The Nine Best Chinese Restaurants in St. Louis
Respect the House of Wong | RFT Photo
House of Wong - Clayton
(46 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-6291)
On virtually every corner and on every street, workers in downtown Clayton are surrounded by lunch options, but House of Wong has to be one of the best. Far from a nondescript takeout joint, this well-appointed restaurant is a downright delightful place to sit and eat. Lunch specials are a steal: Hunan beef, sweet and sour shrimp, hot braised chicken wings, plus a bowl of soup (hot and sour or egg-drop), two pieces of crab rangoon and a choice of steamed or fried rice. While lunch choices are mostly Chinese American standards, dinner brings more authentic and adventurous items, like chile-spiced prawns, salmon with black bean ginger sauce and Szechwan-style bean curd. The food is consistently delicious; the service is friendly and fast. It's worth the walk for Clayton office workers -- and worth the drive for the rest of us.
Lu Lu seafood Restaurant
(8224 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-997-3108)
In order to stand out among the aforementioned collection of Chinese restaurants and shops along Olive Boulevard, the owners of Lu Lu have slapped a pagoda on top of the building, and, we have to admit, it looks pretty awesome. Beyond aesthetics, there are more than 30 seafood selections, including stewed carp's head soup. But it's the dim sum that really packs them in. Choose from the traditional siu mai (firm steamed pork stuffed into thin wraps), shrimp har gow (steamed translucent dumplings), char siu bau (steamed rice-flour buns filled with diced roast pork in a sweet hoisin-based sauce), fried taro puffs (small balls covered in webbed mashed taro root and stuffed with finely ground pork or beef) and rice noodle (a white, slippery wide noodle folded over a filling of pork, shrimp or beef). And don't forget to try the chicken feet.
Look for the golden lions! | RFT Photo
(8600 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-997-0906)
Guo Bin can be found in the Brentmoor Retirement Community building (look for the Chinese décor) just west of Interstate 170, so it's a bit out of the way. But the massive menu boasts pretty much every Chinese dish you've ever heard of, and even some you haven't. Start with the crab rangoon and move on to the Peking duck for a simple introduction. Whether you're there to pick up or dine in, take advantage of the full bar, and try out some Chinese cocktails. The next time you go -- and you will return -- explore the menu to find a new favorite. Guo Bin is vegetarian friendly, open seven days a week and will deliver, so there's really no excuse to bypass this little gem.