Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: May 29, 2009 (Din Ho Chinese BBQ)

Posted 29 May, 2009 at 11:22pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: Sloppy Joe
Sloppy Joe

Dinner: For Tina's Birthday, we (her parents and the two of us) went to Din Ho Chinese BBQ (8557 Research Blvd # 116, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 832-8788‎). Having eaten the BBQ there before and not liking it, we didn't order any BBQ but instead tried a different set of dishes (except for the kong xin cai or water spinach - we need to eat veggies after all).

Kong xin cai (sauteed water spinach) - no problems here.
Din Ho Chinese BBQ - Sauteed Water Spinach

Shrimp with black bean sauce. A couple shrimp had a really fishy (unfresh) taste. The rest were fine. The shrimp without the sauce was bland and unseasoned. The sauce was very salty and most of the dish were onions (that's exaggeration but that's what it seemed like).
Din Ho Chinese BBQ - Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce

Orange beef. Quite sweet but worked well with the orange peel, saltiness, and slight spiciness. The problem was the really thick cut fibrous beef. A few pieces were okay (still very thick cuts), but one piece in particular was chewy and stringy. The piece was so big that I couldn't put it entirely into my mouth so I had to bite through it but was unable to without much tugging and grinding. (All the pieces were too big to stick whole in the mouth.) Another piece was doughy - too my batter and some of it not fully fried. All these problems could have been resolved if they simply sliced the beef thinner before battering and frying.
Din Ho Chinese BBQ - Orange Beef

Plum sauce with fish fillet. The fish (supposedly catfish, but I couldn't tell which is unusual since I can usually identify catfish) was mild but the sauce was super sweet. I ate most of it without the sauce. The fish was tender and fresh (no fishiness or muddiness that catfish often has).
Din Ho Chinese BBQ - Plum Sauce with Fish Fillet

The whole experience was a bit surreal and weird. We arrived to eat and were seated at a table with only one place setting. When the waiter came to take our order he brought us two more plates and bowls - three settings for a table of four. He took our order, but was patently unhelpful. We asked how the fish special was prepared and it took several seconds before he would mumble something. We asked what the steamed fish was and there was no response. We had to ask again to find out it was tilapia. We asked what fish dish was good and he just stood there and stared at us. Then after twenty or thirty seconds of awkwardness he pointed at the menu and said the steamed fish was tilapia and the plum sauce with fish fillet was cat fish. (And I think he might have mumbled that they were good.) When the menu has 47 seafood items, you'd think he'd be able to tell us several to choose from depending on our preferences.

Oh, yeah. Did I mention that the waiter NEVER brought us the extra plate we asked for at the beginning of the meal? AND, we only had two pairs of chopsticks (we accosted a bus boy and pulled them from the trolley used to carry dirty dishes away).

So, one of Austin's best Chinese restaurants is now on our Do Not Eat list.

2 comments to What I Ate: May 29, 2009 (Din Ho Chinese BBQ)

Annie, June 1st, 2009 at 10:56 am:

  • Happy belated birthday Tina!!

What I Ate: September 7, 2009 (Coco’s Cafe, Burger King) | Orthogonal Thought, September 7th, 2009 at 8:58 pm:

  • […] - (512) 833-6588‎). Originally, they had suggested Din Ho Chinese BBQ but we had a couple of bad experiences there and Tina flat out refused to go back. We suggested Coco's Cafe next door to Din Ho […]