Category Archives: Asian

Tempting dumpling array awaits at Jeng Chi

From the outside, you can’t see through the glass of the doors and windows, only your own reflection and the red writing of Chinese symbols and the words “Jeng Chi.”

The juicy steamed dumplings are the must-order at Jeng Chi. (Photos by TAYLOR ADAMS)

I was recently persuaded to drive up to Chinatown in Richardson to this small Chinese restaurant that, based on my friend’s experience, was guaranteed to have superb dumplings. Seeing as I was already yearning for fall, I was ready for the comfort that a steaming dumpling full of meat could provide.

The large menu probably has plenty to offer, but the dumplings are what you come here for. The sheer number of choices in this category alone will have you dedicating ample time to it.

The taste of the egg rolls at Jeng Chi surpass their average looks.

Before your order of however many dumplings you think you’re hungry for comes out, you may think it’s too generic to order the $1 egg roll. This fried appetizer is thick with seasoned meat that makes you pause to appreciate the chef who took this taste beyond those you’ve enjoyed at any place in Dallas.

The green onion pancake is a crisp, assemble of flaky layers of savory onion.

The green onion pancake (listed in the dumplings section) is a flaky, pastry-like appetizer that balances out perfectly after a few drops of soy sauce are added to the top. The crisp dough is just the surface of the softer, tangy layers between.

One serving is enough to share between two people. While on most occasions, you might be fighting over the last slice, the execution of this varies. Sometimes, it can come out a light, golden brown, other times, it may be a bit too dark (as photographed, and even the soy sauce doesn’t save it from tasting just a bit off.

The steamed chicken and shrimp dumplings at Jeng Chi.

As for the real reason you drove all the way to Richardson — the dumplings come out as they’re ready, causing a waitress to shift your half-emptied plates to the back of the table as you’re mid-bite into a pancake wedge.

The steamed shrimp and pork dumplings are fine, filling the dumpling completely with a well-seasoned, slightly ambiguous mound of meat.

The boiled beef dumplings were better than expected (and more difficult to maneuver with chopsticks because their slippery exteriors still dripped with water). The smaller amount of meat inside is an appropriate complement to the surrounding dough, for the flavor and spices unexpectedly overwhelm you in an incredibly good way.

The pot stickers are good, too, crispy, savory and greasy, similar to many other places — even chains of the same cuisine — in Dallas.

The small juicy steamed dumplings at Jeng Chi.

What makes a return drive up North Greenville Avenue truly worthy are the small juicy steamed dumplings. These large dumplings, served the same way as the shrimp and pork–over leaves inside a dumpling basket–are worth any embarrassment that comes with being unable to eat them with grace.

The liquid surrounding the spiced mound of pork is slightly complex in flavor and better than it has any right to be in this small restaurant.

With autumn (hopefully) approaching soon, I plan on adding these pockets of warm, mellow spice to my list of comfort foods.

Jeng Chi Restaurant
Location: 400 N. Greenville Ave., Ste. 19 in Richardson, 972-669-9094, jengchirestaurant.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Price: $
Ambiance: Mostly full of families having a quiet meal, with abrupt servers who do just what they need to get the dumpling basket to your table, and that’s all.
Alcohol: BYOB

Special thanks to Allison Wisk for recommending Jeng Chi Restaurant.

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Sweet, green ending further improves meal at Asian Mint

There aren’t a ton of places to get fabulous Chinese food in town. If you go north of Dallas, your chances increase. But in the city limits, there are places that serve decent dishes–one of them being Asian Mint.
The food here is fine. The menu has the popular Asian-fusion approach. My one visit there had me ordering the Mongolian beef stir-fry, which was well-seasoned and made for a desirable bite when mixed with rice. The overall meal was savory, but the cheap-tasting meat kept it from being near perfect. But for a meal that came out in less than 10 minutes, it definitely has me wanting to return.
What inspired this blog post wasn’t the one acceptable meal I had, but the part that followed.

The green tea ice cream cake at Asian Mint simply tastes better than it looks. (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

The green tea ice cream cake doesn’t sound as appetizing as it really is. In fact, when the green block is placed on the table, your hesitation might continue. Starting at the top of the tower, your fork goes through a tangy whipped cream, followed by a layer of dense cake, green tea ice cream and more cake. Bite after you bite, you start to like it. The whipped cream and ice cream are cool and refreshing, lightening the dense sponge cake that seems to have been soaked in tea.
One out of the four at our table tried his best to down it and failed. The rest of us started to dig in after getting used to it in three bites. The dessert is simply something different, something that is much needed in breaking up the cycle of frozen yogurt places we all can get into.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Price: $$
Ambiance: Modern, white, clean decor–the evening can get packed and noisy
Attire: Casual
Payment information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar

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Filed under Asian, Dessert