Recommend a dish from a Chinese Restaurant

After an exhaustive search, I’ve finally found a better-than-decent Chinese Restaurant in my area (South Florida). I get the feeling this place could make anything I ask them to, and they do have some of the more unique entrees (Lung, Jellyfish, etc.)

So, what are some of the Doper’s favorite Chinese dishes? I tend to go with Orange Beef or General Tso’s (sp?) Chicken as a good test for quality, but I’d like some other rec’s. Thanks!

I like Kung Pao chicken, nice and spicy.

Where is this restaurant? I live in Boca Raton, work in West Palm Beach.

Egg Roll King’s sweet & sour chicken.

It is nicely breaded. It is white breast meat. It is seasoned, some garlic and other things. Garnished with some thinly sliced onion, bell pepper and slivered carrots.
There is more on the plate than I can eat.

They just went out of business.
Proof that God hates the Plant.
Yes, She does.

Shrimp with lobster sauce, in part because it goes well with the rice.

Both Orange Beef and General Tso’s chicken are fairly americanized dishes. If that’s your thing, you might also try the sesame chicken or the sweet and sour pork.

If you’re into trying something a little more authentic, it’ll mostly depend on what style of cuisine they serve. Do they do any Northern stuff (wheat dishes, like crispy fried onion cakes?) If so, pretty much any of those are good. One dish, shui zhu niu rou, gets translated a lot of different ways, but look for something like spicy boiled beef, or similar. My two standbys are mapo pork and hongshao eggplant.

Happy eating!

Pepper’s on Palm & Pines in Pembroke Pines. I like Lai Lai and ABC in the Boca area as well.

Peking duck. mmmmmmmmmmmmm Peking Duck

It’s kind of expensive, usually 25-50 bucks, and you often need to order it 24 hours in advance unless they sell a lot of it. But damn is it goood.

I’ve always been partial to the Beef / Chicken / Shrimp with Garlic Sauce

I’ll eat most any Chines dish with nuts in it: Kung Pao Chicken, Cashew Chicken, Almond Chicken. Some places just have better recipes than others.

I love Moo Shu Pork.

I had spicy salt fried squid for dinner last night. Yummy.

Soy chicken

Beef with sour cabbage

Sauteed duck tongues (and I’m not kidding you)

To test for quality I like to try the Hot and Sour Soup, and the Special Fried Rice. These are common items with very many ingredients. The Hot and Sour soup allows me to know how well the Chef ballances flavour, and also if they are good with spicy things. The Special fried rice shows you how careful they are with simple food, and how generous they are with ingredients.

A good hot and sour soup will be both hot and sour neither taste overwhelming the other, and should have good crisp vegitables a nice stock base and nice ammount of ToFu. The Special Fried rice should contain plesant vegitables and pieces of pork and chicken that looks better than leftovers, it aught to also contain several nice shrimps, and egg that is not overcooked and not burnt.
The only over thing I like to know is that they can deep fry in batter propperly, and produce cryspy not soggy results. Orange peel beef is a good one for that, as is lemon chicken (which shouldn’t be too sweet) and even Sweet and Sour Pork (which is better if it is not dyed radioactive-red).

Once established that the restaurant is to my liking with such items, I would then go on to try the stranger/more exciting items on the menu on my secong visit.

It depends on the type of cuisine the restaurant specializes in. China is a huge country, and there are many regional variations. That’s why I don’t judge all Chinese restaurants by the same one or two dishes. For example, a good Hong Kong style restaurant might not even have hot and sour soup on the menu. Whenever I visit a restaurant for the first time, I look the menu over and try to figure out what the place is likely to do best.

That being said, one of my favorite dishes is Shantung stewed chicken. I’ve seen it only at two restaurants, though, so it’s not a common item. Favorite vegetables include Chinese broccoli and pea shoots. Salt-and-pepper shrimp in the shell can be very good if you’re willing to deal with the shells (I just eat them).

Try salt-baked pork, it’s the bomb.

Thanks to this thread, I ended up ordering Chinese last night (damn you all!)

Decided to try something a little different, the Tai-Hing Beef. It was definitely an americanized dish, but a tasty one none the less. Big slabs of beef fried in a spicy brown sauce, with snow peas (a little too soft), bamboo shoots (decently crisp), onion, red peppers (way too soft), and those wonderful little dried hot peppers that make me weep like Ol’ Yeller just got shot.

Best part is that I still have half of it in my fridge.

Mapo dofu, chicken with black been, and chow mei fun. I think that’s Schezuan, Hunan, and Cantonese.

My current favorite dish is curry chicken with onion, but only one restaurant around here has it.

Seconding (thirding?) the mapo tofu recommendation. Good mapo tofu that I’ve tasted has plenty of little blocks of fresh tofu and ground pork, and is covered in a spicy/garlicy/pungent orangish-red sauce. It’s delectable ladled over lots of fluffy white rice to soak up the spicy sauce. I believe it’s an earthy, peasanty dish, and not considered haute cuisine at all. It’s been awhile since I’ve had some - I’ll have to scope out who makes it around here.

It is so basic that most restaurants will do it, even if it isn’t on the menu.

Yeaaah! Mopo Dofu. I’m gonna make some right now.

xiao long bao - these are sort of like dumplings, but they have a small amount of very rich broth inside. Very tasty.

For vegetables, I’d suggest kong xing cai - that one is hard to mess up.

My favorite is Eight Precious Pearl Duck. It’s big chunks of breaded duck, topped with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, scallops and veggies, all in a brown sauce.