Dynasty Chinese Restaurant: Alpharetta, GA, USA — Round 2
Last Saturday, my family and I had some more Dynasty with a few family friends from their church. The good thing is, I get to post more dishes for you to read about and try. The bad thing is, I gained about 3lbs. Oh the life of a foodie!
They had a “new” appetizer today. I quoted the “new” because it wasn’t really new: it had the same flavor as their other appetizers, but it was new only in the sense that it consisted of bean thread vermicelli instead of mandolin-sliced potatoes. Personally, I liked the potato version better. It had a bit more of a crunch and more sustenance than the vermicelli did. However, there was also a large organization party that was being held there that day. It makes sense to use a product that is easier to prepare and serve if there is going to be mass production required. However, I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite. Keep in mind, this “appetizer” is a freebie and is not really a true appetizer on the menu. So the quantity that you get is very small. I like to rate them anyway though simply because it is still a dish served.
Another dish that we ordered was their deep-fried string beans. Honestly, it is difficult to botch this dish up. However, I have to admit that I have had better tasting string beans at other restaurants, like Man Chun Hong and and Canton Cooks 2. The beans were done to the same standard as most places, but there was something lacking in flavor, perhaps MSG? If that is the case, then I will choose this dish over the others as I am not a fan of MSG. It tastes good but it is not good for you. Most other places will use a black bean sauce or the Malaysian spicy shrimp paste (belacan, pronounced blah-chan). However, this was almost just simply cooked and salted. I could be wrong though.
Another dish that we ordered was the Beijing Pork Ribs. Normally this dish serves up nice fat pieces of fried pork ribs with their sweet and tangy red sauce. I think the ribs were a little smaller than I am used to. However, it was pretty good, but it wasn’t an actual RIB. I think Lin’s Cuisine that is about five miles down the road prepares this dish better. Oddly now that I think about it, I haven’t ordered this dish at Canton Cooks before either. It will be interesting to compare this dish to other restaurants. Overall, this dish wasn’t my favorite of the night. That is definitely a walloping good dish and will be coming up so keep on reading!
We also ordered the salt-pepper shrimp. In all honesty, this was an epic fail for me. The shrimp was great – large size, the typical kind. However, the way that the dish was executed was totally off. For one, it came in a tomato based sauce. Salt-and-pepper shrimp (S&P shrimp) is not in a sauce at all! It can be slightly breaded and served with jalapeno slices and onion chunks, but it is salty and peppery, usually in the form of the crispy breading. It definitely does not come out saucy! In addition, I think the shrimp was over cooked or it had been freezer-burned for awhile. The area where the shrimp body meets the shrimp head was very mushy. Fresh shrimp has a nice firm texture and a good bite to it. Not a fan at all 😦
Their mess-up dish was actually really good. Another table had ordered the scallion big pancake, but it was accidentally delivered to our table. We thought that because of the delay in getting the food out due to the large organization party next to us, the management had decided to give us this pancake on the house. WRONG. But we ate it anyway! This is probably one of their best appetizers. It is big enough to serve five people or six people and is best eaten with soy milk. Personally, I like a little bit more scallion but the amount they put in the pancake isn’t stingy at all. I definitely recommend this, as it fills you up fairly quickly.
The next dish is one of my favorites: orange beef. I think this was actually done decently well. Chunks of beef, lightly breaded, fried, then cooked in a slightly sweet and tangy orange peel sauce. I wish the chunks of meat were bigger, but in all, it was a great tasting dish. It wasn’t overly breaded, and the plate was cleaned up pretty quickly.
The last dish of the night was by far the best of the group. We had initially ordered what I call “fatback” or braised layered pork belly slices with preserved vegetables (mustard greens). However, they didn’t have pork belly that day and so instead…they serve us a ginormous pork shank or “pork leg” (for direct translation). The meat was literally falling off the bone and served with young slices of bamboo. This is not your typical square chunks that you can get out of a can. “Fresh” bamboo is very tender and almost like eating a somewhat crunchy vegetable but think of it in braised form. The sauce wasn’t overly salty either. I believe they had actually started this dish right when we ordered it (as we ordered the dishes about 40min before everyone arrived) and used a pressure cooker. It was by far the most tastiest dish of the night and left everyone happy.
All in all, a summary:
- bean thread appetizer: **.5 (2.5 stars)
- deep fried string beans: *** (3 stars)
- Beijing Pork Ribs: **.5 (2.5 stars)
- orange beef: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- salt and pepper shrimp: ** (2 stars)
- scallion big pancake: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- pork leg/shank w/ bamboo: **** (4 stars)
Again, if you wanted to check out Dynasty for yourself, you can find them at:10955 Jones Bridge Rd
Ste 104 Alpharetta, GA 30022 (770) 751-1888