2013 is the Year of the Snake. For those following the lunar calendar and wishing to celebrate Chinese New Year's on Sunday, February 10, here are some local Chinese restaurants sure to please a hungry, discerning crowd:
1. C&T Wok in Morrisville, NC: Boasting a combination of Thai and Chinese dishes, numb your senses and indulge in C&T’s Traditional Szechuan menu for Chinese New Year’s. It’s where flavor-packed dishes like Pickled Chili with Beef Tendon and Ma Po Tofu can be found. Beware though, the Szechuan peppercorns used in some of these dishes are known to pack a spicy punch.
2. Super Wok in Cary, NC: The dining area in this Cary restaurant can get a bit cramped, but grabbing a table at this Chinese restaurant is well worth the wait. Known throughout the Chinese community for its traditional Chinese fare, Super Wok does also offer an American-Chinese style menu with familiar dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, but the former is definitely recommended.
3. 35 Chinese in Cary, NC: This mainstay in Cary remains open for good reason. A much larger space for dining with a larger party, this place may be hidden in an office building, but it’s a “can’t miss” for those seeking authentic Chinese food.
4. Dim Sum House in Morrisville, NC: If you have a craving for dim sum for Chinese New Year’s, this spot located near RDU airport might be where you find your culinary prosperity. Dim sum is served everyday here and if you’re a newbie to dim sum, no worries—the menu comes with pictures.
5. Hong Kong Restaurant in Durham, NC: Before Dim Sum House and an array of other Triangle dim sum contenders (remember China One, anyone?), there was Hong Kong Restaurant in Durham, NC. The building could use some updating, but the place keeps faithfully churning out the dim sum every weekend and continues to please the masses judging by the jam-packed parking lot. Hong Kong doesn’t only serve dim sum, its Chinese noodle dishes and hot pot specials are worth checking out as well.
6. China Express in RTP: Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been trekking over to this place for one reason only: the noodles. Personally, I’d recommend skipping the entire menu and ordering only from the Handmade Chinese Noodles section. For about $9, you’ll receive a reward of a massive bowl of handmade noodles steeped in a delicious broth, piled high with shrimp, squid, scallops and beef. The only thing you’ll have to decide is “Chinese” or “Korean” style when your server takes your order.
7. Taipei 101 in Cary, NC: Its moniker may be inspired by the landmark skyscraper in Taiwan, but its food isn’t limited to that of the island with its offerings of Szechuan and Zhejiang fare. If you’re looking for Taiwanese are, Beef Noodle Soup and the Scallion Roasted Beef Pancake Roll from its dim sum menu are recommended.
8. Taipei Café in Morrisville, NC: Old fans of MaMa Work in Cary may have migrated over to Taipei Café for their fix of authentic Chinese and Taiwanese fare. Like some of the other places, the space is small in Taipei Café, but the service and quality of food is every bit as comparable to the others.
9. Gourmet Kingdom in Carrboro, NC: If you covet authentic Chinese fare in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro vicinity, then this place reigns supreme. But, order a glass full of water as a precaution if you’re not accustomed to “la” (spiciness), because this place specializes in Szechuan dishes.
10. Able Karaoke Bar and Grill in Cary, NC: And finally, if you’re in the mood for some entertainment while you eat, you can find Able Bar and Grill tucked away in a non-descript shopping center at the corner of Tryon Road and Cary Parkway in Cary. The street-food menu is pared to mainly handmade dumplings, grilled kabobs and a few hotpot selections, but let’s be real. You’re probably going for the karaoke singing, which can either be a pleasing experience while you’re trying to stuff down a pork and cabbage dumpling or at the very least, entertainingly bad.