Eating in Boston, Medford, Malden

Now that we’re back from our visit to the States, we’re getting ready for a trip to the Basque country and Paris. But first some attention to Boston.

I’m crazy about Chinese dumplings. The gold standard for me was always Prosperity Dumpling in Manhattan. Well, Prosperity is no more, and I have had better dumplings than theirs, but at five times the price. So I was looking forward to trying Dumpling King and Dumpling Cafe in Boston. We ate at Gourmet Dumpling House a few years ago, and I must admit that I have little memory of the occasion. At Dumpling Cafe we took some fried dumplings, which were nothing to write home about. Then we saw soup dumpings at other tables, so we ordered some of them, too. The soup dumplings are called “Mini pork buns” on the menu. Not the most descriptive of names. They were fair. The soup was concentrated and good.
Dumpling King is a little hole-in-the-wall place in a food court. The address is Harrison Ave, although the entrance is on Beach Street. Ten fried dumplings cost $5.50. At East Dumpling, the successor to Manhattan’s Prosperity Dumpling, ten fried dumplings cost $3. East Dumpling’s were better. As far as both King and Cafe are concerned, the dough was, to my mind, too thick, and the dumplings left a distinct aftertaste of MSG in my mouth.

Rabia’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
A few years ago we asked some friends who live close to the North End to take us to Neptune Oyster Bar. They agreed, and then took us to Rabia’s, since they saw no reason to put up with Rabia’s shtik. On that occasion I had some raw oysters and a lobster roll, both excellent. We went back to Rabia’s this year. I ordered the same thing, raw oysters and a lobster roll. The oysters were good, but tiny, in France they would be No 5. The lobster roll was oversalted and did not awaken the impression of absolute freshness. It wasn’t bad, but I was disappointed. But we did have an excellent bottle wine, a pinot noir from Piedmont.

On our final night in Boston we ate at SRV, which bills itself as Venetian. There were five of us, and we all liked everything we ate. But nothing I ate there remotely reminded me of anthing I had ever eaten in Venice. Nor Piedmont, Tuscany or Rome. The only Italian food that it remotely recalled was food that we ate in Sicily. The wines were good.

Moulton’s in Medford
Once again we had a fine meal at Moulton’s. Good wine, sweet, fresh lobsters (which have to be ordered in advance), excellent sword fish. A pleasure each time we visit.

Chilli Garden in Medford
We had eaten at Chilli Garden twice before, once just my wife (who does not like anything spicy) and myself, and once with unadventourous eaters. So this time we went with friends who live in the area and like Chinese food! The plan was to order too much, so that we could taste a lot of things, and our friends would take home the leftovers. Well, we had Dan Dan noodles, Sichuan style dumplings, Kung Pao chicken, Twice-cooked pork belly, and a few non-spicy items, Salty crispy pork tenderloin, Bamboo shoots with sesame oil, and a beef lo mein. There was nothing that we did not like. And there weren’t too many leftovers, either.

Go Chi in Malden
At Go Chi, a recommendation from @passing_thru, we had some excellent dumplings and the sour cabbage soup. We liked both. The sour cabbage soup was different from what one generally gets in Chinese restaurants. But I must say that, good as it was, it was not as good as the Stinky Cabbage Soup made by a cousin of ours. One of the major attractions at Go Chi is the artwork in the men’s restroom, which instructs the user as to permitted and prohibited activities in said location.

District Kitchen in Malden
We enjoyed our lunch here with some cousins. The portions were very large, so I couldn’t help out with my wife’s banh mi. We all enjoyed our meal. But the modern room has all hard surfaces, which implies that the noise level could be considerable when the place is full.


cool report, thanks for all of the capsule reviews! glad you enjoyed Go Chi. I also really love that you always go to Moulton’s when you’re in town.

Moulton’s and Chilli Garden really never fail. Thanks for the report, sounds like you ate very well!

Yes, we ate well. In Swiss German there’s an expression that translates roughly as “tastes like we ought to go back for seconds!” It applies to Moulton’s and Chilli Garden.


Fun report. Thanks. If you return to the area and are looking for simple and authentic Italian, you may want to give Real Italian Gusto in Medford a try. Nice setting, lovely people and simple, well-prepared food. Neapolitan pizzas, house-made pastas. I do wish the menu was a little broader, though.

I read about the place. Glad you like it. I’ll keep it in mind for next year.

Pasta is good at Real Gusto but would skip the pizza

Four of us shared a margherita as an app a few weeks back and enjoyed it. The tomatoes certainly seemed to be San Marzano and the crust had decent flavor. I would get it again. Other than that, we’ve had mostly pastas and risotto and enjoyed them.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr