Consistently good chinese food in the DFW area can be pretty hit or miss. I’ve tried a few places where food tastes just alike, a few that made me sick, and even fewer that are truly top notch. Here, I’ve weeded through tons of Plano restaurants that consider themselves “Chinese food” and presented you with my best 10 in Plano city limits.
There are many varieties of Chinese food – Sichuanese, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Hunan, and others. I’ve included a sampling of a few different types, based on best food quality and flavor.
My list for the best Chinese food in Plano:
1. Yao Fuzi Cuisine (4757 W. Park Blvd)
Yao Fuzi, Chris Yao’s Shanghainese cuisine restaurant, is one of the most upscale, ritzy Chinese restaurants I’ve ever seen. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for your beautiful surroundings. This isn’t your typical hole-in-the-wall, understaffed ethnic restaurant. Yao Fuzi is a destination that impresses in every aspect. This gourmet Chinese restaurant offers both Chinese American food (stuff you’ll recognize) and authentic Chinese food, prepared by Chris Yao’s father Alex. The authentic Chinese menu is translated into English as well, so don’t be afraid to jump in and try something completely new. Shanghainese dishes are known for their preparation with vinegar or wine. Chicken, pork, and duck are meats most commonly used.
Try: Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao), Spicy Ahi Tuna with Asian pear summer rolls, Blue crab and cheese wontons, curry calamari, Yao’s “five spice” spare ribs. And those are all just from the appetizer menu.
2. Chop Soy (6900 Alma Dr)
So technically, Chop Soy is considered Asian Fusion, but they make the list because the Chinese inspired dishes prepared by Chef Daniel are superb. Aside from the door being so heavy I could barely open it and thought they were closed, my experiences have been 100% pleasant. Friendly service and quick, flavorful, quality meals are the name of the game at Chop Soy.
Try: Crab Rangoon, Chicken wonton soup, Kung Pao chicken, Hoi Sin Almond beef, egg rolls, Broccoli Beef.
3. First Chinese BBQ (3304 Coit Road)
First Chinese BBQ began in the year of my birth, 1982, in Richardson and was one of the first places around to introduce authentic Cantonese fare. In the years since, they have expanded and flourished, offering both authentic Chinese dishes and some Americanized variations for the less daring among us.
The first time I tried First Chinese, I was quite confused. There was no one to seat me, I wasn’t sure if and where I should sit to order. I couldn’t really understand anyone, and I didn’t know until the end of my meal that they only accept cash. I barely had enough to cover my meal, and admittedly had to leave a miserly tip, which I made up for the next time I dined by having proper cash in the wallet. All of that, plus the Crispy shrimp I ordered, which I was kind of surprised to find the shrimp fried with the shell still on… Crispy Shrimp indeed! But great flavor, nonetheless. Since then I’ve found delight in the Cantonese duck dishes and roast pork that melts on the tongue.
Try: Wonton soup, hot pots, Mongolian beef, BBQ pork, black mushroom marinated duck.
4. Sichuanese Restaurant (2001 Coit Rd #315) and (141 West Spring Creek Pkwy #405)
This one accepts credit cards, hooray! While upon entering, I did not like that the tablecloths were white plastic, and therefore appeared to be covered in trash bags, I was pleasantly impressed with the food here. The tap water tasted pretty bad, so I’d probably spring for a hot oolong tea in the future, but again, it’s all about the food here. And the food is spot on. Unlimited self-serve soup, salad, and pickled veggies, but you have to figure out it out for yourself or you’ll miss out. Lots of great lunch specials, and at 5.95, you simply can’t lose.
Try: Lamb with cumin, spicy boiled fish, beef miscellany, pork with bamboo shoots and mustard , Sichuanese smoked tea duck, zhong dumplings.
5. Lion City Chinese Cafe (2109 W. Parker Road Suite 210)
In true hole-in-the-wall spirit, you might have to hunt around the strip mall to find this Singaporean-Chinese dive. Also, another cash only joint, so be sure you grab some green on your way in. Taiwan Cafe is closed on Tuesdays, so make a note of that before you plan to come and dine with them. They also offer no pork or beef, but the meat they do prepare, they do quite well. Lion City imports their curry powder and makes all their own sauces from scratch. Service is consistently slow, so don’t go in a hurry.
Try: stir fried rice noodles, curry puffs (like samosas, filled with potato, egg, spices, and chicken), chili crab, fish fillet with sambal, Hainanese chicken rice, Sambol Kangkung (spicy, mouth-watering spinach that will impress even those vegetable avoiders like myself. On weekends try their specialty Laksa soup, made up of rice noodles in coconut curry sauce, with egg and chicken.
6. JS Chen Dim Sum & BBQ (240 Legacy #118)
Service is not always their high point. The food, however, is. Really, really good. Easily some of the best Cantonese food in Dallas. BYOB.
Try: Jumbo crab in spicy garlic sauce with special fried rice (Long name!), Dim Sum Shanghai style, shrimp and pork dumpling, Peking spare ribs.
7. New Hong Kong Express (3205 Alma Dr)
A rare spacious Chinese restaurant with a TV on the wall, to prevent awkward staring from one table to another. Family owned and family run, friendly service, and consistently good product. No frills attached.
Try: Fried chicken, Moo Shu veggies, Hot and sour soup, Spicy chicken fried rice.
8. Lin’s China Diner (5930 W. Park Blvd Suite 1800)
Free delivery with 10$ minimum at lunch at 15$ minimum at dinner. Definitely worth a try if you’re feeling lazy, don’t want to cook, and don’t want to order out. Very clean restaurant, friendly service, and consistent cooking.
Try: House Wonton soup, Beef with asparagus in black bean sauce,
9. Mr. Wok Asian Bistro (2600 14th St)
If you hear nothing else, hear this. Call ahead and order A) Peking Duck and/or B) Beggar’s chicken (stuffed with rice, Cantonese sausage, shrimp). Go in 2 days later and enjoy. Your mouth will be pleased to have tried some of the most authentic dishes in the area. Lovely relaxed atmosphere with pleasantly attentive service and classic Chinese fare with modern accents.
Try: Peking duck, Beggar’s chicken (must order 2 days in advance), Spicy Parmesan prawns.
10. Taiwan Cafe (2747 W. 15th St)
One more time. Cash only. Notice a pretty common trend here? It seems the truly authentic places are anti credit card. Can someone please offer to buy them one of those cool iPhone attachments that swipe credit cards?
Taiwan Cafe offers free self-serve soup. If you’re in a hurry, you can make your selections buffet style at their steam table, but I highly recommend grabbing a menu and sitting down to order in any situation if possible.
Try: Corn and chicken egg flower soup, Kung Pao chicken, scallion pancakes, Mo Pa tofu, tomato and eggs, beef chow main, drunken chicken, Chinese donuts.
Have any restaurants you think I missed? Any new gems I should know about? Comment below, or tweet me at @diningwithdelia.