I think I've finally found a restaurant that rivals my fave Watertown-area place Chung Shin Yuan. And it is...
Peking Garden. Located on Bigelow Avenue in Watertown (across from Donahue's...my fave local bar -- great onion rings), I've gone 4 or 5 times and been impressed.
I usually avoid lunch menus like the plague but found their hot and sour soup to be very good, maybe even the best in the area. I have had the chicken with garlic sauce and kung pao chicken with good success -- the chicken was quite tender and the sauce was really quite well made. Unfortunately, I had less luck with a tough pork with black bean sauce special.
The best part is that they offer dim sum during the week! It's northern style and quite good. I've sampled a number of dishes I've never had elsewhere. My fave dish is called pork with pancake which is actually a noodle dish. It consists of home made pancakes that are hand cut and then stir fried with pork and bok choy. Also tried a tea-leaf smoked leg of lamb, which was a pretty big hunk of meat on bone with an interesting, but a tad too chewy flavor for me. And they have a scallion pancake with pork which reminded me of keema naan and was good.
Eric is the owner and very friendly. Despite my inability to read the chinese menu (they have both english and chinese menus with different dishes featured on each), he helped me with these "off menu" recommendations.
Not sure which one I love more now...here's my ranking.
#1 - Chung Shin Yuan - California Street, Newton
#2 - Peking Garden - Bigelow Ave, Watertown
#3 - Shangri-La - Belmont Street, Belmont
#4 - Beijing Star - Main Street, Waltham