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Han Dynasty in Royersford no longer affiliated with -the- Han Dynasty?

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bsims76 Oct 25, 2013 02:08 PM

I'm local to that location... been a while since I've been, thought I might order some take out and noticed that location is no longer listed on handynasty.net. Some quick Google-Fu uncovered www.handynastyroyersford.com - It looks like it's still open, but the website is definitely amateur-hour compared to the "real" one.

I'm not exactly surprised... the shopping center it's located in is definitely going downhill fast, while it was (I think) the second location is certainly doesn't exactly jive with Han's recent aspirations. Han probably hasn't stepped foot in there in years, even if it has changed hands, kitchen staff is probably the same...

Anyone have the scoop?

  1. PhillyBestBYOB Oct 25, 2013 03:46 PM

    Don't know, but I've enjoyed my recent meals there. It's never crowded and the service is lightening fast.

    1. m
      MainLiner Oct 26, 2013 05:01 AM

      Probably six months since I've been to that location, but it was my favorite (though Olde City comes close.)

      1. b
        bugablue13 Oct 28, 2013 05:12 AM

        I wondered why the owner, who just opened a location in NY, would keep one in a random place like Royersford. You're right about that shopping center. They need to get something into the old Genuardi's location fast.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bugablue13
          c
          cwdonald Oct 28, 2013 06:40 AM

          You have to remember that the place started in Exton and then added Royersford. Philadelphia was only the third place they opened. I am not convinced they have separated, only that they have a different website. If you look at the website they are giving you the ability to order online. I think that might be the motivation for the creation of the different website.

          I was at one of their monthly banquets there about a year ago and Han definitely was there as was Han's mother.

          There are going to be more shopping centers suffering with the loss of Genuardies and even Giants as the stores realize they have over built in the region.

          1. re: cwdonald
            b
            barryg Oct 28, 2013 08:39 AM

            Cwdonald, the online ordering does not explain why the location was removed from the main site.

            1. re: barryg
              c
              cwdonald Oct 28, 2013 08:49 AM

              The only thing I can think of is you do not want to have two websites for a location... If they are still joined, I would have a link from one to the other. But again I am just speculating.

              1. re: cwdonald
                PhillyBestBYOB Oct 29, 2013 05:09 PM

                I was there for lunch today, or at least on the outside looking in, but apparently their CC machine was broken so they were closed.

                Then I headed over to the Lucky Lab Tavern, but apparently they are out of business.

                One of those days...

                1. re: PhillyBestBYOB
                  b
                  bugablue13 Oct 29, 2013 05:18 PM

                  I saw they were closing in the Patch. Such a shame. The tone of the letter made it sound like they were struggling as a "small business" and the elected officials needed to realize the value they bring to neighborhoods. Wonder what will go there next. I would LOVE an Indian restaurant!

        2. g
          Guy Oct 31, 2013 03:24 PM

          I ate there a couple of months ago and yes, the person who waited on me said there were new owners. At the time it still appeared on the handynasty.net website, but obviously it is no longer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Guy
            PhillyBestBYOB Oct 31, 2013 05:52 PM

            Maybe he sold it to raise money to open the NYC branch.

          2. o
            obx_nancy Nov 18, 2013 06:15 AM

            I had dinner at the Royersford location on Friday night and Han was there. In his usual style - he was running all over the place - taking orders, directing the staff, seating tables. My husband and I had a chance to talk to him and he said that he is back in Royersford for a few weeks to work through their issues. Apparently, he's had a ton of complaints about the food and service at the Royersford location so he got rid of most of the staff and is working to train the new employees.

            The food was spot on but there are service issues that hopefully will be addressed. The restaurant was very crowded at 8pm on Friday night and the staff was a little disorganized. The restaurant seemed under-staffed.

            On the way out, I spoke with an employee behind the host desk and he mentioned that Han brought him down from the NYC location for a month or two to help manage the Royersford location.

            Bottom line - the Royersford location is still part of the Han Dynasty "chain". If you hurry, you can catch Han in "action" in the burbs!

            4 Replies
            1. re: obx_nancy
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              cwdonald Nov 18, 2013 06:38 AM

              Thanks for the great report nancy. Any dishes stand out there?

              1. re: cwdonald
                o
                obx_nancy Nov 18, 2013 06:55 AM

                We ordered the Dan Dan Noodles which were great, but to be fair, it was my first time ordering them. I usually order Dumpling/Wontons in Chili Oil but wanted to try something different. I did order my usual Chicken with Hot Peppers which was perfectly cooked and not overly spiced. Sometimes it feels like they are trying to burn my face off!! My husband ordered the Beef Noodle Soup Sichuan Style based on Han's recommendation. It was great, very spicy and full of beef. My husband had the Fish in Dry Pot, which he always gets. The fish was super fresh and cooked perfectly. We had a ton of food to take home, my husband has a feast for lunch on Saturday!

              2. re: obx_nancy
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                bsims76 Nov 18, 2013 09:55 AM

                I think this highlights the challenges Han faces in his planned expansions.... All the restaurants have the same "Han Dynasty" brand, so customers basically expect the dining experience to be the same or at least very similar regardless of location.

                To an extent, I think this requires dumbing down the menu to a "hard to screw up" standard (kind of like how starbucks essentially over-roasts their coffee beans, to basically burn-out any unique characteristics of any particular batch - it makes it all taste the same, but not exactly "great"). Not to mention giving the local chef's much less freedom to create on their own, which I imagine wouldn't make a truly talented person particularly happy for very long.

                I guess this is why many restauranteurs don't simply make [i]n[/i] rubber stamps of their first restaurant, but rather have different themes/concepts for each. But there probably isn't much room for variation internal to Szechuan to allow for much variation.

                1. re: bsims76
                  m
                  mookleknuck Nov 19, 2013 06:13 AM

                  "But there probably isn't much room for variation internal to Szechuan to allow for much variation."

                  Would you elaborate on this?

              3. PhillyBestBYOB Nov 18, 2013 04:31 PM

                Stranger and stranger.

                I've eaten quite a lot at Royersford, and always found the food perfect, including the dry pepper style shrimp (a change of pace, since I usually order the chicken).

                However, the dry pepper style shrimp I had recently at the new Old City location in the former Reserve Steakhouse was a disaster (soaking in sauce, when it should be completely dry, and not very crispy).

                1. b
                  bugablue13 Jan 19, 2014 08:47 AM

                  I went for carry-out yesterday afternoon and it was awesome. Andrew, the guy Han brought down from NY was there, as he almost always is, and charming as ever. One of the chefs and who I believe to be Han's wife came over to the waiting area and asked how I was and if I needed anything. I thought that was sweet.

                  The food was amazing. We ordered Dan Dan noodles, 3 cup chicken and two orders of dumplings in chili oil. I'm eating the rest of the noodles right now for an awesome leftover lunch and since I couldn't bring myself to throw out the leftover chili oil with sesame seeds I cut up some fresh cucumber and have it marinating.

                  It's not the nicest of strip malls, but this is one of the best restaurants I've ever visited. I don't think there is another dish I fantasize about like the noodles. They may have had a rough couple of years but it's darn near perfect in my opinion.

                  1. b
                    bugablue13 Jan 19, 2014 08:49 AM

                    Also, they don't do online ordering at the Rofo location. I asked Andrew and he said the fees they charged the restaurant were insane so they just stopped.

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