Alright I know what everyone is thinking, good Chinese food in Hamilton NJ?!?! I was somewhat skeptical too when we arrived, cheesy name, bright pink exterior neighboring a Pakistani Halal meat vendor. But with the positive endorsements from my Chinese friends, I remained optimistic.
This hole in the wall, literally ... there was a hole in the ceiling above where we sat, poorly covered with cardboard and tape, is unassuming and tiny, only 10 tables if not less. Anyway heres what we ended up with from the lunch menu:
Hot and sour soup
- Very good, subtle hint of sourness with a nice spicy kick, much better than anything I've had recently.
Tian Jian Tofu
- English translation on the menu is Jellied Bean Curd. Silky soft tofu cooked in a thick star anise, beef broth, little bits of cloud ear and topped with coriander. Very powerful flavours, supposedly a specialty from Xian China, highly recommended.
Pork Intestines fried with long green chili
- Slightly chewy, stinky pork smell, but quite good.
Clams with Basil
- Plump manila clams fried with holy basil
Beef with Noodle Soup
- Thick noodles (made on premises) in a spicy beef broth, topped with misc cuts of beef.
Fish with Chinese corn cake
- Fried tiny Pomfret / Pompano topped with an unidentifiable brown sauce. Corn bread was for dipping. Unusual.
- First was the Shanghainese "Shiao Long Bao" or "Juicy stuffed steam buns with pork", cooked in a bamboo steamer, juicy and tasty. 2nd was leek dumplings. Both served with a black vinegar and ginger dipping sauce. Tasty, but not the best looking dumplings.
Total cost . $19.50 for 3 people!!!!! We were stunned; I was expecting the bill to be at least $30 - $40. I will caution you though that the lunch portion are small but we were full by the end of the meal. Dinner prices average about $8-$9 per dish and Im told are quite large.
Overall impressions, very authentic northern Chinese restaurant not typical of the predominantly Cantonese fare in Chinatown. Dishes tend to favour a heartier style of cooking compared to the lighter Cantonese stir frys. Also unlike typical Chinatown restaurants all the good stuff is listed on the menu, there is no Chinese only menu so you dont have to worry about missing out on what the regulars customers are eating. When was the last time you saw exotic items like Beef and Cow Small stomach??, Fish Head Casserole, Sea Cucumber Homestyle, Frogs w Herb in Casserole, Sautéed Pigs Blood with Chives, Pork Kidney in Brown Sauce listed on menus? For the less adventurous, there is a page of typical Americanized Chinese food; Moo Goo Gai Pan, General Tsos etc.
My only complain is that they are a little heavy on the MSG, but otherwise cant wait for my next meal there, what a find!
New China Restaurant
2614 Quaker Bridge Road