Asian - particularly Chinese - monmouth?

So what’s the greatest of the greatest? What would be the top 10 for as close to authentic as you can get?
Would the top 3 be:
Szechuan Cottage (Marlboro)
Shanghai Bun (Matawan)
West Lake (Matawan)

and then what comes next?

Anything particular for Hong Kong Chinese; or for Fish (versus sea critters/shellfish)?

I seem to think all of you guys have discussed this topic a lot, but have you thought of putting together the HO definitive list?


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I’m pretty sure you just named them all lol.

I’m being serious too :slight_smile:

I think a few people here like crown palace too. They have a location in Middletown and marlboro.

Temple is apparently good but really expensive and many claim it’s not worth it. I’ve never been and I eat in rb pretty frequently.

Oriental empire is honestly not bad for Americanized Chinese food. Everything is made for American tastes and nothing is going to wow your taste buds. I have yet to try anything bad there. I think I wrote in my Google review that this is a good place to take out of town family or friends. The food will impress people from other states that have totally awful Chinese food and it won’t kill your wallet. On the other side, if your family is from San Fran or nyc, they might think this place is garbage lol.

For authentic Chinese Chinese food, Shanghai Bun. For authentic 80’s Americanized Chinese food, Little Szechuan.

Another contender…

For take out American chinese, I am going ming Ying in long branch (lunch specials, fried chicken, fried seafood, etc)

Does anyone miss the decade or more where a Chinese lunch special was 5 bucks and not suddenly 8? Lol

Empire Szechuan in Marlboro. They now have a ‘Chinese’ section in their menu.

It’s trying to be a P F Chang’s without the franchise vibe.

The food was ok, but it’s not like you would say wow, gotta get me some now.

And service can be indifferent.

Its still $6 for a lot of food at SC. But then you have to schlepp over to Marlboro.


As is evident from the many positive posts here, that top 3 is correct. Sometimes I admit to a craving for American Cantonese food and I like Temple, as they make the two best scallop dishes in that genre. I get the Tangerine Scallop most often, but the garlic sauce is good too. Pricey, but they serve the huge, fresh ones I like and they are never overcooked. I’ve had and enjoyed a few of their beef dishes made with filet mignon, including their egg rolls. I also like their (sister?) restaurant on Rt. 33, Peking Pavillion.

So, then what would be the top 3 to justify a trip from marlboro up to Edison?

You should ask @joonjoon and @eleeper for their latest favs.

It’s pretty much wall to wall up there, with new places opening up all the time.

If you like Korean BBQ Picnic Garden, Chung Sol Bat and Keum Ho are all solid.

Little Sheep which is in the plaza with H Mart and Picnic Garden has Mongolian hot pot.

Penang is good for Malaysian Chinese, but service can be a problem. Meemah also has Malaysian Chinese.

Jina House for Korean and Sichuan Spring next door are both good.

Wonder Seafood has decent Dim Sum and Cantonese seafood.

Viet Cafe is good for Vietnamese (and conveniently next to a massage parlor) but lately I have heard good things about Pho Thanh Do.

Shanghai Dumpling is good for soup dumplings buns and dim sum, even if it is more of a bubble tea parlor.

All of these places are on 27 between Costco and Highland Park, so if you don’t like the looks of one another is just down the road.

And, as noted, the above-mentioned places are just scratching the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t know about Little Szechuan. I’ve been eating there for years (decades even) and while it’s ok, there are so many better options. Temple in Red Bank is expensive, but I’d categorize it as more “fine dining Chinese food”. We’ve enjoyed it. We do like the Oriental Marlboro for decent Americanized Chinese. And yes, Shanghai Bun and Westlake for dim sum and authentic (sometimes too authentic) dishes. We’ve also enjoyed take out from Ming Ying Chinese in Long Branch (next to Aji on Montgomery --same owners).

Pretty much all of the authentic places in Edison are good, and covers a lot of different types of food. I would pick based more on what you want to eat, rather than looking for what is best.

My favorite is probably meng gao yang which is a diy Chinese BBQ place. Mostly on the novelty factcor, they have stuff there that’s really unusual to find in NJ.

There are a couple of casual dumpling/noodle shops that are really popular and worth checking oaut. Tasty moment for Sichuan and Shanghai dumpling house are popular but the Chinese restaurant churn in Edison is super fast so I’m sure there are tons of new happening places. I hear a food court has opened up also. Spend 10 minutes on Yelp and you’ll see dozens of options.

For hot pot, little sheep probably has the best meat but their broth is really heavy on msg. There are AYCE places now and I had a good time at Soho shabu last time, but I find hot pot is generally always a good time.

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Thanks for this.
If looking for probably hong kong chinese - lots of fish, any more targeted suggestions?
Anything good Hunan? (I remember going to a place in NYC that was so very different from anything else I had ever previously had… yum, but I needed a “guide” to help me)

I don’t know of any strictly Hunan restaurants, but you can find some Hunan stuff where it overlaps at some of the Sichuan places. I think a lot of places will do things like maos pork but I’m not well versed in Hunan food.

As for Hong Kong, there aren’t any restaurants that bill themselves as Hong Kong food but you should be able to get what you want at the Cantonese joints. Wonder seafood is an old standby, currently the best might be dim sum in Woodbridge.

You can get Cantonese options closer to home at places like West lake and sunny palace also.

Ming Ying’s lunch special is a rip off! It’s like 8 bucks where everyone else is 6-7. I don’t think their food is materially better than typical takeout other than a couple things.

There is a carry out chain named Hunan Wok that does carry out American Chinese, so don’t be decieved by the name. It’s about as close to Hunan as Baltimore.

Other than that there is Hunan Manor in Highland Park. Service is a problem, and I have the sense the food is not 100% authentic, but it gets really busy. As a sit down Chinese place in Highland Park that would be expected.

Ah! Forgot about Hunan Manor, I haven’t been but I have the place bookmarked on Yelp. Don’t know much about Hunan food but the pics on Yelp look legit!

That’s my problem too. Just don’t have enough comparison points to know what’s good, or even authentic, Hunan.

I do know Hunan cusine is very famous in China though.

It’s supposed to be a little zippy.

Maybe we will need to do a research trip to Flushing combined with a Mets game.

Yup…that’s why I made the comment about the pricing of lunch specials. That place is high but they all seem to be high.

It’s better than king chef and joy house…and the other super gangster one on broadway

My understanding is that Hunan is even spicier than Sichuan. That place in HP looks like they even have stinky tofu so it’s gotta be the real deal!