Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby azhotdish » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:23 pm

Skillet Doux wrote:Just caught a mention over at Chowhound that they're going to start making Xiao Long Bao next week, and called to confirm. I'm not sure which day, but this is HUGE. I have a hunch these guys can nail them. I'll be calling next week to see what's up. Trying not to get too excited.


EXCELLENT NEWS!!!
:D :) ;) :D :) ;) :D :) ;)
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby azhotdish » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:28 pm

Here is the epic XLB thread from LTH.
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Skillet Doux » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:30 pm

BarbaraToombs wrote:Ok...explain what that is, Dom...and count me IN!

AKA Soup Dumplings... they're technically buns, though they're small and the bread is extremely thin so they play like dumplings. They're filled with some meat and a pork aspic, so that when the buns steam the aspic melts and turns into hot soup. Here's a steamer full I had at Lin Long Fang in Shanghai this past January:

linlongfangxiaolongbao.jpg
Xiao Long Bao @ Lin Long Fang, Shanghai

When done well -- and they're extremely difficult to do well -- they're one of those food nerd holy grail dishes. Completely mind-altering deliciousness. They're from around Shanghai which is... well, okay, not that close to Northeastern China. But these guys are so skilled with buns and wrappers and doughs that it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they stick the landing.

This would be beyond huge.
-Dom
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:15 pm

Oh. My. God. That sounds unbelievable. PLEASE keep me updated!!!!!
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Skillet Doux » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:42 am

We have a menu! PDF at the bottom.

So the little fella has been requesting Chou's almost nonstop (ohhhhhh, okaaaaaaaaay), and a return trip from Tucson this evening provided a perfect chance to pop in for xiao long bao.

They're making them. For dinner. And they're... okay. I feel a little guilty going after a Shanghainese dish when there's so much Dongbei I haven't touched yet, but I can't turn down a shot at XLB.

chousxiaolongbao.jpg
Xiao Long Bao

The good? Lots of broth, jiggly on the bottom. The bad? Not so jiggly on the top, and the seasoning on the meat/soup just isn't right somehow. It doesn't have that silky sweetness. Still, the best I've had in town. But know that this isn't even approaching the ceiling. I think perhaps it's best to focus on the Dongbei cuisine.

chousstringbeans.jpg
Stir-Fry String Beans

Beef pies for the little fella (of course), and some simple string beans with ground pork and dark soy -- no garlic or black bean or anything like that. A much simpler dish.

So here's the menu... lots to try... when are we going back?
Attachments
Chou's Kitchen Menu.pdf
Chou's Kitchen Menu
(6.63 MiB) Downloaded 174 times
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:53 am

Nice! I was thinking about getting those beans the last time I was there. They look good!

When are we going again? Hell, just say the word and I'm there!!
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Lunchbox » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:39 pm

OK so what are the must try dishes here? I'm going to try to get over there this week with a friend... Somehow this hasn't shown up on my radar...
-- LBX

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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:51 pm

Meat pies for sure. Eggplant/potato dish. Just peruse the thread. So many!! Let me know if you want company!!! :)
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Lunchbox » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:57 pm

BarbaraToombs wrote:Meat pies for sure. Eggplant/potato dish. Just peruse the thread. So many!! Let me know if you want company!!! :)


BarbaraToombs wrote:Zach...let me know when you want to go this week...I'll join you!


OK sounds good! I'll talk to my buddy... Maybe lunch on Thursday since they're closed on Wednesday? Maybe we can get a few more people on the event forum? I'd love more people so we can order more food... :)
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Skillet Doux » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:05 pm

I think I can make Thursday... why don't one of you guys go ahead and plan it.
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:14 pm

I can do that!!
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:15 pm

Zach...once you talk to your buddy, if Thursday works, post the event! :smile:
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Lunchbox » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:52 pm

BarbaraToombs wrote:Zach...once you talk to your buddy, if Thursday works, post the event! :smile:


Since Dom, Barb, and I are in (I'm pretty sure my buddy will make it) I'd say we're good to go... I'll post something soon!
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby themis » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:17 pm

Okay, so THIS is why we have the FoodNerds board. I was telling doctor about his lunch and he said, 'why don't I already know about this place,' and 'Let's go. Sunday, Monday? Let me check their hours,' and pulled out his phone to look. Keep in mind I lived four miles away for several years. How long have they been there?

We had:

Beef pies - browned dough gives way to ground beef interior, leaving a wash of strong beefy broth and a little oil floating on that. Tastes like my won-ton filling; ginger-y and garlic-y. Perfect for a cool day, satisfying, like a Cornish pasty.

Pork ribs with mustard greens soup - I like that this was a light broth, and I like mustard greens - nothing to bang drums over, but just what I wanted.

Fried pork buns - sure-!

Green bean noodles with vegetables, ham, and eggs - This sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss, right-? No actual green beans, just pappardelle-like ribbons of transluscent noodles, served surrounded by julienned cucumber, carrot, omelet, ham, sprouts, etc; and with a peanut-sesame-hot mustard sauce. I preferred to select my perfect combination and dress on my own; like a deconstructed summer roll. Later served tossed together, still very good.

Stir fried green beans, Potato-chile-eggplant - two veggie side dishes worth ordering. Potatoes were very flavorful; but what the menu claimed was jalepeno was mostly green pepper, today.

Husbands & wives - did not like the bitterness of this dish. Have had intestines better elsewhere. My only miss.

Stir-fried spicy fish filet - nice, a little spicy, a little salty, fish perfectly fresh.

Clay pot green beans with pork - big win; excellent, star-anise scented broth with thin translucent (sweet potato starch-?) noodles and julienned mushroom, with tender pork hanging on to just the right amount of fat.

I felt as if the space were perfectly lovely, it was well-decorated, uncluttered, and spotless - nobody should be dinging this place on lack of atmosphere. I was only sad that I foolishly seated myself where I couldn't see the kitchen at work. The service? Smiling and helpful.

I'm hoping Scott posts a few of his pictures, they looked very appetizing. I am still full, by the way, kind of had to skip dinner.
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Skillet Doux » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:34 pm

themis wrote:Okay, so THIS is why we have the FoodNerds board.

Yes, yes, yes!

themis wrote:Keep in mind I lived four miles away for several years. How long have they been there?

About two years... early 2011, I think?

Yeah, I dug the soup too, just a nice, simple broth with a little bit of meat and vegetable.

chousspicybeeftripetendon.jpg
Spicy Beef, Tripe & Tendon

I do disagree about the fuqi feipian. I thought it was a really nice version. The chiles were pretty toasty... perhaps that was the source of the bitterness you didn't like? Anyway, I dug it.

chousgreenbeanjelly.jpg
Green Bean Jelly with Vegetable, Ham & Eggs

I asked her the name of this one in Chinese, and the moment I did I realized that I couldn't remember the name of the dish I thought it was, so I think this was Liang Zhang Pi, or a close cousin thereof? The same one we got at Chef Chiang? Anyway, I enjoyed this one a lot more. Nice dish.

chousspicyfishfilet.jpg
Stir-Fry Spicy Fish Filet

Good stuff. This genre of battered, deep-fried, stir-fried with spicy sweet sauce is so easy to make a total mess of. This was a very solid version.

chousgreenbeanporkclaypot.jpg
Green Beans with Pork Clay Pot

Dead on... so good. Their clay pots have been great here. I really need to try more of them. Next time, get the one with meatballs and cabbage!

Every time -- such a joy to eat here. It was awesome to get a good group there again :-)
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby BarbaraToombs » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:42 am

Nice write-ups, themis and Skillet Doux! (And great pics as usual!).

I didn't have the "husbands and wives" (I'll leave it to Dom to let the Chinese name roll off his tongue ;) ) as it had peanuts in it (MANY thanks to Lunchbox for pointing this out to me, or I would have ended up in the hospital!), and likewise had to sadly pass on the green bean noodle salad thingy because of the peanut butter (the version we had a Chef Chiang's was just hot mustard and sesame dressing, and I loved the result).

But the rest was as fabulous as always, and I really enjoyed three new things to me this time: the green bean/pork hot pot (really flavorful!), the stir fry string beans with pork, and the stir fry fish. While the pork and mustard green soup was good, especially on a day like yesterday, it wasn't something I'd shout from the rooftops about, but it was tasty. The broth itself would be the perfect cure to a winter cold!

I hearby resolve to try something new every time I go there (but I'm never not getting those meat pies. NEVER.) :D
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby ScottofStrand » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:48 pm

I had a great time also at Chous! I'm sad I was on my lunch break and had to dine quickly. I would have loved to take some time and chatted a bit, but work has been so hectic and I was between meetings!

Some real winners during the lunch. I'd say the standouts for me were the Spicy Stir-Fry Fish, Potatoe's with Eggplant and Peppers, Stir Fried Green Bean's, and Meat Pies.

Here are the pictures I had that aren't duplicates of Dom's, but are probable already listed on this thread.

Potatoes, Eggplant, Peppers.jpg
Potatoes, Eggplant and Peppers

So damn good. Who knew veggies are actually worth ordering!?

Ribs and Mustard Greens Soup.jpg
Ribs and Mustard Greens Soup

Broth was nice, but the ribs were forgettable, imho.

Green Beans.jpg
Stir Fried Green Beans

What a great side dish. Need to figure out how to make my green beans this good.

Pork Buns.jpg
Pork Buns

Not as amazing as the Meat Pies, but still great!

Green Bean Salad Tossed.jpg
Green Bean Salad, Tossed

The Green Bean Salad was a surprise. Loved the peanut dressing(Sorry Barb)! I did like it a bit more with less of the dressing, before it was all tossed together, but it was tasty. Still no TIGER SALAD...
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Skillet Doux » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:42 pm

ScottofStrand wrote:Broth was nice, but the ribs were forgettable, imho.

Yeah, that's pretty much SOP for these soups. What little bits of meat are there are spent, having unloaded into the broth. Which isn't to say you have to like it, but just FYI. I've had some clear broths in China that just completely blew my mind -- it's astounding to me how much flavor they can get into a simple, clear broth. I agree, this was not a mind-blowing broth :-) But it was a nice simple, warm start on a chilly day.

ScottofStrand wrote:Still no TIGER SALAD...

Ordering fail... I accept full responsibility :-/
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Pete » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:52 pm

I'm always impressed by the vegetables I get here. The tiger salad, the potato/eggplant/anaheim dish, the green beans, even the texture of the mustard greens in the (otherwise somewhat plain) soup- they're all great.

I think my favorites this trip were probably the fuqi feipian beef/tripe/tendon dish and the green bean and pork clay pot. I didn't get as much bitterness as themis did, apparently; for me the flavors and texture were great (kinda a relief after the tiger salad I got last week had an unusually crippling amount of sichuan peppercorn oil). Also, I think that clay pot was the first time I've ever had sun-dried green beans- something I'm glad I've now rectified.
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Re: Chou's Kitchen - Dongbei Cuisine in Chandler

Postby Lunchbox » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:48 am

I agree with you Pete, the vegs were my favorite part of my lunch. The green beans were great and I really loved the eggplant dish. Those were both surprising to me. I really liked the meat pies too (so did most of the other tables, I noticed). I would definitely go back for those. But the other spongy dumplings we had didn't wow me like I thought they would. I think I was looking for more flavor. There were just flat IMHO. The fish dish surprised me too, I wouldn't have tried it normally (I'm not a huge fish guy) but it was really tasty.

As Cracky and I drove home we were talking about how we were eating "Chinese" food where you feel like you need to eat rice (which we were served) but these dishes didn't scream "eat rice with me" which we found refreshing... It was also cool to see them making the dumplings in the kitchen. Cool place. Friendly service. I'd go back anytime.
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