The brand-new Sunshine Moon Peking Pub has thrilled us recently, although we don’t think they’ve hit their stride yet … and Chop and Wok is on our speed dial for delivery … but for a sit-down meal worthy of ringing in the Chinese New Year? Here are the Top 5 restaurants we’re loving right now. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
1 George and Son's Asian Cuisine
Located in the area where Via Linda meets Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, George and Son's Asian Cuisine is a godsend to those seeking authentic Chinese food outside the realm of cookie cutter franchises. House specialties include fresh shrimp with mango, Kung Pao 3 Seas (shrimp, scallops and a filet of fish served in the classic kung pao sauce we all love), the Tres Amigos (don't let the name fool you, it's a combination of shrimp, chicken and beef stir-fryed in a flavorful brown sauce), and Peking duck, of course. What we're really in love with, though, are the starters, such as the sizzling rice soup, Hong Kong-style baby back ribs, crab puffs, and George's Seafood Pocket, a pan-fried scallion pancake stuffed with shrimp, crab meat, scallops and shallots.
11291 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 480.661.6336 web
2 Mr. Chao's Asian Bistro
Warning: The potstickers here tend to be repeatedly cooked to absolute perfection. Don't be ashamed to consider making an entire meal of them. (You're not alone!) And although you won't find anything too outside of the box here, you won't want to. Mr. Chao's Asian Bistro seems to aim to serve the most well-known, best-loved Chinese dishes prepared flawlessly, and on that, they deliver. Sesame chicken, Mongolian beef, Kung Pao Chicken, sweet and sour soup, lo mein noodles -- you'll find it all here, just the way you like it. Try the green tea ice cream for dessert, you won't regret it!
3 Maxim Restaurant
OK, to be fair, Maxim Restaurant is not as easy on the eyes as some others on this list, and it serves both Chinese and Vietnamese dishes--but regardless of what you order, we think you'll agree the food is a hit. Two words: spring rolls. You'll be craving them again not long after you leave, we promise. The vegetables served here are all very fresh, the tofu perfectly fried (order the Lemongrass Tofu!), and the wonton noodle soup, with its crab meat, pork and fried wontons, is really something special. And prepare to order seconds.
4 Phoenix Palace
We would pitch a tent next to Phoenix Palace if we could get a permit for it. The restaurant serves delicious dim sum daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including barbecued meats, congee, rice noodles, shrimp siu mai (shrimp in wonton wrappers), turnip cakes, spicy chicken feet and practically every kind of steamed dumpling you could imagine. In the mood for something sweet? You'll adore the small, round pastries filled with coconut or custard, or try the ones stuffed with tender meat and vegetables. Just be sure to plan your visit for the weekend, rather than a weekday, as the selection somehow tends to be better on Saturdays and Sundays.
2075 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 480.855.4047 web
5 China Chan Restaurant
On certain days and at certain times, the atmosphere can be a weensy bit lackluster, but what the restaurant lacks in pizazz it more than makes up for in delicious, authentic fare and friendly, inviting service; the staff members are very willing to help dim sum newbies order just the right combination of dishes. Consequently, if you're there to experience the Chinese buffet or the dim sum, go nuts, because you'll be getting a lot of bang for your buck. The same goes for entrees, too, as the portions are on the large side (the slowly roasted pork with a side of Chinese broccoli are excellent choices ... mmm ...), so it's best to do as the Chinese intended and share everything family-style. But then, you love Chinese food, so you already knew that, right?