For more than 15 years, Dragon Star has lit up the Chinese food scene in Brookline. The staff has built an extensive menu with more than 160 selections, including chop suey, eggplant with oyster sauce, beef in black-bean sauce, and a quintet of egg foo youngs. But starring among their many traditional dishes are Dragon Star’s specialties. Slices of duck served Mandarin-style are sautéed with pea pods, water chesnuts, and bamboo, and the flavors in the Happy Family dish—jumbo shrimp, chicken, scallops, beef, and pork—work together so harmoniously they often burst into renditions of “The Brady Bunch.” Regardless of the lunch or dinner entrée chosen, guests can rest assured that the staff has prepared it as healthily as possible: they use fresh and natural ingredients and constantly seek out new cooking methods to get the most from their nutritional content.
Imperial Kitchen's chefs have prepared authentic Chinese cuisine for more than 35 years, searing seasoned chicken, roast pork, seafood, and assorted garden pluckings in vegetable oil. Classic dishes such as cashew chicken and satay beef arrive fresh and made to order so that diners can customize the heat level of each dish, turning the dial from mild to extra spicy to hotter than a pile of burning fireman calendars. Combo dinners bolster favorite entrees with pork-fried rice, whereas chef's specialties add inventive flair with lotus flour and flavorful ginger sauce, spicy orange sauce, or the chef's signature sauce.:
At House of Chang, you can just as easily find a happy family sitting at one of the restaurant’s cozy tables as you can find one on a plate. The Happy Family, of course, is one of House of Chang’s specialty dishes, a reunion of shrimp, beef, chicken, pork, and broccoli in brown sauce. It shares menu space with other house dishes, including plum duck and sesame chicken. The rest of the menu has everything from lo mein and chop suey to moo shi, which wraps mushrooms, scallions, eggs, and meat in a pancake, much like the severance package that an omelet gets after it leaves its kitchen job. A review of House of Chang in The Boston Phoenix lauded the eatery simply for its “swell food at moderate prices.”
A banner printed with tiny white fish flutters above Ma Soba's sushi bar, where chefs in pert white hats tuck ribbons of fish atop rice and seaweed. In the kitchen, stovetops sizzle with Chinese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes, such as bulgogi, tempura-battered seafood and vegetables, and entrees spiced with chili-and-ginger general tso's sauce. Wine and water goblets moor maroon tablecloths in the softly lit dining room, where potted orchids and bromeliads complement a Japanese screen painted with branches and cherry blossoms. Ma Soba also packs entrees into tidy containers for carryout and delivery orders to offices, homes, and tree houses.
Years after his father's eatery closed in the '90s, Christopher Lin decided to reopen this spot in Roslindale with a few contemporary touches. Today, the family members man the revived ship, combining dad’s traditional Chinese techniques with son’s modern ideas to create excellent wok dishes and xiao chi (“small bites”) such as orange-soy baby back ribs.
Xinh Xinh may be located in the heart of Chinatown, but its menu is centered around the heart of Vietnamese cooking. As one might expect, noodle soups, or pho, take center stage with varieties such as curry chicken or beef, fish paste, roast duck, tripe, and pig liver. Guests may choose any of five noodle types––yellow, rice, broad, clear, or pho––to customize any of the noodle soup specialties, though Boston.com recommends the Hu Tieu Nam Veng. The clear noodle soup is served with pork, liver, quail egg, shrimp, and "tiny, toothsome fishballs", and was dubbed, "so flavorful, we forget all about the chili paste and garnishes […] we usually heap into soup at Vietnamese restaurants." For those who shun the soup spoon, Xinh Xinh also offers up a full menu of other Vietnamese and Chinese specialties including hot pots, vermicelli buns stuffed with BBQ meatballs or grilled pork, and rice plates piled high with lemongrass chicken, stir-fried vegetables, or grilled pork. And, of course, there is the avocado shake that Boston.com called "sweet, creamy, cold, and subtly and soothingly flavored", like a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two soft jazz records.