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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

This time we tried one of the strangest things on the menu, actually two sea creatures. Abalone and Sea Cucumber.

Meet Mr. Abalone: 
He’s a big fat snail of sorts, a mollusk sort.
Slightly rubbery. Strange ocean aftertaste.

Meet Mr. Sea Cucumber: 

He’s very soft and squishy. The texture is very much like a cooked cucumber with a fishy flavor mixed in. Weird, I know, but I was surprized how much I ate.

To round out the dish is a beautiful presentation of baby bok choi and black mushrooms. I don’t really go for mushrooms in general, but these were so dense and meaty.

Horray for trying something new!  Now where’s my ice cream?

Ho Ho Chinese BBQ is located at 13000 N I -35,  Austin, TX 78753 (Next to Red Robin).

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Located in Austin’s Chinatown at Kramer Lane and N. Lamar Blvd, TC Noodle House serves up a lengthly menu of traditional Chinese cuisine.

(Above) The Clay Hot Pot with pork ribs swimming in a dark soy garlic sauce and rendered fat from the ribs.  The ribs are small and most have a fat cap remaining, I usually cut off any visible fat in anything I eat so this wasn’t an issue for me.  The meat is very tender and not overly seasoned.

The Crab Asparagus Soup is made with green asparagus that seems to have originated from a can or the freezer, or it has been cooking in the thick broth all day.  The crab in the soup is scattered about.  I only found a couple notable pieces.  Overall, the soup was good, but we moved on to better things.

Hubby requested Salt & Pepper Scallops, which we didn’t see on the menu but our server said no problem.  He returned mere minutes later with a plate of delicately seasoned and fried scallops.  The best scallops I’ve ever tasted!  And I’m not the seafood buff of the family!  I would go back just to try these again.

The restaurant itself is probably the cleanest one I’ve been to.  Tile floors instead of carpet helps to keep odors away.  A huge elephant statue and tall bamboo near the cashier adds Asian flair.  The bathrooms were also very clean, but I didn’t see a baby changing station.

We had a very pleasant meal and left with full bellies, it onlt set us back about $28 for essentially a three course lunch!

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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.

Chinese Take-Out

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.

Don’t Miss Austin Food Blogger Top Picks

Chen’s Noodle House or Asian Market Café  McNeil & Research Blvd (Hwy 183)  The Café has a short menu including pork blood, tofu jelly, and whole fish.  Pick up Asian kitchen essentials in the market.  This is now my go-to since the Hong Kong Supermarket closed in 2011.
Shanghai Chinese Restaurant or China Palace Near Highland Mall.
Chinatown  West Lake on Bee Caves Road in Westbank Market.
Hao Hao South Austin on West William Canon, and in Round Rock on West FM 620.
The results are in! AFBA survey for 2012 top restaurants is here

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Ho Ho Chinese BBQ is very similar to another Chinese restaurant in town, Din Ho Chinese BBQ.

Ho Ho is located off I-35 on the north side of Austin near Parmer Lane, for anyone in Round Rock this would be a drivable distance for really good Chinese.  If you want the best (in my opinion) you need to travel further south to Din Ho’s.

The first time Hubby and I ate here after they opened our waiter was a familiar face.  He’s an older gentleman, what’s left of his hair is grey, he is quiet and genuinely nice.  We asked if he works at Din Ho, he said he likes working at Ho Ho’s better.  Anything new, be it a new house or restaurant, always has that fresh appeal.  Ho Ho’s looks like a newer version of Din Ho’s, it’s not as dark and there are booths instead of purely tables and chairs.  We prefer a booth.  The tank of live fish can be stinky, but I will look it over to get a freshly filleted fish.  Straight from the water to the pan!

We met here for lunch, it was not busy and our “regular” waiter greeted us with his friendly smile.  I ordered the Orange Chicken, Hubby had a spicy fish dish.  The chicken had a delicate dredge of flour, the meat was moist and mostly from the breast.  Egg roll, soup and rice come with the lunch plates.  I usually get the won ton soup as the warm broth is so inviting.  The sauce for the chicken is sticky sweet and spicy, just as it should be.  This plate filled me up for 6.95$.  We will visit again and often!

Ho Ho Chinese BBQ @ 13000 N. IH 35, Bldg. 6 Austin, Texas 78753

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We discovered another favorite Chinese BBQ dish at one of our lunch time places in Austin, Din Ho Chinese BBQ off 183.  Number 27 off the menu is a pair of delightful BBQ meats, roasted duck breast and BBQ pork.  The duck had a musky spice and caramel notes from the skin, very tender and not overly fowlish.  The pork, with the red lining and lean meat was also very tender.  I was tempted to order another half pound of it to go (only $7.50).

We also ordered the Orange Beef.  The beef had more fat than the other two meats combined.  The sticky sweet and spicy orange sauce never lets us down, I love it and can’t seem to recreate it at home so this was a good fix for that craving.  My lunchmate, Hubby, had a total brain fart and started eating one of the hot chilies off the beef thinking it was a carrot.  Poor thing.  Must have been preoccupied by his lovely wife when it happened.

My fortune cookie sounded like a message from my late Granny K.

Do not rely on others to make you happy.  You must do it yourself.

Thanks Grandma, and I have taken the reins of happiness by starting my own business.  It’s small and waiting for new customers, but it’s mine and that is my token happy thought every day.

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