Chinese take-out often brings to mind greasy dumplings and spilled soy sauce. The fool-proof dishes include lo mein, fried rice and General Gau’s chicken (if you are feeling adventurous). The Eighty Eight restaurant in West Newton, MA gives you a chance to branch out from these staples without sacrificing flavor or re-heatability.
Eighty-eight symbolizes fortune and good luck… Eighty-eight symbolizes fortune and good luck in Chinese culture, and it certainly feels like a stroke of good luck to find such delicious Chinese food out in the Metro-west area.
One of the best sections of the Eighty Eight menu is the dim sum section. Dim sum is a style of preparing food in which individual portions of food are cooked in a steamer basket. Many restaurants focus entirely on dim sum, bringing carts of prepared steamed dishes around the restaurant for customers to select piece by piece.
The Eighty Eight has a nice variety of dim sum, with both savory and sweet options, and choices between buns, shumai and dumplings. For dessert, great options are the taro, lotus, red bean and custard buns. Each has a sweet, but not overly sugary, taste which wraps up the meal perfectly.
For appetizers, try the shrimp and pork shu mai. They absorb flavor wonderfully, and so just a little bit of sauce is all it takes to add the finishing touch to your shu mai. Flavorful on their own, shu mai are also tasty without any sauce at all.
…mixing pork, sweet sauce and caramelized onions inside a soft, steamed bun. The all-around favorite dim sum dish from the Eighty Eight is the baked roast pork bun, however. The bun combines both sweet and savory flavors, mixing pork, sweet sauce and caramelized onions inside a soft, steamed bun. It is filling enough to eat as part of the main course, delicious enough that you will want to eat them before any other dishes have been opened, and just sweet enough that it makes a satisfying finale to the meal.
The Eighty Eight also serves great homemade dumplings. Each variety is so good, it is impossible to go wrong.
To branch out into other types of Chinese food, for entrees the Eighty-Eight balances mildly spicy Szechuan and Hunan style dishes with Americanized meals. The non-spicy dishes are very flavorful, and perfect for introducing those who prefer mild meals to interesting Chinese food varieties.
The spicy food is not dangerously spicy – there is no need to keep white rice or a glass of milk on hand – but the spice adds a nice kick. Some spicy dishes to try which are not on the menu of every restaurant are the Peking Lo Mein and the Ma-La Crispy chicken.
If you are looking for spicy, authentic Hunan-style Chinese food, the Eighty Eight is not the right restaurant for you. Instead, come to the Eighty Eight for dim sum, dumplings and a huge number of different dinner options.
The restaurant has a very small storefront, which is mostly kitchen. It is possible to eat in the restaurant, but the designated dining area seats only three. Instead, it is better to order and go pick up the food or have it delivered. The delivery drivers are always friendly and polite, and will make sure that your food gets to your door while it is still hot.
The Eighty Eight is located at 1351 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02465.