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Jan 5, 2014 05:27 AM

Chinese New Year Specials in the 'Burbs

My daughter is from China, and we like to make a big deal out of Chinese New Year. Do you know of any good authentic places north or west of Boston that offer unique specialty dishes for the New Year? Trekking into the city is just too difficult for us.

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  1. I would suggest the following places: Szechuan Gourmet in Billerica or Szechuan Garden in Woburn. Both places are very authentic and might have some special New Years dishes. The other place is The China Star in Lowell. They feature Hong Kong style dim sum with ladies pushing carts of various types of Dim Sum around. Your daughter may enjoy choosing from all the different varieties.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RoyRon

      We go to China Star all the time. Funny, all the cart ladies gravitate to my daughter, because we are not Asian. They surround our table, ask her questions in Chinese (she can't understand a word), and generally fawn all over her. We get some odd questions, but I know that they are trying to be supportive, and friendly. Very nice people.

      I've also been to S. Gourmet many times. It's the best place around, but it's packed on off days. I wonder if it's even worse with big family meals during NY?

      1. re: Dinsdale45

        Most of the staff at China Star love working there which makes me want to go back.

    2. Taipei Gourmet in Lexington is likely to have a special New Year menu.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Allstonian

        I asked when I was at Taipei Gourmet today and they will have a special NY menu, not finalized yet.


      2. The best NY dinner I've seen is a 6-8 person reservation only Taiwainese feast at Asian Gourmet in Concord, MA.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tatsu

          what are the details on that? I looked for old posts but couldnt find it.

          1. re: hargau

            I had an epic CNY dinner there 2 years ago. I just ate there for lunch yesterday, and sadly, I found out Chef Lee and wife Jean Lee have departed to open a new place in Newton. The food was still excellent, but I am fond of those two. Additionally the staff did not know if they will do a CNY dinner menu this year. :(

            1. re: tatsu

              I'm so sad to hear that, I really liked them and also had lunch there recently and the food was still very good.



              1. re: tatsu

                Any details on the new place in Newton? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

                1. re: newyorker1

                  Nope no details except "Newton" and "soon" but I hope Newtonites are on the lookout for potential locales under construction.

                  I've been a big fan of Chef Jet Lee throughout his restaurants. I still think he can the most ambitious Taiwanese chef around and his execution is scary precise at times. I'll never forget the (4) bottom fried Sheng Jian Bao he served me at Formosa Taipei. They were perfectly spherical, save for the flat bottom. It was like someone sliced off 2 millimeters of pool cue balls and put them on a plate, that round! Doesn't speak much English but he was always happy to see me and often Jean or Jet let me sample a new thing he was trying out, like the wonderful brown sugar ginger peanut soup with soft tofu. (Can't really figure out if that's a brunch thing or after-meal kind of thing.)

                  Also, he can improvise very well. We didn't make a reservation for the Chinese New Year dinner, and he just made up dish after dish even though he was running out of ingredients. Remarkable dinner.

                  1. re: tatsu

                    Wait, are they closing the Asia Gourmet in Concord?

                    1. re: daikon

                      No he left but Asian Gourmet is still going and it's still good.

          2. As far as I know Sichuan Gourmet doesn't have any CNY specials, though the Brookline location might since it has more specials than the other ones in general. I've never thought to ask at SG2, but they might. The Asian Gourmet menu from a few years ago was very interesting (I think they had sugarcane smoked duck!) and I'm going to try to get there this year.

            If only you were strong enough to trek into the "city." Two years ago we had an excellent CNY dinner at Jo Jo Taipei, which Sam or I probably wrote about in the appropriate thread. MuLan might also be worth checking out.

            3 Replies
            1. re: KWagle

              where is china star? I wish I knew someplace north too.. Does Su Chang or China Pearl?

              1. re: chompie

                China Star is in Lowell. Actually, there are two-this is the dim-sum lounge.

              2. re: KWagle

                I think Taipei Gourmet in Lexington might be the place that got JoJo Taipei's chef. If it is, my boss (whose family owns a Chinese restaurant) says it's even better than JoJo. It's the place he takes his family when they come to visit.