Chef Chang's House 1004 - 6 Beacon St. Brookline Phone 277 - 4226 This is an old favorite. For some unknown cultural reason the Jewish sub-culture in America seems to be into Chinese food. For a long time in the 50's and 60's Boston's Chinatown had a good restaurant called Carl's Pagoda that attracted a largely Jewish clientele -it was the hip place to eat in Chinatown when most of the other places were serving chop suey and sweet and sour pork. Brookline is largely Jewish and Semitic faces tend to dominate Chef Chang's lunchtime crowd. As was with Karl's place, Chang's is challenged to produce good, interesting food
Chef Chang's is a classy looking place on the edge of Boston/Brookline down from Kenmore Square. It's the first stop out of the T tunnel on Beacon St. We have been going there for lunch every now and then for many years. They serve lunch until 4 PM and the menu features several daily specials. Today my wife went for the curried shrimp and scallops -- $7.50 with a good egg roll, hot and sour soup and pork fried rice. I had the salmon filets in garlic sauce with the same soup, dry noodles and the pork fried rice. The soup was full of goodies like cloud-ear mushrooms. Julienne chicken, onions and soy bean cakes, small mushrooms in a spicy broth. The soup and the hot Chinese mustard I dipped my dried noodles in soon cleared my nose and got me ready to enjoy the main meal. I would recommend that anyone order any of the several scallop meals - these are sweet and very fresh tasting. The shrimp were as usual -though Chang does the favor of not cooking them too long. My plate was loaded with salmon, sauce, snow peas, sweet peas, rice and noodles -large portions for a good price.
There are 25 choices for lunch -plus three or four specials. I like the hot green beans and the mussels with ginger and garlic. Most plates are $5.95.
The evening menu is fairly extensive with many seafood choices. They had a few specials with asparagus and a 2-lb lobster in black bean sauce. They do crispy whole fish dishes. Another attraction is a Peking Duck that you can order without being a day in advance. $32 for a whole -- $16 for a half duck. They do lamb, and sizzling platters, garlic sauce dishes, moo-shi, all that -and some various soups including a great house special soup for 2. The service is excellent -the rest rooms are first class - and the Beacon Market (good coffee and meat) is just down the street in one direction and a good used bookstore next to the Elephant Walk in the other direction. Trader Joe's and Coolidge Corner are four stops (ride that direction - outbound -- for free on the T) up the line.
Very civilized place - Brookline.