818 Best Dim Sum

Written By Scott Joseph On January 19, 2023

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Lunar New Year, which marks the beginning of the lunar calendar as observed in many Asian cultures, begins Sunday, Jan. 22. So let’s visit 818 Best Dim Sum to get in the holiday mood.

The restaurant, which opened in October, is in an outparcel in front of Mall at Millenia in a space that was previously The King Crab Shack Cajun Seafood. It’s a big place, brightly lit, with many large tables for families or groups.

Each Lunar New Year is denoted by a rotating roster of animals, including ox, snake and horse, among others. Coming up is the year of the rabbit, which last appeared in 2011 (as measured by the Gregorian calendar). I thought it would be clever of 818 to feature rabbit on its menu but there was none.


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Mei’s Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On August 4, 2022

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As I write this I’m enjoying my leftovers from Mei’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant on the east side of town, and the food is just as tasty as it was last evening.

I’m especially liking the Taiwanese sticky rice, which I ordered just to tick off Xi Jinping.


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HuNan Taste

Written By Scott Joseph On April 5, 2022

Hunan Taste interior

I first heard about century eggs from my father after he returned from one of his trips to Southeast Asia in the nineteen-sixties. They’re also known as hundred-year-old eggs, thousand-year-old eggs, pidan, millennium eggs, black eggs and, as they’re more simply known at HuNan Taste in West Orlando, preserved eggs. Some have even referred to them as one of the world’s most disgusting foods.

I don’t think I’d go that far but the mere thought of them might be enough to turn some people away. And if the thought doesn’t do it then the appearance might.


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Ten Ten Seafood & Grill

Written By Scott Joseph On December 16, 2021

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Entering Ten Ten Chinese Seafood & Grill, you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve wandered into a wedding banquet instead of a restaurant. All of the tables are big and round, seating eight, and are draped with gold-tinged fabrics. The chairs, too, are wrapped in the same fabric and tied with a bow at the back, the type of feature that would be a separate line item on a caterers checklist.

But no, it’s just the style of Chinese dining Ten Ten presents, and you’re welcome to sit at the large table even if there are only two of you. You could even sit across from each other and pass food via the lazy Susan in the center.

Ten Ten is a second location for a Sunrise, Fla., restaurant. The Orlando restaurant is on the west side, where so many of the authentic Chinese restaurants have settled but, for a change, it is not in the repurposed strip mall known as Orlando Chinatown.


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Lu Garden

Written By Scott Joseph On November 11, 2021

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I got Chinese food from Lu Garden the other day.

“Leu Gardens sells Chinese food?”

No, not Leu Gardens, Lu Garden.

“You mean Chuan Lu Garden?”

No, but Lu Garden has some good food to chew on.

Lu Garden is a compact, unassuming restaurant in a small strip mall on Conroy Winermere Road between Kirkman road and Dr. Phillips Boulevard. It seems the space was previously occupied by a business called Magic Wok, but Magic Wok apparently went poof.

I needed to order some food to take to a business meeting and found Lu Garden’s website. It was easy to navigate and had a user-friendly ordering feature. I grabbed some items and put them in my cart, easily choosing the side selections for each entree.


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Shanghai Lane

Written By Scott Joseph On November 4, 2021

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At Shanghai Lane it’s all about the soup dumplings. There are other things on the small menu of this quick-serve restaurant in west Orlando’s Chinatown mall at Westside Crossing, but it’s the soup dumplings that have fascinated most of the people who come here.

Officially, they’re known as Nanxiang soup dumplings, and they look like any other pot sticker except that they are filled with broth. The fascination comes from a curiosity similar to anyone who has studied a ship model inside a bottle – how did they get that in there?


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Taste of Chengdu Baldwin Park

Written By Scott Joseph On September 22, 2020

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Taste of Chengdu, the Sichuan restaurant that opened in west Orlando two years ago and quickly established itself as arguably serving the best Chinese food in town, has opened a second location in Baldwin Park.

It is technically in a soft-opening phase and the menu is currently limited – call it a taste of Taste of Chengdu – but the quality is every bit as good as the original.

True to its namesake province, Taste of Chengdu features dishes that use Sichuan peppercornss, the boa constrictor of seasonings. Take a bite of something with the pepper, perhaps dan dan noodles with a chili oil sauce, and you at first feel a warm embrace of your tongue, then a tingling effect, just before the real heat comes in for the kill.

But it’s a pleasant demise. And even people who find western chilies overwhelming might be pleasantly surprised at how tolerable the spiciness is. It isn’t heat for heat’s sake, it is a logical component of the dish as a whole.


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U & Me Chinese & Sushi

Written By Scott Joseph On August 11, 2020

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There are few foods more classically suited for takeout than Chinese. Before there was a proliferation of foam clamshell boxes and plastic containers, there was the folded paperboard box with wire handle that became synonymous with Chinese takeout. So much so that even today the emoji for takeout food is that little box.

So let’s do Chinese takeout.

I went online and found the menu for U & Me, a Chinese restaurant that also does sushi in the area of Kirkman and Conroy Roads. Actually, I found a few menus at a different websites, and with different prices, but I’ll give you the link to the best one below.

I’m a sucker for egg foo young, and I haven’t seen it on a menu in a while, so I knew that would be my entree choice. My companion chose the Triple Delight from the list of house specialites, and we also got some steamed dumplings and pan-fried pork buns to share.


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Shining Spice

Written By Scott Joseph On March 19, 2020

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Last week, before the implementation of social distancing guidelines and before the strictures placed on restaurants to limit occupancy to 50 percent so as to allow a proper distance between customers, I visited a restaurant in Winter Park called Shining Spice.

As you might infer from the name, it is a Chinese restaurant, and I deliberately chose it for that reason. Because the virus that is now disrupting our lives originated in a province in China, Chinese restaurants in the United States and elsewhere were experiencing unfounded bias. I wanted to show some support and to demonstrate that not everyone has a prejudice against an entire people without blame.

Plus, I was hungry for some Chinese food.


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Tasty Wok BBQ & Noodle House

Written By Scott Joseph On January 7, 2020

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I enjoy going to a restaurant where the staff greets me warmly when I come through the door, serves the food with an easy smile and thanks me for my business when I leave.

I hope to visit a restaurant like that soon, but for today I’m at Tasty Wok BBQ & Noodle House.

Tasty Wok is a new/not new Cantonese restaurant in the Mills 50 district. The location is new but the business is not. For many years it had been on the corner of Shine Avenue and Colonial Drive, but late last year it moved across the street, presumably for more seats and to be closer to across-the-lot sister restaurant Ming’s Bistro. (More parking, too, without patrons having to co-opt the spaces in Publix’s lot.)

On my most recent visit to the new space, I was…well, greeted isn’t the right word. I was noticed, eventually, by an unsmiling woman who pointed to a table that she presumably wanted me to sit at. This dour person turned out to also be my server. She brought me a menu and put down a plate with a paper napkin and a fork on it. (I’d have to flag someone down later for some chopsticks.)


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