Stepped into Trinity Groves lately? You may be surprised by the lineup of twinkling trees and new restaurants, each with a unique flair and cuisine. I hadn’t been since visiting Kitchen LTO on its opening night, and the chef has already changed since, but I finally made it out to Chino Chinatown with some of the girls last Thursday.
Full disclosure, Johnny and I became friends with Chef Uno after meeting her during Savor Dallas last year and I’ve already had the pleasure of enjoying her cooking on a few occasions, so I knew we were in for a treat. Uno herself has become somewhat of a celebrity in Dallas, with her Chinese and Latin American fusion gaining credibility with everyone who tastes it. But don’t think it’s gone to her head – she visited our table a few times, but spent plenty of time working the room, checking on each table and sincerely thanking guests for dining that night.
We started with Uno’s recommendation, the Snake Charmer, a vodka and prickly pear cocktail, a perfect yin and yang of sweet and sour that went down smooth. If you’re feeling extra sassy, order this favorite by the pitcher. Wine complemented the rest our meal and I should mention here that the list was well priced with familiar names and some bold new choices, which the server was more than happy to bring us samples of before ordering.
After drooling over the menu, we ordered the Duck Fat Fries to accompany our cocktails. A thick-cut fry with srircha ketchup, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill potato wedge. Next we took Lobster Shooters so quickly that I forgot to snap a photo (yes, that speaks to the presentation and the taste) and then wished we had more, but were impressed with the large pieces of lobster in each glass.
The Chicken Lollipops were our favorite…but maybe it was the Duck Fat Fried Rice…ugh, but those Lobster Shooters… Think decadent chicken wings and the Chicken Lollipops beat what you’re picturing. Fall off the bone, and bursting with flavor, definitely order these when you visit. And yes, the Duck Fat Fried Rice is as good as it sounds. I’ve never heard anyone complain about fried rice anyway, but shrimp, sausage and pork all make up the flavor profile of this decadent dish. We also enjoyed the Short Ribs (again, fall off the bone and packed with flavor) and got lucky with an unexpected delivery when Uno dropped off a plate of Drunken Noodles, which we were happy to finish with our meal.
Everything was excellent, as expected from past experiences, and I look forward to making it back for the only Dim Sum brunch in Dallas. Check out more of Chino Chinatown on Instagram and be sure to stop by next time you make it across the bridge, which should be sooner rather than later!