Vinh Sun BBQ Restaurant, Chinatown, Boston

We extended Lunar New Year and got together with the family for a lunch in Chinatown. Our standard favorite, Hong Kong Eatery was just too busy and we grew hungry and impatient.

Our father decided on going to Vinh Sun, Hong Kong Eatery’s competitor. He said they have similar menus, the restaurant is more spacious, but slightly more expense. However, they do take credit cards unlike HKE.

We enjoyed the smokier black tea and let our father decide on the items to order. The first dish that came out was the Eight delight chow mein noodles with squid, beef, shrimp, baby corn and carrots. All the ingredients were perfectly cooked, noodles nice and crispy and the gravy brought the elements together.

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Per tradition, father ordered a Spicy Salt Squid and the calamari was chewy, yet tender and had the right level of crunch and saltiness.
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A personal request was Pork Chop Spicy Salty Dry Fried for $9.95. The tender pork was coated with spicy salt and nicely seasoned.

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Our father exclaimed “Ooh, they have hot pot here!” So he ordered one with Fillet Steak, ginger, scallion and onions with black pepper sauce for $14.95.  The tender beef balanced the green and yellow onion. Delicious and went well with the chow mein noodles.

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Finally, we enjoyed Me pa tofu, fried tofu rounds which were served with oyster sauce. The soft, silky tofu on the inside went well with the crispy exterior.

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Overall, our meal at Vinh sun was solid, great dishes, well seasoned, well executed and delicious. There is something to be said for nostalgia and Vinh Sun is a great substitute for Hong Kong Eatery, when HKE is crowded.Vinh Sun BBQ Restaurant LLC on Urbanspoon

Hong Kong Eatery Revisited Again, Chinatown, Boston

One of our family traditions is Hong Kong Eatery (BMH’s review of Hong Kong Eatery RevisitedVisit 1). One of our father’s favorites. Despite trying the Quincy location, he still loves the small, Chinatown original. The restaurant is always buzzing with a mix of single diners at a shared or community table and lots of families. We really wish we knew Chinese, and could understand the specials and items on the mirrored wall.

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We started with an order of Stir fried beef Ginger & Scallion, a father’s choice for $8.75.  This dish is as aromatic as it gets. The beef was so incredibly tender, the onions and scallion were translucent and glistening. All in all the ginger flavor was strong and had a bite, but went well with the sweetness of the tender beef. Must get.

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Another father order was Sweet and Sour Pork for $8.50. The pork was fried and then enrobed in a thick sweet and sour sauce. The sauce was tangy and went well with the bits of onions and veg._MG_4341

One of our favorites of the meal was the square bean curd with a center of pork and shrimp filling served with a five spice soy sauce. The tofu was nice and pillowy and had absorbed some of the the flavor of the shrimp. Toe coating on the exterior of the bean curd was lightly fried and the textural contrast was killer. _MG_4342

 

A friend favorite is the Beef chow fun, dry fried with sprouts, scallion, flat noodles and salty soy goodness. Great combination and hard to not have second helpings._MG_4340

You know its a good dining day when you have Hong Kong Eatery’s Half Roasted chicken for $8.50. Upon descending the restaurant’s entrance, one notices the window display of all the roast pork, peking ducks, soy chickens and roasted chickens. This one is tender and has a nice crust. _MG_4339Another family favorite is the salted fried calamari squid with tentacles! There is a nice salty flavor which brings out the calamari’s essence. You can’t beat the tentacle texture as well.
_MG_4338Our little brother’s favorite, and one of ours is the Beef and Chinese broccoli  chow mein for $5.50. The thin yellow noodles are fried and covered in the gravy. Bits of carrots, baby corn and chinese broccoli offer other elements of texture, sweetness and bitterness. The beef as always super tender (could not make tender at home). We heard baking soda is added to the beef to make it super tender, this can not be confirmed, but I believe it.
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Another successful meal at HKE and if you visit, you will probably see one of the BMH clan there.Hong Kong Eatery on Urbanspoon

 

Eastern Bakery, Chinatown, San Francisco

Eastern Bakery, located next to the Wok Shop is another Chinatown spot for mooncakes, fortune cookies, cookies, mung bean cakes and egg tarts. There is various signage and posters of Bill Clinton posing in the bakery. You must respect Bill’s halo effect. The cocktail buns and pork buns were really fresh. Get those! The coffee crunch cake is on the list to sample next.

We would definitely return to try other pastries whenever we were in the vicinity.

Eastern Bakery on Urbanspoon

Hang Ah Tearoom, Chinatown, San Francisco

Hang Ah Tearoom was highly suggested by our dear friends and is now one of our absolute favorites and our go to dumpling houses.  The restaurant is next to a school yard and down a hidden alleyway and to the left. Do not be deterred if Hang Ah Tearoom is not found immediately, persist and find it!

We suggest trying all the a la carte dim sum items, since Hang Ah executes this so well. The regular items on the menu including noodles, soups, fried rice are all quite delicious as well.

Hang Ah has a funky lime and orange color combination. The red plastic chairs, gilded gold frames and accents are fun.

We started with some potstickers. The crispy exterior, tender pork dumpling inside was amazing. The chew of the dough, the tenderness and juicy flavor of the pork were the perfect combination. We had to order two more orders after our first taste.

The pork buns were so fluffy on the outside and had sweet and salty barbeque pork. They were freshly made and piping hot.

The stir fried vegetable noodles had the right amount of coating, the vegetables were lightly crisp and were really satisfying.

Our very inexpensive, yet tasty meal came with a few fortune cookies. We paid in cash and were happy campers.

Hang Ah Tea Room on Urbanspoon

101 Bakery, Chinatown, Boston

101 Bakery is an adorable Asian bakery, located next to Gourmet Dumpling House (BMH’s review of Gourmet Dumpling House) and one of our go to’s for breads, cream filled pastries and more Japanese style baked goods.

Similar to Japonaise Cafe and Bakery, 101 Bakery has with an extensive selection of pastries filled with custard, creams and mochi. Their slices of cakes are layered, full of jellies, fruit and whipped cream. The cakes have fun shades of all colors of the rainbow.

Many of the fluffy breads, cookies and pastries are already sealed in clear packaging.

We love the airy sponge cakes, jelly rolls and green tea cakes.

101 also has taro cakes, curry filled flakey pastries and hot dog filled buns.

We could not help ourselves and had to get a large sponge cake. The soft, tender, lightly sweetened cake was so airy.

The almond thins are also another favorite. Similar to a flattened tuille, the very crisp cookies have slivers of almonds.

They are absolutely lovely with tea and have a faint similarity in terms of flavor to a thinner, nutty fortune cookie.

101 Bakery on Urbanspoon