Not all Chinese restaurants are created equal.
This one stands above the crowd.
Urbanspoon lists 103 restaurants that serve Chinese food. Most are formulaic and predictable (read boring). China Best, while not the place to go for gourmet Chinese dishes, is certainly among the very best of the Chinese-American variety. It surprises me that the Urbanspoon diners have rated it thirty-seventh on the Urbanspoon list.
Many of my readers know that I have had a thing for Singapore Noodles for years, and have sent me restaurant suggestions, for which I am grateful. You can stop now, for I have just found the best in the Duke City area. This wonderful dish at the China Best restaurant on Golf Course Road has won the laurels. But first things first.
You can get egg rolls nearly anyplace in this (or any) town. They are usually ho-hum. Not here. These are among the best I have had in the Duke City. Somewhat smallish and loaded with delicate tasting filling, they were expertly fried. There was no discernible trace of cooking oil. Masterfully done, they rise well above the cliché level.
You might also want to try another cliché appetizer: pork dumplings.
Every place of this kind makes pork dumplings. Few make them this good. No cliché here.
The dumplings (four steamed and four lightly fried) were excellent. Jane liked them better that those at Budai; tossup for me. Delicate ground pork filling, well spiced, and served with a spicy dipping sauce, these morsels were astonishingly good. I liked the lightly fried versions better that the steamed ones. Your mileage may vary.
Dragon and Phoenix
Dragon & Phoenix is a dish of shrimp and lightly breaded chicken white meat prepared with onions, carrot, broccoli, bell peppers, and litchi fruit covered with a sweet/spicy sauce. I asked for it to be made spicy hot. This dish is usually made here with flakes of dried red peppers adding contrast to the sweetness of the sauce. The chef added several more whole Tien-Tsin peppers during cooking, and the result was a really pleasing combination of sweet and piquant, as Gastrónomo de Clase Mundial Gilberto Garduño suggested. Next time, I’ll ask for the heat to be pumped up a bit more – perhaps four-six pods. The chicken and shrimp were beautifully done — tasty, moist and tender. This is an excellent dish.
Singapore Chow Mei Fun is (Singapore Noodles)
The Singapore Chow Mei Fun is among the very best I have ever had. Even better than the Budai version. Jane agrees. The vegetables are fresh and crisp, the pork bits and tiny shrimp are very tasty and not overdone, and the spicing is phenomenal. The blend of curry and red tien tsin Chinese peppers (60,000 Scovill units) is unbeatable. This is the first preparation of this dish that required no extra chile oil (red) to punch up the heat. An unbelievably good tasting dish.
House Pan Fried Noodle
Shrimp, Chicken, Beef with mixed vegetables over crispy pan fried noodle in Chef’s delicious sauce.
This dish is both easy on the eyes and easy on the palate. The aroma emanating from the crisp and very tasty noodle basket filled with shrimp, chicken, and beef tickles my senses, as good food should. All the ingredients are properly cooked, and the large shrimp were especially tender. The vegetables were crispy. No mushy oversalted stuff here. The soy-based chef’s sauce is very tasty and does not mask the delicacy of the ingredients.
All too often, Chinese-American restaurants drown their presentations in tasteless, unimaginative, and nondescript sauces out of a can from the Sysco truck (for shame!) that are either too sweet or too salty (or both). Not so here; the sauces and spicing are delicate and delicious. China Best is aptly named — I feel that is is among the best of the Chinese-American places in the area.
Very enjoyable meals with very friendly and useful staff. Fine Friday evening stop. It is a pleasure to find a strip-mall Chinese restaurant on the west side that is superior to the usual worthless imposters elsewhere in ABQ that masquerade as restaurants.
What others are saying
Gil Garduño — Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog
“The restaurant Chief Pomrenke (Chiefs are Chiefs even after they’ve retired from active service) recommended is called China Best and it’s ensconced in a nondescript shopping center off Golf Course just south of Paseo Del Norte. Though the restaurant looks brand new, it’s been serving the far northwest since 2006, specializing in Szechuan, Hunan and Cantonese cuisine. China Best purports to prepare its food in the traditional ways prepared by chefs with more than 13 years experience cooking authentic Chinese cuisine.
“When I asked the Chief what it was about China Best that earned comparisons to the Chinese food he experienced in Hong Kong and throughout the Far East, he quickly rattled off several things. First, he said, “China Best serves Chow Mei Fun, a staple at the street stalls in Hong Kong,” explaining that “most Chinese restaurants have their version of Singapore Chow Mei Fun made with varying amounts of curry, but it’s rare to see the everyday version.” True foodies would rather feast at a street stall than at a four-star restaurant.”
China Best (Cedarcrest)