Ten Must Try Chinese Restaurants

The Lunar New Year will soon be hear. Get ready for some awesome dishes! Photo Courtesy: IQRemix
The Lunar New Year will soon be hear. Get ready for some awesome dishes!
Photo Courtesy: IQRemix

By Henry Jenkins

The Chinese New Year is upon us and as you know, Chinese cuisine just isn’t for Christmas anymore (A Christmas Story). This festival aligns itself with the lunar calendar, not with the Gregorian calendar. This year, Chinese New Year’s Eve falls on the same day as Super Bowl 50. Imagine that.

Most folks think of Americanized Chinese cuisine when thinking of Chinese food. That’s not necessarily the case here. This list consists of restaurants serving traditional Chinese cuisine so they probably won’t have Sweet and Sour Chicken or what you think of as typical Chinese food. Additionally China has provinces whereas here in America we have states. That being said, Chinese cuisine actually varies by region in regards to the ingredients used, how a dish is prepared and by flavor. Chances are these restaurants will be swamped on Super Sunday… you’ve been warned!

Dumpling House
This restaurant opened back in August 2015 and is located in the back of the parking lot shared with the Bavarian Grill. Parking can be tricky especially on the weekends. Dumpling House features northern Chinese cuisine. Think dumplings, breads and buns as well as traditional Chinese style pancakes. As reflected in the name the go-to dishes include 13 different dumpling dishes. The Pork and Shrimp Dumplings are your best bet. Also try the Hot and Spicy Beef Tendon Soup. It’s the real deal. Add a Green Onion Pancake and you should be set.

Genroku Sushi & Grill
I know the name is Japanese and sushi isn’t Chinese cuisine, but Genroku also offers Taiwanese dishes. That’s why Genroku made this list. The restaurant is off of Greenville Avenue in Chinatown in Richardson. The Basil Chicken served in a clay pot is a must. For an appetizer try the Taiwanese sausage. It isn’t the same in quality as Taiwan’s night markets but still it’s pretty good. The Egg Tomato entree goes well with any rice dish.

Kirin Court
For those willing to try new cuisines I recommend heading over to Kirin Court. Best known for its Dim Sum, which is basically brunch in Hong Kong. On weekends, the lines start pretty much as soon as the doors are opened. Grab a table with friends and the servers will offer you a variety of Cantonese dishes from a push cart. Each push cart has different specialties, so sample a dish or two from each cart. The dumplings and buns are the norm, the tripe and chicken feet for the daring.

First Chinese BBQ
One of the godfathers of traditional Chinese food restaurants here in the Metroplex. First Chinese BBQ opened its doors back in 1982 in Richardson and has grown over the years with other locations. First Chinese BBQ is cash only and BYOB. The Roasted Duck is amazing. The combination of the duck with barbequed pork and marinated chicken is a must. The fried noodle dishes are pretty good too.

Bull Daddy Noodle Bistro
Newly opened in Plano off of Coit and Parker Road, Bull Daddy Noodle Bistro specializes in Taiwanese fare. Get the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup to take things up a notch. Start your meal off with the Drunken Chicken since there aren’t many restaurants that offer this dish. The Chicken Nuggets are nothing like a fast food dish. Deep fried with basil it is better than expected.

Mr. Wok Asian Bistro
This Plano hot spot has been around since 1989 in what looks like an old Pizza Inn building. Parking is limited on weekends. The ambiance though is very comfortable. The Peking Duck is a must but you have to order a day in advance to reserve yours. Your server will bring out the duck and carve it up right in front of you and your friends. Also duck soup is served as part of the experience. Another highly-recommended dish is the Beggar’s Chicken. Order two days ahead for yours. The chicken is wrapped in lotus and bamboo leaves, encased in a bread crust and roasted for 22 hours. The server will bring you a mallet to begin your experience. The Chili Garlic Prawns are another excellent choice but aren’t really that spicy.

Taipei Station Café
Another Taiwanese restaurant worth checking out in north Plano. The portions here are huge and enough for two to share per dish. The Popcorn Chicken appetizer will satisfy your palate. The Pork Chop and Rice dish is your best value and full of flavor. The pork chop is deep fried and seasoned well. There is  a marinated pork belly dish which is spot on. If it’s cold outside, the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup will warm you up. Located at 930 West Parker Road – Plano.

Royal China
Established in 1974, Royal China can back up its claim as the oldest family-owned Chinese restaurant in North Texas. A Dallas staple, Royal China leans towards Northern Chinese Cuisine. Try the soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) with pork, chicken or shrimp and you’ll be happy. Royal China hand makes its noodles on site which is cool to watch. A side dish which is worth trying is the Ma Po Tofu, tofu sautéed with garlic in a chili sauce. The Beef Baozi (steamed buns filled with shredded beef) are delicious.

King Noodle Soup
Another family-run noodle shop if you’re in search of some authentic Taiwanese noodles. This is another cash only restaurant located in old Chinatown. The restaurant is quaint and customers are tightly packed at the tables. You might end up sitting with some strangers. The Beef Noodle Soup is most delicious. The portion is well sized. Complement your meal though with some sides such as pig ears and cold seaweed. Service is fast and very casual. Located at 201 S. Greenville Avenue – Dallas.

Jeng Chi
Authentic mainland Chinese dishes abound here. This restaurant has been renovated and feels a little more upscale than before. Again the soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) are worth trying. There are eight variations so that should give you plenty of reason to return time and again. The dumplings are served either six or eight to an order depending on the dish and very flavorful. The Dan Dan Noodles are spot on as is the Green Onion Pancake appetizer. Also try the Eggplant with Pork and Garlic Sauce.