As close to Beijing as you can get
Din Ho Chinese BBQ (8557 Research Blvd (a.k.a. 183)) has bean curd soup, Peking Duck, and BBQ Pork made the traditional way. You will also find Americanized dishes suitable for anyone, children included, such as Orange Chicken, Beef with different vegetable selections and a steaming pot of rice to share. My husband adores the Crab Asparagus Soup with thin ribbons of egg. A popular lunch spot for busy professionals and a sanctuary for fantastic food. Din Ho proudly displays numerous accolades on the wall behind the cashier, all are well deserved. The preparation is very consistent, I often have the Orange Chicken and it remains sweet and spicy with the right hint of citrus and ginger. Quite possibly the best Orange Chicken I’ve ever had. I keep going back for it, sometimes I’ll be adventurous and try a new dish, like the BBQ combo of duck and pork. I was so glad I did! The menu is long, don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation from your server, they are all friendly! But really, try the Orange Chicken if you go.
If you are in Round Rock or North Austin, you have choices!
Ho Ho Chinese BBQ (13000 N I-35, north of Parmer Lane) is very similar in the style and selection of Din Ho’s. For lunch you will leave stuffed by any of the specials. There is a spicy rockfish dish that should have three chilies next to it on the menu, but it’s so good you can’t help but eat more. I usually get the Orange Chicken (see a trend?) which is just as tasty as Din Ho’s but is lighter on the dredge.
TC Noodle House (Chinatown @ 10901 N Lamar) is a very clean pick of the Chinatown litter. Austin’s Chinatown may not have the width and breadth of other major cities but it does have spunk. Host to the annual Chinese New Year festival and a collection of Chinese and Asian markets and restaurants. I enjoyed the Asparagus Crab Soup, made with green asparagus, lump crab meat, and a thickened broth. Also try Salt & Pepper Scallops, these darlins almost melt in your mouth, spice it up with siracha if you like. The Pork Rib Clay Pot (oddly listed under Seafood, never met a swimming pig before) is slightly sweet, full of garlic, and salty (might be soy and fish sauce?), you can order it with fish pieces instead.
Twin Lion (4815 W Braker Lane Ste 510, off Hwy 183 next to HEB) I love the two lions guarding the entry to this Szechuan/Mandarin/Hunan Restaurant. I’m not much of a Hunan cuisine fan, but the other two are awesome! Eat in the cozy restaurant or place a to-go order. Kung Pow, Moo shu, tofu, flappers, oinkers, swimmers – they’ve got it all and everything I’ve tried has satisfied my Chinese food cravings.
Suzi’s China Grill (7858 Shoal Creek Blvd or 1152 S Lamar) Beyond Chinese take-out you can order sushi to-go too. It’s a nice business lunch atmosphere if you want to sit down, a little higher price but friendly staff.
Snow Pea (3706 Jefferson St. near Camp Mabry) Less extensive menu of chicken, beef, shrimp and tofu offerings. Average price $8 for lunch specials that include the typical rice/soup/eggroll accoutrements. Average dinner menu price $14. Take out and delivery available.
Not Sure What You Want? Go Buffet!
Buffet Palace (2601 S I-35 in Round Rock) The best time to hit a buffet is for lunch during the week, it’s not as busy as dinner time and a little easier on the wallet. I have mixed emotions when is comes to Buffet Palace. I don’t like spending a lot of money to find very few dishes that I like, that’s why lunch prices are tolerable. Here you will find sushi (mostly imitation crab), crab legs, poached fish, chicken wings, Chinese BBQ, teriyaki chicken, fruit, Jell-O, and cookies. The prep cooks are constantly refreshing the pans on the lines when there’s a crowd, so at least you can sit down with a freshly made plate.
Golden Lake Chinese Buffet (11005 Burnet Road, next to IBM @Kramer transit stop) The buffet is small but a good if you need a quick refuel before heading to the Domain to shop.