Nestled in the New Britain Village Shopping Center, Gourmet Wok unfurls a pan-Pacific spread of Chinese, and Southeast Asian cuisine that spurns the use of MSG. Guests tote their own beverages to pair with a dinner menu of sumptuous dishes—try chef specialties such as the tangerine beef ($11.95), marinated and tickled over a high flame, or the sizzling subgum wor ba ($12.95), a slumber party of lobster, shrimp, chicken, beef, and veggies gossiping about the uninvited pork. Edamame appetizers ($3.75) make way for the mock chicken with chinese eggplant ($9.95), a seitan-based dish trained as a body double for chicken's grill-jumping stunts.
Diners at Formosa Asian Cuisine certainly can't complain about a lack of choices: more than 100 pad thai, fried rice, and curry dishes fill the menu, which is organized into beef, chicken, pork, and seafood categories. Quite a few of the dishes turn up the heat—the Dragon & Phoenix tosses jumbo shrimp and general tso's chicken in chili sauce—and others deliver crispy textures, such as the deep-fried duck. Diners savor these meals and sip BYOB beverages in a dining room replete with tasteful touches from pale-pink seating and blond-wood accents to linen napkins folded to eerily resemble your favorite Beatle.
Sannie Japan Chinese Cuisine is all about options—its sprawling menu boasts more than 230 Asian specialties. More than 120 of those options are Chinese, ranging from traditional hot-and-sour soup to the chef's Snow White Princess entree filled with chicken, scallops, and shrimp. The Japanese portion of the menu includes more than 100 items, including unagi don (broiled eel) and sushi rolls stuffed with cream cheese, avocado, and crab. For those watching their weight, the chefs cook up health-conscious entrees that pair seasoned proteins, such as jumbo shrimp, with brown rice and a special diet sauce.
In 2003, chef Shing Chung and his wife Doris became grandparents, and they decided that it was time to pass the torch. So after 20 years of running Lee How Fook, they handed over the keys to their daughter Sieu and her husband. With the help of the eatery’s chefs, the duo still works to live up to the eatery’s name, which translates roughly to “good food for the mouth.” Busy members of the family cruise beneath almond-hued walls, which are lined with colorful illustrations of bud-strewn trees. Their limbs bend as if reaching for steaming chicken and beef morsels in sweet and spicy sauces or platters of peking duck or lobster. A BYOB policy allows for pairing with the diverse Cantonese menu and fuels chatter about the fact that nobody has ever seen the waiter in the same place as Superman.
Wok Chinese Seafood Restaurant fills its vast menu with an atlas of eats, drawing inspiration from China’s Hunan and Szechuan provinces as well as the capital city of Beijing. The kitchen prepares traditional favorites, whipping together hot and spicy shrimp and steamed sea bass in a scallion-ginger sauce alongside beef with broccoli and chicken lo mein. The menu also includes house specialties such as the Dragon and Phoenix, whose chicken breasts, lobster meat, and snow peas are not formally recognized by zoologists as either dragon or phoenix. Red lanterns hang above the dining room, where a mural of a woman flying through swirling clouds is complemented by the whimsy of each table’s pink-cloth napkins.
Many things have changed since Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House first opened in 1912—the menu now serves scallops, mussels, and Maine lobster thanks to third-generation owners Ken and Skip Snock. However, the restaurant’s insistence on using fresh, local seafood and some of its original recipes, including Mrs. Snockey’s original oyster stew, have remained unchanged, like a stubborn Precambrian fossil.
In the wake of Snockey’s 100th anniversary, Phillyburbs.com called the restaurant a “seafood staple for locals and visitors alike,” lavishing particular praise on the variety of oysters available at the raw bar. Oysters come from as far away as the west coast, but most originate in nearby waterways such as Delaware Bay and Cape Cod. There’s also a large selection of cooked seafood including fried shrimp, broiled Atlantic flounder, and steamed littleneck clams.