to Best Little Restaurant for a very long time (when it was Ho Yien Ting?) and he says one of the reasons it is so good and consistent is that the chefs have not changed in a very long time. He also has taken me to a couple of Chinese family get togethers at the New Golden Gate and the food has been outstanding. Service has never been an issue but maybe that's because they are all Chinese?

          1. re: bakerboyz

            Yes, Ho Yuen Ting was the previous Chinese name (may still be?). I'm not sure if the chefs are still the same and would venture to say that they are not. Example - the beef and parsley soup, which was phenomenal, used to be served dark and is now a light broth like at most other Chinese restaurants around Boston. Could just be that particular dish but last time I went, they also didn't have the periwinkles that I ordered there fairly regularly before. Regardless, the food is still pretty good.

            I guess it depends on definitions of "good" versus "bad" service, but I think service at most Chinatown restaurants is sub-par. I have no problem saying that - I am Chinese after all. It is what it is. It's a different ethos. But of course you go to Chinatown for the food, not the service.


        2. China King has great noodles and the chow mein uses the shanghi noodles that are thick and chewy. The chow foon has the wide rice noodles that are delicious also. Food there is delicious.
          China King
          60 Beach St

          Another new fav or mine since I saw Ming Tsi on tv singing it's praises is the Gourmet Dumpling House. It has some great spicy dishes that are really authentic. It seems to have more spicy items on the extensive menu than other places do.
          Gourmet Dumpling House
          52 Beach St

          I use to like the New Golden Gate but my last few meals left me disappointed.

          For great Bahn Mi sandwiches I love, love, love 163 at 68 Harrison Ave. Tiny little (cash only) place that makes the best sandwiches, and other dishes. They also have extensive frozen bubble drinks/teas - love, love, love their Jasmine tea....

          1. Been spending most of my Chinatown dollars these days at:

            Taiwan Cafe and Dumpling Cafe (Taiwanese)
            China King (Shandong and Beijing, very fine Peking duck)
            Windsor Cafe and Bubor Cha Cha (a la carte, not cart, Cantonese dim sum)
            Hong Kong Eatery and Vinh-Sun BBQ (Cantonese roast meats)
            Best Little Restaurant (Cantonese)
            New Shanghai (Sichuan, though it also does good Beijing cuisine)
            Mei Sum Bakery (banh mi)
            Shojo (Asian-Western fusion and good cocktails in a pretty setting)
            Q Restaurant (Chinese hotpot)

            Honorable mentions: Peach Farm (Hong Kong live-tank seafood and Cantonese), My Thai Vegan, Suishaya (Korean), 163 Vietnamese Sandwiches

            On the to-try list: Hot Pot Cafe, Potluck Cafe, Fei Fan Eatery


            21 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Had a nice lunch at Q today. Spicy Mala hot pot with lamb. Also got an order of steamed buns that were very good. I have not had them at GDH or DC, so I can't compare, but these were very juicy.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                After reading several great reviews on CH, your blog and a few other blogs, we went to China KIng last night after a movie. Although Chinatown was bustling, China King was empty. One lone (caucasian) dad with a baby in a stroller sat eating a plate of dumplings. It took a while for a young man to approach us with menus. We asked about wine, and he seemed flummoxed, and said he go "look for some".
                We got a little spooked, and decided to try someplace else. We wound up at Jade Garden (several other places had long waits) and had a good dinner.
                Do you think last night was an anomaly, or has the situation changed since your latest posts mentioning the spot. You've never steered us wrong, so we're willing to try it again (with other dining companions) if you've been or heard about it recently and still like it.

                1. re: Lgalen

                  My guess about the wine question is that a language issue was involved, as China King does not have a license (and to my knowledge is not a "cold tea" kind of place). I'd encourage you to return sometime with two or three friends for the three-course Peking duck, which you have to order a day ahead of time. It's a specialty, and very good there, especially if you get the second course with their house-made noodles (which they refer to, confusingly to diners accustomed to a different American-Chinese dish, as "chow mein") instead of rice.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    The idea of a wine list or any notable selection at a china town establishment kind of cracks me up...

                    1. re: hargau

                      You can get what I call "flying coach class" wines at New Shanghai. Shojo actually has quite respectable, menu appropriate wines by the glass and bottle, but it's not a very long list, maybe a dozen options. My favorite places are the one that let you BYO, but I can't discuss those here.


                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Is that what you mean by "cold tea?"

                        1. re: bcc

                          No. "Cold tea" is illegally-sold alcohol, often beer served out of teapots, at places that are unlicensed or at times outside of the licensed ones, e.g., after 2am. The phrase refers to how you order it. If you know of any such places, please do not discuss them here.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            I don't understand this need to protect the cold tea legend. Since when do you need a secret decoder ring and talking about it in piglatin? I first ordered cold tea in the 70's so it's not like it's the latest rage. Mostly yellow swill served to drunk college hipster wannabes at 3am.

                            I mean really, do you think that any establishment that has been serving cold tea for the past 40 years is pulling the wool over Mayor Marty and the new Commish's eyes? They both probably had cold tea back in the day.

                            1. re: Bellachefa

                              The first rule of Cold Tea Club...

                              If only good ol' Mahty were the only one to worry about. No, I'm afraid that online discussions of the handful of BYOB places left (I don't patronize the cold tea joints -- most of them have miserable food) might come to the attention of some other ambitious city official, aspiring pol, or overzealous bluenose with too much time on their hands. Not a good gamble, in my book..


                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                I'm convinced that cold tea in the modern era is just near beer. You're drinking macrolager beer at ice cold temps in tea cups - and you're probably hammered. There's a 0% chance you could tell the difference, it keeps the mystique alive, and you won't get in trouble. I know the few times that I had cold tea they could have easy slipped in NA beer and I'd have been none the wiser.

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  your inclination is correct-- cold tea is infact NA beer. perhaps pre menino, it may have been real alcohol, but for past 20 years or so, it is non- alcoholic.

                                  1. re: bostonfoodz

                                    I'd be curious to know how this hypothesis has been tested.


                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      Yah, I wasn't going to chime in, but I HAVE gotten real beer as cold tea in the last 10 years or so. Heck, I saw them pour it into the tea pot in the kitchen.

                                2. re: Bellachefa

                                  Yeah, especially since the cops are the biggest cold tea restaurant patrons! LOL.

                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                          the Peking duck at china king is fabulous

                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                  i have said this before; i bring home the pekin duck and put it in the oven at 450 and render the fat; doing that; it is much better than eating it in china town.

                                  and at home, you can open up a good bottle of Pinot Noir or Burgundy which suits it to the gournd

                                2. re: CambridgeFoodie

                                  I am aiming to hit China King soon for my first ever Peking duck experience.

                                  I've been attempting to explore Chinatown more the last few months and so far some favorites have been New Shanghai, Dumpling Cafe and Vinh Sun.