Ding How II

29 Nov 2010
Average Cost ($8-$14)
Southeast Huntsville
4 out of 5
Ding How II

Melanie’s Take

If you’ve ever eaten at a variety of Chinese restaurants, you know there are a wide variety of experiences. You can have the what-was-that-meat experience or the trendy Americanized experience or the overkill buffet that features quantity over quality experience. Sometimes these experiences make me want to never eat at a Chinese restaurant again. The only problem? I love good Chinese food. The good news is that Ding How marries the two best features about good Chinese restarants: delicious, authentic food and a great atmosphere.
Mongolian Beef
We visited Ding How II during Sunday lunch when they offer their traditional items as well as dim sum. I ordered the Mongolian beef and Shane decided to give the dim sum a whirl. My entree came with fried rice, a spring roll, and egg drop soup. Everything was good, but the beef was great. The menu indicated it would be spicy, but it was not so spicy that it killed my taste buds. It also somehow maintained the sauciness of Mongolian beef without the greasiness that I’ve had at so many other restaurants. Better yet, it was only $5.25.
As far as atmosphere goes, it feels like they are celebrating the Chinese New Year all year long at Ding How. Shane and I can’t help but feel like we’re taking part in the Chinese dinner at the end of A Christmas Story when we eat here. Some people may not like that vibe, but we appreciate its traditional quirkiness. Be sure to check this place out. If you want to get a serious bargain, do lunch there.

Shane’s Take

Inside Ding How II As Melanie said, I chose the dim sum. I didn’t know what to expect, but a native Huntsvillian foodie friend said he enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try. If you’re not familiar with dim sum, think “Chinese tapas”. If you’re not familiar with tapas, think “cheap appetizers as a main dish”. I chose three dim sum dishes, each of them priced at $2.25. Pictured below is the first dish, the shrimp rolls. The flavor and presentation were nice and Americanish. The shrimp was not overcooked, which these days is an exception. The sweet sauce on top had a nice flavor, and the crispy shell was well textured. I enjoyed them.
Shrimp Rolls
I was a little more adventurous with the second dish, the pork dumplings (see the picture below). They looked a bit “interesting”, but I’d seen something like them in the frozen foods at Publix, so I didn’t worry too much. I liked them with the first bite: the pork tasted good and worked well with the rubbery dough. Contrary to the dumplings I’ve had at buffets, the flavor had some depth and the rubbery dough wasn’t so chewy that it detracted from the experience. With the last dish, I threw caution and common sense to the wind and chose the chicken feet, which are pictured below. NPR taught me that Chinese people love American chicken legs, so I assumed I surely couldn’t go wrong with them…and I was right! They were nicely presented, had an amusing (but unusual) texture, and were lightly covered in a delicious sticky sweet sauce–in other words, they were like sweet buffalo wings except they were feet. I really struggled to get much meat from them (again, much like wings, but worse), but I enjoyed them and would order them again. Pork Dumplings Summing up, I was pleased with our visit to Ding How II. The store is cozy and homey, the service is pleasant, and the food is good. In particular, the food is fresh and tasty without MSG, and it was adventurous and strange without being gross. Without knowing what to expect, I was able to choose three dishes, and each one of them had a nice, unique flavor. I don’t hesitate to give Ding How II my full recommendation…and dim sum. Final thoughts:
  • Melanie well described the atmosphere of Ding How II, except she didn’t say it feels like the ’80s. The appearance of the store is a bit dated and reminds me of foreign food eateries before there was one every corner, and the ’80s music really sells the outdated feel. Peter Cetera, you’re always welcome at Ding How II.Chicken Feet
  • If you want to eat something you’ve never had before, go with the dim sum. Even if it’s disgusting, you’ve lost only about three bucks, and you can still tell your friends you had shark fin soup once.
  • The distribution of dim sum is intimidating—a bunch of guys walk around pushing carts and asking if you’d like to try what is on their carts—but don’t hold back. Jump in, ask questions, and get what you want. The day we visited all the cart pushers were helpful and kind.
Ding How Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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