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Chinese food?

Going out for a birthday dinner tomorrow night before an 8PM show. My companion told me to choose anything in Chinatown. I'm not familiar with the choices at all, except what I read in a very old Chowhound discussion, and Yelp. Could anyone suggest a favorite(s) and what you liked about it? I appreciate the help I've always received from Chowhound contributors/foodies. Thanks.

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  1. Taiwan Cafe (generally overall excellent food, low cost, friendly service, pretty bare bones interior)

    Gourmet Dumpling House (the dumplings are generally excellent, especially the soup dumplings! Other food items are high quality and it's relatively inexpensive)

    Windsor Dim Sum (all about pork buns! If you love dim sum, this place is great)

    Those are my three favorites.

    1. My favorites are China King, Windsor Dim Sum, and Xinh Xinh (which is vietnamese). Oh, and Best Little Restaurant for those fantastic lettuce wraps.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maillard

        I like all the above suggestions but if you'd like a bit fancier, very good seafood at Peach Farm.

      2. Agree with everything so far. I'd also add New Shanghai for Szechuan and Shojo if you want something a little nicer with very solid tiki cocktails.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mkfisher

          I agree, too, except I think Shojo is much nicer, not just a little, if that's a consideration. It's one of the only modern-looking places. I think they just made some menus changes.

          Gene's Flatbread Cafe is small but good.

        2. For a birthday dinner I'd recommend Q Hot Pot in the Archstone on Washington St.

          Upscale, great hot pot, good cocktails, discount parking

          13 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            China King for Peking Duck! Haven't been or had it, but that's what I'd do.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              Yes but it needs to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

              1. re: justbeingpolite

                Yah except it's greasy and not particularly good

                1. re: Luther

                  i like to do take out and then put the skin in the oven; that warms and crisps it up. the soup is ok but the stir fry duck is quite good.

                  1. re: Luther

                    I've had their peking duck recently and have not noticed any particular drop in quality. Though if you just mean you don't care for the dish, I suppose that can't be helped.

                    The key dish with the pancakes is all about enjoying the crisp fatty skin, so yeah, not exactly recommended for those who are extremely health conscious or would not appreciate eating duck fat. However, I love duck and I love duck skin, so it's my kind of dish. Their home-made pancakes is plus.

                    1. re: kobuta

                      I definitely love fatty foods and crispy skin, but I had their peking duck recently and was pretty disappointed by the first course. It was too greasy and not crispy enough. I also didn't like the pancakes. They were too heavy and gummy. I've had far better peking duck elsewhere (sadly not in Boston). The second course with noodles was insanely delicious and the soup was very good as well, though.

                      1. re: kobuta

                        I haven't had it in over a year because I didn't like it to begin with. I'd say it barely qualified as "Peking duck" because they fail to render a lot of the fat under the skin. It's that properly crisp texture that really defines the dish. Beyond that, it's not a very good quality duck and the pancakes are thick and unpleasant. I agree with Maillard below. That "insanely delicious" other course benefits from a hefty dose of MSG... I remember posting about this a few years ago and saying it was like really good Chinese-American takeout food, satisfying fast food but not a product of good technique like Peking duck should be.

                        1. re: Luther

                          Yes, the lack of rendering was definitely the problem. Also, I find it super funny that the stir-fry course is so tasty because of msg. I clearly have an intense love for the stuff, since I'm also crazy about Cheetos, Doritos, and KFC. :)

                          I remember thinking that I didn't like peking duck after having it at the original King Fung years ago. But then I had it at Sun Wah in Chicago and it was a completely different thing. So delicious! So I figured I'd give China King a shot in case I'd just hit up King Fung on an off night. Doesn't seem like it, though.

                          1. re: maillard

                            Thanks for the tip on Sun Wah. I've never had 'Peking duck' and really should try it sometime.

                            I concur with the recommendations for Winsor (my first choice in Chinatown) and Taiwan Cafe (my second choice.) I don't think any of the others I've tried are quite as good, though I do go to some of them for variety occasionally.

                            1. re: KWagle

                              i recommend the various seafood - fish in the tank restaurants including peach farm and east ocean.

                              as to fat rendering; put the skin in at 450 degrees for about 20 ninutes and then steam the pancakes, and things will be fine. this dish works much better as take-out than eating it in the restaurant.

                              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                I like the rendition in the restaurant good enough, but I'm so intrigued by your suggestion for take home and crisp up that I might just try this to celebrate my new kitchen when it's done!

                                1. re: kobuta

                                  i recommend 450 degrees; you can check it after 20 to 30 minutes to decide when the fat has been adequately rendered. You will want to put the skin on a sieve of some sort so that it does not sit in the fat.

                                  I agree with Luther about how greasy the skin is at the restaurant. Perhaps you could ask dorothy to decrease the fat by steaming it more.

                                  if i was back in chi-town or SF, i would not need to go through this rigamarole.