New Peking

Located on Ford Rd, in Garden City, New Peking is one of the better Chinese restaurants I’ve been to. I’ve been craving General Tso’s Chicken and this place finally satisfied my craving. Introduced to me first by my brother, I wanted to share my experience with Josh. He liked it.

See how they rated: 

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price/Quality: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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Egg Drop Soup: Classic Chinese soup with added tofu. I like this soup, because it doesn’t have that fake bright yellow hue that you get at some Chinese places. Creamy egg drop soup!

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Sizzling Rice Soup: Josh’s pick! Chicken and Chinese greens served with sizzling morsels of golden rice crust. The golden rice crust was poured in at the table and actually sizzled when it touched the broth. However, the rice crust tasted a bit burnt and distracted me from the rest of the ingredients. The veggies and the broth had a good flavor. I was disappointed I had to ask our server for those yummy soup noodles. Those soup noodles were the reason I ordered soup in the first place!

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Fried Wonton: Fried wontons filled with savory pork. The fried wonton was light and crispy and had a subtle sweetness tasting almost like elephant ear dough. Then you bite into the small center of savory pork and it added some saltiness to balance the sweetness. I only wish there were more of the pork filling.

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Hot mustard & what I think was sweet plum sauce. Be careful with the mustard, it’s potent. The plum sauce went well with the fried wonton.

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Chicken Fried Rice: I like that this fried rice is actually juicy and doesn’t taste like it was made hours ago.

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General Tso’s Chicken: Marinated chunks of chicken breast stir-fried with vegetables in a house special brown sauce. Huge chunks of juicy, chicken breast with a delicious breading. I like that the breading wasn’t too crispy and the veggies were fresh. The sauce was sweet and spicy. This is what General Tso’s Chicken should taste like!

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And now dessert…….

Almond Cookie: A little dry and didn’t taste fresh. Not the crumbly, soft almond cookie I’m used to. Eh.

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New Peking is an authentic Chinese restaurant serving up huge portions for your money. You still get the old school Asian decor, but the flat screen TVs add a modern touch. I recommend New Peking if you are looking for great food, decent prices, and good service.     My favorite part: fortune cookies!

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Hop Sheing Noodle House

Ma and I finally made it in to Hop Sheing Noodle House. Located on Fort St. in Lincoln Park, MI, this new local addition opened about a week ago. With nothing like this restaurant in the area, the noodle house has a competitive advantage.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Service/Quality: 4 out of 5 bites

Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

 

How the order sheet works:

1. You choose your style of noodles

2. You choose your meat

3. You choose your veggies

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Since I never had bubble tea, that’s what I started with

Green Tea Bubble Tea: also known as “pearl milk tea” is a drink invented in tea shops in Taiwan in the 1980’s. The creamy green tea flavor was nice. The tapioca pearls in the tea were like flavorless gummy balls. I honestly don’t see what all the craze is about. I personally don’t want to drink gummy balls when having tea. Kudos for something different though.

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After we ordered, our server brought those delicious crunchy soup noodles sprinkled with sugar. They were delicious!

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Udon: Classic Japanese style wheat noodles with clear broth, meat, and veggies. The chicken was tender and the veggies were fresh. The broth didn’t have much flavor and the bowl reminded me of a hearty chicken noodle soup.

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Hong Kong: Egg noodles quick fried with a red pepper oil. I got mine with Chicken. This dish took me back to my high school days of spicy veggie Low Mein @ Cathay House also in Lincoln Park. Good flavor with some heat. Lots of veggies and big chunks of chicken breast.

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I liked that the decor was fresh and there wasn’t an overwhelming red hue that normally floods Oriental or Asian restaurants. Our server did a good job explaining the menu and checked on us frequently. The owner cashed us out, was very friendly and even checked on us during our meal. The only thing I was missing was fortune cookies delivered along with the bill. I always look forward to these and was disappointed they didn’t come. Wink, Wink. I’m looking forward to seeing how Hop Sheing Noodle House does in 2014. Stop in and show them some love!

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Shangri-La

Wednesday, I met Nastassia @ Shangri-La, located on Cass in Midtown. Moderately priced with a trendy, hip feel, this restaurant is not your typical red-carpeted, dragon decorated Chinese place. Known for the best dim sum in Detroit, we decided to see what all the hype was about.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of bites bites (unique and extensive menu)

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We started with Spicy Softshell Crab appetizer with a recommendation for our server: Lightly battered and fried softshell crab served with a mix of onions and peppers. The batter was airy and delicious. I got more heat from the onion than I did the peppers, but the fresh veggie salad paired well with the rich crab.

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Dim Sum: noun. a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savory dumplings containing various fillings, served as a snack or main course.

Shark Fin: Tender steamed dumpling filled with shark fin. The shark had a subtle seafood flavor, with a little chew.

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Eggplant: Shrimp stuffed eggplant. The eggplant was tender and the fried shrimp was huge!

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Garlic & Chive Pan Cake: With ginger. As soon as you took a bite, you tasted the ginger and garlic. The dumpling was the perfect combination of crispy and tender.

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Pan Fried Corn Cake with Shrimp Paste: Delicious! This didn’t taste like authentic Asian at all, but I’m not complaining. It was the perfect fried corn fritter. The outside of the corn cake was crispy and filled with tender shrimp and fresh corn.

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Sushi

Incredible Hulk (on left): Cucumber, asparagus, and avocado topped with seaweed salad. Tempura roll. This roll was huge and pretty good for a veggie roll. The crunchy veggies and creamy avocado balanced out the fried tempura.

Tony Montana (on right): Inside: White tuna and cucumber. Outside: White tuna, bonito flakes, scallions, and ponzu sauce. The bonito flakes sparked our curiosity, but curiosity killed the cat. I wasn’t a fan of this roll. The bonito flakes were smokey, fishy, airy flakes which I didn’t care for. The whole roll didn’t really have much flavor and the scallions and ponzu sauce were non existent. It would’ve been nice to have something to balance out the white tuna and bonito flakes.

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Overall, our experience was a success; I got to try dim sum for the first time. Although I wasn’t fond of everything we ordered, Shangri-La definitely gets points for making some of the most unique and different dim sum in the area. Service was good, but our server forgot to put in one of our orders of dim sum which was removed from our check. If you’re looking for a popular place to try dim sum or even just to enjoy Chinese favorites, try Shangri-La next time you’re out.

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Rice Bowl Asian Kitchen

If you work in Downtown Detroit like I do, you will happy to know that you can get Asian food delivered for lunch. Rice Bowl offers Thai favorites, Chinese dishes, and whole grain brown rice to eat it with. I attempted to satisfy my craving for General Tso’s Chicken, but was unsuccessful.

General Tso’s Chicken: The sauce was spot on, tangy and spicy, but the fried rice was very plain. Again, where was the egg? The green onions? Then, I bit into what I thought was a piece of breaded chicken breast, but it was a deep fried nugget of batter. Normally, I would welcome a treat like this, but the batter was dry and tasted awful. I’m not sure if this was an accident or intentional, but either way it was unfortunate. I like to share because the serving size is enough for two, but there’s a minimum for all deliveries, so you’re better off getting your own entree. For $9.50 plus a delivery charge, it was not worth it. I do recommend trying Rice Bowl though, maybe just avoid delivery. I  have had Schezwan Chicken here in the past and it was pretty good, so maybe something that isn’t battered is a better way to go.

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I am still on the search for authentic, delicious General Tso’s Chicken. Stay tuned for more write ups as I continue on this hunt.

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Hawaiian Island

Hawaiian Island located on Van Horn Rd. in Trenton, MI is a local Chinese Restaurant cranking out a variety of popular dishes. I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while and Amanda and I decided to get carry out Friday night. There’s something about carryout Chinese that is comforting and nostalgic to me so I was excited.

It’s very hard for me to find a Chinese Restaurant that really grabs my attention. Usually restaurants are hit or miss for me and unfortunately Hawaiian Island was a miss. Let me explain why…..

I ordered General Tso’s Chicken which is my favorite. I have been craving this dish for a while. When I opened my carryout container I was faced with a heaping serving of “naked” chicken and chicken fried rice. Ok, big portions are a plus, but the sauce just wasn’t on point. The sauce was on the side which was different then any other General Tso that I’ve had. The sauce wasn’t as sweet as I was used to and even looked like a light gravy. It still tasted good, but it just wasn’t what I had my heart set on. The chicken was moist on the inside and crispy on the outside,  but I wanted deep fried chicken coated in that thick sticky, rich sauce and sauteed in a screaming hot Wok. The fried rice was OK, but it was plain. Where was the egg, green onions, and bean sprouts?? My favorite part of the fried rice is those giant pieces of fried egg that me and Ma fight over. Eating is very emotional for me and when I’m disappointed it’s devastating. Ok Ok, so No I didn’t lock myself in my room and cry myself to sleep, but I still didn’t satisfy my hankering for General Tso Chicken.

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The good thing about Hawaiian Island was the price and portion size. I’m not kidding when I say that I ate four helpings off this “dinner” which also came with an egg roll. I don’t know if there are many restaurants where one dinner can feed a family of four. So my search for delicious General Tso Chicken is still on. Stay tuned for my next Chinese food write up.

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