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Tien Hong - Austin Chinese - has brown rice!!

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  • chow-a-holic Apr 18, 2005 06:04 PM
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I'd been to tien hong for dim sum, and it was actually my favorite in Austin. Lots of vegetables, which I enjoy.

Anyway, I went recently for dinner, and was blown away by a sauteed red snapper in spicy sauce. I ordered it with broccoli, which was perfectly done.

You can choose brown rice here!! I love that!! All the fun of eating out at a good chinese restaurant, plus feeling good about the superior nutrition of brown rice.

It's got a great, extensive menu, with lots of more authentic chinese dishes on it.

My boyfriend got the salt and pepper shrimp, and enjoyed it, though the same dish at T & S seafood has yet to be beat in his opinion.

Great service, and I enjoyed the classic old chinese restaurant atmosphere.

My new favorite restaurant.

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  1. Tien Hong was a favorite place of mine in the '80s. I worked near there and would hit it several times a month for lunch. My then wife and I liked it for dinner, as well. In those days they were doing dim sum only on Sundays. Several times we did Sunday dim sum with a large group, and it was always excellent. That's where I had my first chicken foot. Then, I don't know, maybe ten years ago it changed hands, I think. It was remodelled, and the menu was much different. For a while it didn't seem so good, and they didn't seem to have as much business, either. I don't live in Austin anymore, so have been there only once in the last five years or more. I'm glad to hear they're still in business and pleasing customers. I have some very fond memories of the place.

    Jim

    1. My girlfriend and I went there a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. Without a doubt our favorite chinese food place in Austin. Nice extensive menu, really friendly service, nice lobster tank, pleasant interior, and conveniently located to where i live.

      I got the same red snapper dish that was mentioned above and man oh man was it good. I'm excited to try the brown rice option now!

      1. Nearly half the dim sum dishes are some kind of ground shrimp item! For dim sum, Pao's, T&S and Marco Polo are much better.

        It's fine if you like that kind of non-traditional Chinese. But by traditional standards, Pao's, T&S, Asia Cafe, Din Ho, First Chinese, China Palace and Marco Polo are much better. Wow, that puts it at 8th place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Kent Wang

          Hey Kent -

          I love all the places on your list, but I'm not familiar with First Chinese. I can't find much on the Web about it - can you give us a description?

          Is it the one on S. Lamar?

          http://austin.citysearch.com/profile/...

          1. re: zencohen

            North Lamar at the new MT Supermarket Asian strip mall. There are some other postings here about it, also a review on the Statesman, and postings on eGullet (I'd paste the link but last time I did that my message was deleted).

            1. re: Kent Wang

              Thanks Kent! I went to the MT center right when they opened but none of the restaurants were open yet. I'll have to check them out. I'll start a new thread for MT reviews!

        2. lol... i didn't figure this would hold water for very long. ;)

          4 Replies
          1. re: jwynne2000

            Don't worry about other people's opinions, jwynne2000. Knoblauch once wrote somewhere that it’s more important to eat what you like than it is to worry about someone else’s definition of traditional or authentic. And please keep posting about what you think is good. For what it’s worth, I tried Marco Polo after reading about it on this board and didn't like it at all. (You can probably pull up the thread by doing a search, if you’re interested.)

            A request to my fellow chowhounds: Please post details about what you’ve actually eaten at the restaurants in question and why you liked or disliked these items. Information is more useful than blanket assertions. The former provides more data points so that people can make up their own minds about what’s delicious. The latter discourages others from sharing their valuable tips and experiences.

            MPH

            1. re: MPH

              Nah.... not worrying at all. That's why they call them opinions, right? I'm more so just poking fun at my own noobie-ness. Of the places Kent listed, I've only eaten at Din Ho, which if the service is ever as bad as the first time I went, it will be the last time I ever go there.

              I love reading your reviews, MPH, and others' here. This is a great board you guys have got going here (and hi-five to the powers that be for getting our own Austin board!)

              For the record, we're getting Tien Hong delivered tonight. I'll be back with a review of their delivery service, as well as the different items we order. I'm intrigued by some of their lamb dishes

              Eat well this weekend, everyone

              1. re: jwynne2000

                On the subject of Din Ho, the food there seems to be pretty great. The service can be hapless, but in their defense, they seem genuinely baffled by their popularity.

                1. re: jwynne2000

                  Well it was not *quite* as delicious as the last time we had their food, but...

                  Delivery was prompt and friendly. Our order was exactly right, and all the food was still piping hot.

                  The food:
                  - BBQ pork ribs: an order of 4 nice sized ribs. I wasn't expecting much here but was surprised that they had an adequate amount of meat and were cooked just right, not leaving the ends sinewy and unedible. Could have used a more signature flavor cooked in, rather than relying on the side of sauce, but I was pleased nonetheless.
                  - Tangy Spicy Lamb: slices of roasted lamb with diced leeks in sauce. The lamb was remarkably tender, considering it had just traveled in a car for 20 or more minutes. The leek was crisp and flavorful. The "tangy and spicy" sauce was really neither, sadly. I had to kick it up myself with backup from the cupboard. It came with lo mein that was so dry it was barely edible. Stick with the rice option on dishes like this.
                  - Beef Delight: my girlfriend got this painfully plain dish, which featured breaded beef slices and the normal gamut of veggies. Nothing really exciting at all here.

                  All of that, plus 2 orders of hot and sour soup and sides of rice for about $30 after tax. Not too bad.

                  All in all, it continues to fill a nice niche for Americanized Chinese food, with solid delivery service. Somewhere on their menu it says something like: "Our chef prepares his dishes spicy. If you prefer less spice, please tell your waiter". Bah... tell your waiter you want it *extra* spicy. And lean toward the seafood... they tend to do that pretty well.

            2. like Jim Washburn above I used to eat at Tien Hong back in the '80's, but it seemed to go down hill and have not been there in years. I'll have to try it again. I also used to eat at a place downtown about 15 yrs ago, I think on Brazos and around 7th? but can't remember the name. anyone know the place and if its still in business?

              1. For a time my dad switched out the white rice my parents keep in the pantry with brown rice. After 3 meals they switched back. Brown rice just isn't the same when paired with delicious chinese food.

                As far as Tien Hong is concerned, I'm not a fan. Haven't been there in years, so I can't remember what specifically I don't like about it, but I do remember their Dim Sum was lifeless.

                Din Ho's service is terrible, yes, but I don't go there for the service. It's a shame people put all their hopes and dreams of a restaurant on the service. Who returns to restaurants with great service and crappy food? No one I know. Until Austin is flooded with more Chinese options better than Din Ho I will gladly wait half an hour for my char siu pork.

                1. I find Tien Hong to be hit or miss on the entrees I've tried. Any suggestions?