Asia Cafe: The Unwritten Rules

At Asia Cafe, it’s best not to ask the staff for recommendations. The typical response is a blank stare. But don’t fret. The first unwritten rule of ethnic food is that the harder it is to communicate with restaurant employees, the better the food will be. Not to mention, you can’t really miss at this place. So throw a few darts at the pages-long menu and enjoy.

Asia Cafe used to be located in the back of Asia Market, a Chinese grocery store tucked away in a nondescript strip mall off 183. Recently it moved into its own space next door. We can’t go a month without stopping by.

Another unwritten rule of ethnic food: there is an inverse relationship between the effort put into decor and the quality of the food.

Only recently did they start translating their specials menu into English.

A final unwritten rule of ethnic food establishments: the higher the percentage of foreign-branded beverages, the better.

This visit, we tried a few new things, like pan fried sesame shrimp.

The shredded pork with bamboo was another first, and a definite highlight.

For some reason, what are normally referred to as steamed dumplings are “boiled dumplings” at China Cafe. Whatever you want to call them, they’re pretty great.

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3 Responses to Asia Cafe: The Unwritten Rules

  1. Brady says:

    Great article! You nailed it! My wife and I have eaten there a couple of times, however the first time we did not know the unwritten rules. I did ask for recommendations and the lady did look at me as if I asked her to play twister. The place was packed so I knew the food had to compensate for the lacking service.

  2. Ian Donahue says:

    Dumplings: When I lived in china, most of the dumplings were boiled in a huge pot of hot water then served with dark vinegar. The combos were usually very simple, just a meat and chese thrown together in a dumpling. My personal favorites include, pork with green pepper and pork with corn. This website makes me so hungry

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