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Chinese in San Antonio??

  • t

As an ex-New Yorker, I'm suffering by the lack of really good Chinese food in San Antonio. Anyone have suggestions?

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  1. d
    Danielle Panozzo

    Not Chinese, but Japanese. It doesn't answer your question, but we're on the same continent, and I LOVE this place - Fujiya Japanese Restaurant. It's owned by some family friends and it has AMAZING food. Just a thought.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Danielle Panozzo

      We always frequent Ming Court ( Stone Oak @ huebner)
      or Golden Wok on Wurzbach, in fact it's very near Fuji-ya. Golden Wok even has dim sum, and it's good, just
      rather limited in selection, you have to order from
      a menu, not choose off rolling carts.

      1. re: kMcKane
        Laura Fries, Food Editor, San Antonio Current

        The dim sum on carts is available on Sunday.

        Link: http://www.sacurrent.com

    2. I have the same problem. There are passable Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese places here, but I have yet to have a good meal at a Chinese restaurant. However, Van's on Broadway Ave. has some traditional Chinese entrees on the menu that are decent.

      1. Lai Wah is fabulous and no one seems to know about it. It's on Fredricksburg Road just north of Callahagn near the medical center. In a strip mall, of course. It's owned by the warm and generous Lai Wah herself, who will take good care of you and remember what you had next time you visit. The steamed dumplings are excellent. Ms Wah prefers you order them immediately upon being seated as they take 15 min or so. The big crispy-fried fish is excellent, but requires a call-ahead so she can start it for you. The eggplant in garlic sauce is out-of-this-world, as is the hot and sour soup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: abby

          Yeah, part of what makes it so good is that it is made to order. Even sweet & sour pork becomes sublime when assembled properly and not simmering away waiting for the next order. You are hitting all my good food memories of San Antonio !

        2. Royal Inn on Babcock has the best Chinese food in town.

          1. Try China Inn on Northwest Military in Castle Hills. It's in a small strip mall behind a more visible Taipei Restaurant. They have a separate sheet for chinese patrons which is not offered to everyone. Try the clay pot and the combination noodles. When they started, they used to offer many seafood dishes.

            1. For a ex-Bostonian, SA's Asian restaurant scene has been truely disappointing. I have been to Taipei, China Inn, Kim Wah, Lai Wah, Golden Wok, Chef Chen's Tea House, and a couple other Chinese restaurants. Only Chef Chen's Tea House comes close to the second rated Chinese restaurants in Boston.

              1. What do you like at Chef Chan's? I went once, by myself and got the beef with XO sauce, the beef was very tough and I didn't care for the sauce. I thought the restaurant looked like it had potential though.

                We went to China Inn last night for the second time, ordered off the chinese menu and liked most things. The special beef, snow pea leaves, dumplings, chicken in black bean sauce were all good.

                One of my associates is from china (Hunan province), so I've been trying places he recomended. I have had some good things at Kim Wah as well, especially the salt toasted ribs and chinese style kung pao beef.

                Taipei was suggested by a number of people I know, I thought it was awful. The dim sum at Golden Wok is good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: saeyedoc

                  Too bad you had such a bad experience at Taipei (I assume the orig one on NW Military) ... I've always had great luck there. Maybe they've slipped since they branched out (assuming the extra Taipei's are still controlled by Mencius)

                2. We went to China Inn for lunch today. While we did not order off the chinese menu, it was all good. I ordered pork in hot garlic sauce and got to sample sesame chicken and green beans with chicken. We all enjoyed it and got a doggie bag, potions were large and quite a value for 4.25-4.95. We thought it was better than Chef Chans. Cant wait to go back and try the authentic chinese style. Thanks saeyedoc!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SAnativegirl

                    You're welcome, definitely try the chinese menu next time. The special beef is a not miss.

                    1. re: saeyedoc

                      Has anyone tried Phoenix Chinese Cafe on West Ave? I remember reading a web review online that said that it served dim sum and that the restaurant was a Honk Kong style place.

                  2. I had a women in my office yesterday who is originally from Hong Kong and she thinks Phoenix Cafe is the best in SA.

                    As I just posted in another thread, my Chinese associate recently tried Wah Kee on Military near China Inn. It's fairly new and he thought it was better than China Inn.

                    He also likes Pearl Inn on I-10 and Fredricksburg, I haven't tried it yet.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: saeyedoc

                      I eat regularly at Pearl Inn. Dishes are well done and flavorful.

                      1. re: saeyedoc

                        Went to Wah Kee last night. Sevice was awful, we ordered a fresh fish that although excellent, took 45 minutes and came out 20 or more minutes after we had finished everything else.

                        sauteed snow pea leaves were excellent, beef with noodles good, shrimp with walnuts acceptable, deep-fried ribs meh.

                        I may go back just for the snow pea leaves.

                        1. Ding How on NW loop 410 is a great option. They have been there forever and the decor is great! You won't be disappointed.
                          Check out the internet for it and read the reviews.
                          Another choice is a Buffet called Mr. Panda. The one at 281 and
                          Bitters (hard to find) is the best there is. They bought another one recently off 410 and Ingram but obviously they don't use the same cookbook. Each item tastes different like they are supposed to.

                          1. You might try Asia Kitchen on SW Loop 410 @ Marbach. It's a couple miles from Lackland AFB. They serve Thai and Chinese and it has repeatedly been voted for Best in San Antonio. It's also very personable. If you go 2 or 3 times, they remember you and treat you like family. It is a family-owned and operated restaurant (he is retired USAF) and (she is Thai).


                            Asia Kitchen
                            1739 S.W. Loop 410, Suite 201-204
                            San Antonio, Texas 78227

                            Hint: It is PACKED to the rafters weekdays 11:00 am to about 1:00 pm by military personnel from Lackland AFB, as well as locals, tour groups, blue hair groups, and local business people on lunch break. If you want a leisurely un-crowded meal, weekday lunch hour might not be for you.


                            1. Phoenix Chinese Cafe is the best I have found in San Antonio, 11821 West Ave. Atmosphere leaves something to be desired but excellent food and service

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: llove1313

                                I moved to San Antonio about year and a half ago. I am originally from Hong Kong. We had tried Golden Wok and I found that their dim sum to be not quite authentic. For example, we ordered a dish of pan-fried noodles. They noodle that they used was not the typical noodle that you would use to make pan-fried noodles. My wife and I found Chef Chan Tea House to be the best Chinese in town. Unfortunately, we went to Chef Chan Tea House a week ago and found that the place was closed. So now, we will need to find another place that serves good dim sum. We will try Phoenix Chinse Cafe. Thanks for the suggestions.

                                1. re: knittingguy

                                  I was in shock to find that Chef Chan's Tea House was closed. It used to be my favorite dim sum place in SA. Does anyone know what happened?

                                  I now go to Jin's right across instead but I really do miss the peking duck, HK style pan-fried noodles and weekend dim sum from Chef Chan's!

                              2. Kim Wah on Bandera is great, but you have to be adventurous and let them know you are willing to be. Bring your own wine and take your time with some duck or a whole fish.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Dave V

                                  Kim Wah is a great place for Chinese/Taiwanese food. They have a pretty authentic menu with pictures of all the dishes. Get some thing from the Special Board and the Chef's Special.

                                2. After living in Houston for 8 years, the Chinese options are pretty disappointing in SA. There are several that are passible, but none would rate better than average in Houston. Pearl inn and Asia Kitchen are pretty good for San Antonio.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: abitaman

                                    Thanks for the tips.There is a place called Bejing on N.W.Military,where I think it meets another road. It sists back in a little shopping plaza,but it has been a long time since I was there.
                                    You ar right, considering the long history of chinese in San Antonio, you think there would be some really good places around.
                                    Years ago we ate at Ding How, near Loop 410 going west towards Ingram Road,and it was good. Again don't get over to the other side much.
                                    There is a place on Broadway,Hung Sui I think it's called that is supposed to be good.

                                    1. re: abitaman

                                      Asia Kitchen is pretty good for americanized Thai food. I like their pad thai /sesame chicken and especially the thai whole fried fish with chili sauce if you are willing to wait for 15 mins. Nonetheless a good quick place for lunch with a very reasonable price.

                                    2. Nobody's even mentioned Formosa Garden on Loop 410 or Mencius @ Fredericksburg and Medical. Both as good as it gets in SA.

                                      1. If you like authentic Chinese food I would highly recommend Kim Wah chinese BBQ in Leon Valley. This is the only Chinese restaurant I like with a Cantonese/Chinese chef. Try the Beijing Duck Two Ways, Kim Wah Tofu on a sizzling plate, the dry Beef Chow Fun, or something from their Special Board (a white board with Chinese/English).

                                        The authentic Chinese restaurants tend to go out of business in San Antonio...

                                        1. Have to throw in my vote for Kim Wah, Bandera Rd. Haven't been there for a few months, but love their "Pepper Seafood". (Sauteed shrimp, scallops & squid with black pepper and rings of jalapeno peppers) Um, um, good! Ask for the "chinese" menu. The fish hotpot is another excellent choice. AND the duck...oh the duck. I'm going back tomorrow!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: amazinc

                                            I love the Pepper Seafood or the Pepper Ribs! I have not yet tried the fish hotpot. This weekend maybe? HAhah

                                          2. My grandfather was Filipino and he refused to eat at asian restaurants in San Antonio, he would rather make it himself. He was a rather excellent chef; my dad hated asian food until he met my grandfather. However, despite the fact that he didn't like asian food restaurants in San Antonio, there was one restaurant we could take him to and that restaurant was Hong Fong on Broadway. It is one of the oldest restaurants in town and I think you'll find the food is more like home cooked chinese food and everything there is delicious. It is very traditional chinese food (like chinese comfort food) and I find it pretty good.