I don’t know if readers have figured this out yet, but with my last name being Tsai, I’m Chinese. So this post feels close to home.
Take my word for it – comparing Chinese restaurants can be like comparing apples and oranges. There are good (authentic) Chinese restaurants and there are bad (Americanized) Chinese restaurants. If you can follow me here, there are horrible good Chinese restaurants and there are awesome bad Chinese restaurants.
Here’s a solid list of great good Chinese restaurants and amazing bad Chinese restaurants. Now let’s conquer them all.
This is the perfect spot for the times you are sick of the typical wonton or egg drop soup and you are ready for a sip of Pumpkin Mushroom in Chicken Broth. This is the place to feast like Chinese royalty on shark’s fin, abalone and Peking duck. The soft shell crab with pepper sauce is the perfect appetizer. There is something for vegetarians too.
27925 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
The menu is a good mix of Americanized Chinese, Cantonese and Szechuan favorites. The food is best eaten as take-out during a Netflix marathon. Their dinner comes with rice and and soft roll. Try the Yu Shan beef, a spicy stir-fry of beef and Asian vegetables, and the Hong Kong Chow Mein, shrimp, vegetables, and crispy pan-fried noodles in a mild curry sauce. Here is a fun celebrity fact. Kong Kow belongs to the family of Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef: Boston winner.
13337 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126
Trizest specializes in Sichuan cuisine, so get ready for the heat. Garlic, chili oil and the signature Sichuan pepper, or flower pepper, is liberally used to create a dry numbing heat that feels like a rumbling sandstorm of tiny razor-sharp crystals. If you just say “beer duck,” the servers know exactly what you mean. The deliciousness comes in a metal fire pot with a protected flame underneath while the stew bubbles. The alcohol is cooked off, leaving a hoppy taste that goes well with the spice. For the less adventurous, Trizest offers a separate menu for those who prefer Americanized Chinese food.
33170 Dequindre Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48310
If you are driving through Detroit and you need the type of food where you can point, pay and go, try their small selection of already cooked food. They serve typical American Chinese take out and they will flexibly work with you in regards to combos. It is rare and delightful when egg foo young and pepper steak are treated like vegetable fried rice in terms of price point and portion when you order them as a side.
2664 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
You have to visit Shangri-La for your dim-sum fix. Dim-Sum dishes, that are like small plates, are protected inside bamboo containers stacked high on a cart that servers wheel to your table and deftly maneuver around the dining room. Shangri-La is a great place to get your late night munch on. The Detroit location closes at midnight on Friday and Saturday and the West Bloomfield location always closes at 2 a.m. If you want a truly authentic taste, you can’t get more home-style Chinese than Congee (rice porridge) with preserved egg (looks kind of blue) and pork.
West Bloomfield: 6407 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Detroit: 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48201