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China Star - Niles

China Star - Niles
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  • China Star - Niles

    Post #1 - November 29th, 2005, 6:58 pm
    Post #1 - November 29th, 2005, 6:58 pm Post #1 - November 29th, 2005, 6:58 pm
    As much as I complain about the lack of even adequate Chinese food close by on the far NW side/near NW 'burbs, I was excited to see JeanneBean like China Star enough to nominate it for a GNR. Something good I'd missed? Lemme at it! It's on my way home from the gym, fer Pete's sake. So, I tried two of my baseline dishes from China Star: Ma Po Tofu and BBQ Pork Egg Fu Young. Short verdict: I'll go back to try other items from the menu, partly because it's convenient and better than just about anything else convenient, but I'm still gonna have to drive some if I want good Chinese food.

    Long verdict: Food was generous in quantity and competently prepared. Egg Fu Young is a test dish in my book: I've been eating it since I've been eating and if a take-out Chinese place can't get this right, they're unlikely to get anything right. Sprouts in EFY were fresh, it wasn't burned or have any off tastes. However, there wasn't anything in it besides the pork and the eggs and the sprouts. The BBQ pork was probably BBQ, because I saw some red edges, but there wasn't noticeable BBQ flavor or sweetness to it. Some mushrooms and green onions would have helped considerably. Ma Po tofu was similarly OK, but far from what it could or should be. There were the usual vegetable suspects [green pepper, carrot, onion], which may or may not belong in Ma Po tofu, depending on what you're used to or what recipe you look at. It did have tofu and pork, the two must-have ingredients. The sauce was disappointing. It was brown. [And it was hot, as I had requested.] But it had none of the savory, fragant, umami-ish flavor that this sauce should have. Every recipe I can find for it includes garlic, ginger, and either hot bean paste or black beans - all favorite flavors of mine in Chinese food, all delightful with tofu, and all lacking in this dish. The sauce was brown, and little more. Both sauces were both lacking in specific flavor [ok, common in EFY] and suffered from a bit too much cornstarch; and both dishes contained UCO [unidentified chewy objects] in the meat, but not to an extreme extent.

    Still, for all that fell short, dinner was well prepared of the type, and I'm sure some night when I crave a gooey Cantonese food fix, I'll be back. There are a couple of eggplant dishes and a Filipino-Chinese section that look worth checking out.

    Just not the local feast I was hoping for.


    China Star Restaurant
    8105 N. Milwaukee

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #2 - November 29th, 2005, 10:57 pm
    Post #2 - November 29th, 2005, 10:57 pm Post #2 - November 29th, 2005, 10:57 pm
    I'm glad you kinda liked it. I really feel that it is great for the area. It is also 2 blocks from my house which is just a bit closer than ChinaTown!

    My favorite dish is the General Tso Chicken off of the lunch menu. I also really like their Kung Pao Chicken.
    The clown is down!
  • Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:20 pm
    Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:20 pm Post #3 - November 30th, 2005, 4:20 pm
    one of the better of the 3-5 other choices of carryout chinese food places in the area. Nothing over the top, but better than that nasty Chinese carryout place in the JEWEL strip mall just south of china star on Millwaukee and Oakton.