Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

best chinese restaurants in denver


Recommended Posts

as far as i can tell boulder has no chinese restaurants worth mentioning--though i take great guilty pleasure in may wah's orange-chicken made extra spicy (i'm a huge chinese food snob but can't resist a crispy, spicy orange chicken). what's the story in denver? are there any good sichuan restaurants? the dim sum scene, i am sorry to say, i have found to be mostly underwhelming--i don't know if that says anything about the possibility of good regional chinese food.

kris, how about a series in the post on the best restaurants for particular kinds of cuisines?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mongo-

Have you tried Spice China on McCaslin in Louisville? Unfortunately, I've found it to be inconsistent, but its menu includes dishes that are unusual in Colorado (as well as all the standards); you can find ingredients like tendon, they have selections where the servers seem to be compelled to ask "are you sure you want that?" before taking your order. I just wish the cooking itself was always done well, but it's a gamble. I have had some very good meals there.

Edited by afoodnut (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

louisville? our experiences these first 9 months have been restricted to north and south boulder, aurora and a tiny bit of denver. does spice china have any particular regional emphasis? and is the good/bad meal thing completely random or connected to ordering particular dishes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They say the regional specialties are from Shanghai: Tendon, jelly fish, maichai(?) pork (pork belly?). They serve chicken *gasp* with bones, steamed whole fish, some interesting soups...

The sad part is that the good/bad randomness is not connected to the dishes ordered; I can only figure out that it's connected to who's in the kitchen.

Edited by afoodnut (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had pretty good experiences food-wise at Spice China, although the service has never been that great. As a result, I am more likely to pick up appetizers to go (soups, crab cheese wontons, dumplings). I read once that the owner's parents had a place in Boulder where you could order all kinds of funky things "off the menu," but I can't recall the name at the moment. Maybe it's Google time...

“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we will check this out when we get back from l.a on the 26th--we leave tomorrow, so look for long silence from me for a couple of weeks on the forum.

it'll be great if there is a boulder branch since we usually go for chinese delivery when we're too lazy to cook.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks rlm

the fact that they too have won a best restaurant award in some category or the other gives me some pause--recent award-winners we've eaten at include luca luca and sherpa's. however, i am encouraged by the mention of a secret menu. perhaps we'll grab lunch there tomorrow on the way to the airport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, "award winners" make my BS Detector go off.

While searching for the article about Spice China's owner, I read a blurb about China Gourmet that said you need to order from the "blue menu." I am not sure if you have to specially request this or what.

“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The quick answer to best chinese food in Denver is no--there is none. I hope someone else can be more encouraging.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that Robin. I didn't know of the China Gourmet connection.

For what it's worth, I never liked China Gourmet, but also never knew of its secret menu. I remember when China Gourmet first opened, they made a big Boulder splash because you could get brown rice if you chose.

What's a bit strange is the suggestion that Spice China has a quiet ambience; it's a big barn of a place. It's only quiet when there's nobody there, and that's not always the case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another place in Boulder with the two menus is Ping's Favorite. It's been a while but I remember jellyfish, tendons, rice soups on that menu.

The meals I've had there have been good, but I'm no expert in any style of Chinese cuisine. Heck, I sometimes just get a hankering for neon-red Sweet-and-Sour Pork. I know I should feel guilty but....

As for other places, I am a fan of Spice China. One of the best nights out for dinner I've had in a while was at their Chinese New Year celebration. Went with my Ma and Pa and we got some dishes I'm sure I won't get any other time of the year. I ordered the Grass Carp Tail. Sooooo good (and huge!). Steamed or braised and I think there might have been some black vinegar and star anise in the sauce. Mmm. My mother got a pork dish that was great and was done from a leg of pork (big...was quite a sight to see that huge bone and a LOT of meat). My father the vegetarian got this great chinese greens dish. We couldn't come close to identifying much of anything in it.

Edited by TheMatt (log)

TheMatt

Learning just means you were wrong and they were right. - Aram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

we finally went to china gourmet in boulder a couple of nights ago. so far this is the best chinese we've had in boulder (though that's not necessarily the highest praise possible). we ordered a large chicken corn soup (i asked if it would feed two, the answer was "yes", and theoretically correct since it could in fact have fed 6), squid with ginger and green onion, and ma-po tofu. their chicken corn soup is exactly like the version made in better chinese restaurants in india, which is to say i loved it--now if i could only get them to add the bottle of vinegar with chopped green chillies floating in it to their condiment selection...; the squid was also very good--nice, clean flavors; the ma-po tofu was ordinary (a little too much soy and vinegar in the flavor) but better than ma-po tofus we've had everywhere else in boulder. in short, we'll go back again and try more things. it is clear, however, that they don't use sichuan peppercorns in anything. pity.

and oh yeah, they've consolidated their 2 menu system into one large menu (the stuff on the special menu is now on the "chef's specials" section)--so if the woman at the counter is older don't ask for the special menu--unless you like having long, fruitless conversations with someone who doesn't speak much english (i was bailed out by a younger woman who materialized 30 seconds into my asking the 3rd time).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it is clear, however, that they don't use sichuan peppercorns in anything. pity.

You'd probably know this: did the USDA lift the ban? I thought only ground & roasted Sichuan was allowed in.

I mean, I always figured if I saw Sichuan peppercorns at a restaurant, then someone in that supply chain was in serious trouble. I've been sort of resigned to mapo tofu as tobanjan-only.

Hmm, this reminds me I need to replenish the Japanese/Chinese part of my pantry. If I could only find some XO Sauce locally...

TheMatt

Learning just means you were wrong and they were right. - Aram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah...well, answer my own question. Turns out a quick run through eG pulls up the Sichuan thread. I see that the USDA is allowing heat-treated peppercorns in. Moreover, CMC seems to have some that hopefully aren't illegal.

Might have to buy some, though I'm not sure I'd ever use the 2 oz. in time. Since I am mainly a Japanese food man, my Chinese cooking is limited. My hot-and-spicy even more so. At least I know that restaurants might start using them again.

TheMatt

Learning just means you were wrong and they were right. - Aram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

We dined at Ocean City last night. It is not extremely inviting or neat at first impression, but we persevered. We sat down and perused the menu while watching olympic volleyball (real volleyball, not the bikini beach variety) on Telemundo in spanish.

At the last minute we noticed the special board and ordered Salt & Pepper Beef Shortribs off of it, as well as Squid with XO sauce and Seafood Chow Fun (dry) from the regular menu. The waitress was actually very personable and extremely communicative (for a chinese server talking to caucasians).

I'm not sure if I've got the exact title of the beef dish, but I am sure that it was delicious. Slices, bone and all, of what I don't think were actually short ribs, braised with garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper, then stir fried with onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Or maybe they weren't braised first, I don't know.

The Chow Fun had actual seafood in it--big pieces of scallop, large shrimp and fingers of what seemed to be catfish maybe--with thick noodles, bean sprouts, onions.

The squid was the weakest dish and it wasn't bad, just a little boring. The food was a little like the dining room; a bit sloppy and haphazard but delicious. We'll return. The crab looked very promising.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The crab looked very promising.

The buy-one-get-one-free dungeness crab for $20?

I don't know if that's what it was, but as we were walking out we passed a single guy with a VERY large platter of crab in front of him.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having lived in Denver for the past 14 years (gad...has it been that long already), I have to agree that there is NO good Chinese food in the entire area. :angry: It's all very basic and tasteless. Ocean City is about the best. Now Vietnamese....you can do very well up and down Federal Avenue in Little Vietnam.

Sob...I miss my Hunan Beef I used to get at the House of Hunan in Washington DC (in which ANY Chinese restaurant beats ALL Denver Chinese restaurants).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The crab looked very promising.

The buy-one-get-one-free dungeness crab for $20?

I don't know if that's what it was, but as we were walking out we passed a single guy with a VERY large platter of crab in front of him.

Ah, I was just referring to the deal they advertise in Westword. I am tempted to try it, but I fear I'll be disappointed when I compare it to the dungeness crab I had in Seattle when I visited there.

Edited by mtdew (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...