Hei la Moon
88 Beach Street, Boston, MA 02111
One of the best restaurants in Boston's Chinatown is, well, not exactly IN Chinatown. Let me explain: Hei La Moon, a little-known yet outstanding restaurant and dim sum house, is one of many Chinese restaurants located on Beach Street, a main drag in Chinatown. This classy dining spot, however, resides on the other side of the surface artery from the main part of Chinatown, in Boston's Leather District. Whether this is a sign that Chinatown is moving east, I'm not sure. What I do know is that Hei La Moon is one Chinese restaurant that excels in nearly everything it does.
From the person in the suit who welcomes you at the door to the waiters and waitresses in uniform, Hei La Moon is different from the more informal restaurants found in Chinatown. Located in one of the many old buildings that make up the Leather District, Hei La Moon is huge inside; there must be hundreds of tables in the restaurant's large room, which makes it perfect for dim sum. While we have not been to Hei La Moon for dim sum, we have been there for dinner, and the meals there rival the best in Chinatown.
There are actually two menus at Hei La Moon; one that looks a lot like those at other Chinese restaurants, and one written entirely in Chinese. The more authentic Chinese menu, if the dim sum list is of any indication, includes some rather unusual dishes. Included on the dim sum menu are shark fin dumpling, lotus seed buns, and duck feet. For those looking for more Americanized dishes, items such as the wonton soup, the sizzling chicken in black bean sauce, and the kung pao chicken are all fresh and delicious.
Hei La Moon is indeed a special Boston restaurant. And it adds a nice option to this vibrant neighborhood. Want great chicken or duck dishes? Try the fantastic King Fung Garden. Looking for excellent seafood? Visit East Ocean City, Jumbo Seafood, or Peach Farm. But if you want terrific Chinese food in a pleasant, albeit cavernous, atmosphere, give Hei La Moon a shot. And if you try the dim sum, let us know how it is; we would be interested in hearing from you.
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