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Wong Gee, Chinese-Chinese on Georgia Avenue and University Blvd. E. by the Former Owners of Eat First - Wheaton


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New, just open for about 8 days so far. The sign says Asian Food but the menu is Chinese. There is one noodle, congee and "Over Bridge Yunan Noodle Coming Soon" manu in a plastic holder on the table, and a spiral bound generic menu listing all the typical dishes of a generic Chinese restaurant menu, more than any one restaurant could possible do well. My strategy woould be to discuss the order with the waiter rather than pick from the huge menu.

We tried Congee with dry scallop, oyster and pork thinking that it would be made with dried scallp and fresh oyster. It was made with dried scallop and dried oyster and so was aggressively fishy but the pork element was very good (if a little sparse) and the congee itself was wonderful, better than either Full Key or HECOTB. I had the HK style shrimp dumplings which had a lot of very large dumplings (2 bites per) filled with coarsely chopped shrimp, pork and veggies. But the broth was a little lacking in flavor and the filling bland. If they spice things up it will be a super bowl of soup. I will give them a little time before trying again.

I do want to try the Over Bridge Yunan Noodle dishes when the arrive. From a google search, they appear to be hand pulled noodles. No alcohol yet. Open till midnight during the week and 1am on Friday and Saturday.

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Second meal there much improved but a bit salty. Crispy roast pork was a little moister than I like and the dipping sauce not at all right: pasty and floury tasting. The choi sam was superb, garlicky and crispy and served pipping hot. The spinach and pork soup was good. Nothing tasted too salty at the time, but the way we were parched and puffed up after indicated a lot of sodium.

The problem is they continue to be severely understaffed. At 11pm last Saturday, the waitress on hand clearly was not a trained professional and she had 3 tables of 3 or 4 and a party of 18 all on her own with no help whatsoever. She was running food, bussing, taking a to go order etc all by herself. It took us over an hour to get a bowl of soup & a plate of veggies. We tipped her over 20% out of sympathy. I hope they can speed up the process.

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Had our best meal yet at Wong Gee but it was still frustrating. Tried the long bridge noodle soup with sausage and ham. The soup: fine with lots of nice veggies including snow pea shoots, decent sliced meatballs and a good broth. The noodles were slippery white noodles with a round crosssection. All nice. But the ham and sausage tasted as if they came from the deli at Safeway instead of from an Asian food supplier. The ham was thin shaved and tasted like boiled ham and the sausage has the unmistakable foavor of hillshire farm smoked Kielbasa. The result was sweet and disconcerting. I have had this dish before (with a different name) and the sausage was one of this Chinese sausages that are both sweet and funky all at once and with a house smoked ham that was dense with flavor. Since they offer a long variety of other soup combinations, we will be back to try more.

Our second dish was squid with sour cabbage. The squid was stirfired perfectly with freen onion and sour cabbage but then finished candy sweet with a sugary sauce. Again, a disconcerting mix of flavors!

The ingredients are fine, the cooking seems to be technically well done, but so far we have not had anything there that didn't ahve an odd or weird element to the dish. Since it is open late and often the only place in Wheaton (with the exception of Paul Key where the service has gotten so bad we just don't go anymore) open. So we will keep on plugging to see if the potential is finally achieved or if there are some dishes that are not too sweet/odd.

This is a place I am rooting for!

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Finally Wong Gee seems to be gettting its act together.

I have had two very decent meals there our last two visits. Last week, Kay & I had stir gried Sweet Potato Greens with garlic that were absolutely incredible both in the care of cooking and the very sweet & grassy flavor (like pea greens but buttery-er and richer) and an entree which escapes me but was quite good. Last night, I revisited the Over the Bridge Noodles with ham & sausage and it was still made with Hormel Cure 81 Ham (or some other brand of that exact size) and commercial polish sausage, but the balance of flavors was much better although the broth was a touch weak. I adjusted the broth with salt, pepper & soy and made a tasty soup.

The floor staff looks completely different and the bar is gone so maybe there was already a ownership change (which would account for the night & day effect on the cooking, but last night when I wanted to ask, the only waiter was hit with a group of 20 at 11pm for a banquet so I didn't want to chat and ask). In any case, while not worth a journey, it is now Wheaon's best Chinese imo and worth working further thru the menu.

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Thx for the updates dean - went a while back, but they didn't have the over the bridge noodles up yet. Will have to take a detour from the usual FullKee dinner and check this out again.

OOps, just forgot Sezchuan pavillion is up next - sigh, so many places so few calories.

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Since my last post, we stopped going to Wong Gee after the odd flavor elements seemed to take over the dishes. Plus New Kam Fong stole our attention. But of late, NKF has fallen off a bit, and the things we like at Hollywood East are limited, we decided to give Wong Gee another go. Tim Carmen had some nice things to say about it on a FB post if memory serves.

They had the 3 dish plus soup special going from 10 till closing {2am or 2:30?} so we tried it:

Clam soup ~ About 8 or 10 very good clams, broth a tiny bit watery but fine clam flavor. Great greens and lovely ginger shreds to give it a bite. As good as the clay pot clams across the street at NKF {which are $14 or 15} with the serving size about half as big.

Squid with Pickled Cabbage ~ lots of celery and cabbage, good sized pieces of squid that trod the line betewen tender and chewy which, in a stir fry, seems to bring out the flavor more. The pickles had a lot of sweetness but this time they were cut with a balancing vinegary edge that ade them perfect. Kept on eating this one even when full.

Black Pepper Shortrib ~ Outstanding if a little not spicy. The funny thing was that it WAS spicy when eating the green bell peppers but when eating the meat, I needed to add chile paste. Most versions of this dish have a lot of cornstarch or other thickener on the beef which can make for a gloppy sauce, but this did not.

Bok Choi ~ neither baby nor fully grown, these are late adolescent specimens cut into individual leaves. Perfectly cook, good garlic flavor

All in all, the menu has about 15 or 20 more things I want to try and the $21.50 three course is a steal. Note that the dishes onthe 3 course are about half the size of a regular dish and seem to lean more heavily to vegggie than main ingredient. The former allows for more variety on the table and seems very fair, the latter is probably more authentic and really makes for nice flavors.

Right now, of our regular rotation of chinese here is my current ranking:

Top three in no particular order:

East Pearl

Wong Gee

Joe's

Next:

dinner only at Hollywood East being careful to stay away from anything Americanized, anything Sichuan etc.

Distant next:

New Kam Fong seems to be tired ond off its sride but we love the razor clams, the roast ribs, the clam hot pot and the veggie dishes. Not much else has shined for us lately.

Sadly off of its original high

Sichuan Pavillion {whatever its called}. Sauces are now thickened, lacking the sheen of oil that great Sichuan cooking possesses. Nothing really pops. They seem to be afraid to make anything with a lot of Sichuan Peppercorn. Not really interested in going back any time soon... 4 off meals with one good, not great one, in between. Really hope they get their stride abck because when they were on, this was the best Sichuan I have ever had east of California.

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On our regular we need to stop for dinner on the way home because we didn't realize we forgot to order till after the kitchen was closed at Dino and we have nothing but stale all natural fiber cereal and 6 kinds of Kim Chee at home {something 6 kinds of kimchee & fiber is the best dinner!}

Not quite as good as East Pearl, but not an addition hour to our day.

Strengths:

Dim Sum at night {the best dimsum judging by the standards ordered off menu}

Anything with pickled cabbage

Roast Pig, Duck and soy chicken {the last is less good than EP, the duck as good and the roast pig better}

Pig knuckle

Stir fries when ordered with "Chinese vegetables"

Shrimp & Pork dumplings

Congee {EP has the best I have had anywhere but theirs is a close second. Grainier and more rugged than most. They have an everything style that is really good.

Weaknesses:

BBQ pork

Stir fries with American vegetables

Basically we have reduced going to Hollywood East and stopped New Kam Fong. Very nice people. Have yet to try the cross bridge noodle soup.

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After having had two very off meals at East Pearl (but our last one was better if still uneven) and finally having a sense of what is good at Wong Gee, we now thing that Wong Gee is equal to the latter. Joe's is still better than both, but not open as late. The 3 dish plus soup $21.95 after 10pm dinner deal at Wong Gee can be an incredible bargain.... Our last time we had 1/2 chicken with ginger soy, beef with braised turnip and house special seafood that was not {special}. The clam soup on the 3 item dish is totally kick ass: good broth, about a dozen good clams, lots of ginger. The chicken was delicious and the ginger sauce very pungent. We took half home and they topped up the ginger sauce before packing it away for us. The beef was thick, rich, hearty and the turnips sweet and soft. I'd do the clams or the quid with sour cabbage instead. The congee and the pork & snow cabbage noodle soup are both great and great bargains. The twin lobster is a great rendition of this often poorly done dish.

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My parents ate here last weekend with their friends (all Chinese American in their 60s and older) and thought the dim sum was on par with Silver Fountain, Oriental East, et al.  So there's a good chance we'll be headed here soon.

Website says that the former owners of Eat First run this place.

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8 minutes ago, silentbob said:

My parents ate here last weekend with their friends (all Chinese American in their 60s and older) and thought the dim sum was on par with Silver Fountain, Oriental East, et al.  So there's a good chance we'll be headed here soon.

Website says that the former owners of Eat First run this place.

I live 5 minutes from there and never knew it existed. Thanks for resurrecting this thread!

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We had an early Mother's Day dinner here recently.  One-third of what we ordered was dim sum, all of which was at least as good as Silver Fountain if not better.  The prices are $1 more at dinner, and I don't know if that's reflected in the much larger-sized pieces of food than what one often gets at dim sum restaurants.  The fried taro dumplings and the salt water dumplings were ginormous.  And both perfectly cooked.  Radish cakes may have stayed in the pan for a few seconds too long, though they tasted quite fresh to me.

The big winner among the Hong Kong/Cantonese-style dishes was the fried fish filet with spicy salt.  Perfect in every way.  I would've eaten a whole order myself if not stuffed already from the dim sum and roasted meats (which were fine, the ginger scallion sauce was actually a bit too salty).

And FWIW, about 80 to 90 percent of the customers appeared to be of Asian/Chinese descent.

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First glance...old School Chinese restaurant.  Funky strange light fixtures, banquet style tables and chairs, old carpet, hand written signs, etc.

Second glance...large menu full of "non American" Chinese food.  3 entrees and a large bowl of soup special-$21.95, tons of choices.  Full Dim Sum menu.

As a fan of authentic dishes...my all time comfort food is their house special fried rice at lunch.  $6.50, huge plate of comfort.  Feeling down..go get some.

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