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Where You Should Eat Asian Food on Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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Bok Choy and Black Mushrooms from Han Dynasty.

There are some "Jewish traditions" worth keeping. Eating Chinese food on Christmas before or after watching a movie is one of them. But why stop at Chinese food when there are Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants also open for business? Here's where I recommend you make your reservation this Dec. 25:

Chinese

Joe’s Peking Duck House
Since 1986, Joe’s Peking Duck House has been a staple for South Jersey families who want to enjoy the quality of Philadelphia’s Chinatown without driving over the Ben Franklin Bridge. My family loves it! In honor of the restaurant's namesake, try the Peking duck set menu or, at the very least, a Peking duck roll. 

South Jersey
145 New Jersey 73
Marlton, N.J. 08053
856-985-1551
 
If you haven't heard of Han Dynasty yet, please allow me to introduce you to the spiciest Schezuan restaurant with multiple locations in the Philadelphia region. Some of their chili oils have a numbing and medicinal taste to them. But don’t let that deceive you — it is ALL delicious! For appetizers, I recommend dan dan noodles, cucumbers in chili oil and dumplings in chili oil. For an entree, try the hot pot with your choice of meat and a side of bok choy with black mushrooms. (Bonus: You can take home any leftover chili oil from your table. When you get home, add your own cucumbers!)

Old City
108 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pa.        
215-922-1888
 
University City
3711 Market St.
Philadelphia, Pa.  
215-222-3711
 
South Jersey
404 Route 70
Cherry Hill, N.J. 08034             
856-428-0088
 
Manayunk
4356 Main St.
Philadelphia, Pa.       
215-508-2066
 
Royersford
70 Buckwalter Rd.
Royersford, Pa.         
610-792-9600
 
Exton
260 North Pottstown Pike
Exton, Pa.         
610-524-4002
 
If you are still upset that Susanna Foo closed in Center City, I encourage you to try their Radnor location. It has a similar upscale feel, but is definitely more comfortable. The dumplings are a must. Try them steamed AND pan-fried. 
 
555 East Lancaster Ave.
Radnor, Pa. 19087
610-688-8808
 
Yangming
This Bryn Mawr establishment has won numerous local and national accolades, including being named one of America’s 10 great places for fine Chinese food in a 2005 USA Today ranking
and placing first for overall excellence in a 2011 "Top 100" competition run by an association of Chinese restaurant owners. Don't expect the best "authentic" Chinese, though — the cuisine is more of a modern, American fusion of East and West. Regulars recommend the Peking duck, dumplings and the classic chicken with cashew nuts. 

1051 Conestoga Road
Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010
610-527-3200

Japanese

 
You’ll always find fresh sushi at Mikado’s two South Jersey locations. I order the miso soup as soon as I’m seated and then look through their two-page spread of special sushi rolls. My favorite is the "Spicy Girl" roll, which comes with spicy tuna, spicy salmon and spicy yellowtail. Order it with extra crunch. 

South Jersey
2320 Marlton Pike West
Cherry Hill, N.J. 08002 
856-665-4411
 
793 Route 70
Marlton, N.J. 08053 
856-797-8581
 
Thai Pepper/Mikado
Thai Pepper/Mikado serves both Thai and Japanese dishes. I recommend the Thai coconut soup with chicken and the panang curry entree with tofu and vegetables. 
 
64 E. Lancaster Ave
Ardmore, Pa. 19003
610-642-5951
 
Umami Umami
Trusting that a local sushi place serves fresh fish can sometimes be a gamble, especially if it's your first time. Worry not, Umami Umami's rolls will meet your standards. Bring a few friends and share the Umami Boat.

1708 Limekiln Pike
Dresher, Pa. 19025
215-542-6993
 

Korean

 
Cafe Soho
Cafe Soho is known for its Korean fried chicken. My friends who grew up close by still eat there even though they now live in the city. That’s all you need to know. 
 
468 W Cheltenham Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19126
215-224-6800
 

Vegetarian/Kosher

 
While I can't personally vouch for these restaurants, here are a few ideas for those looking for certified kosher or exclusively vegetarian options: 
1006 Race St.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19107
215-922-3288
 
Su Xing House (kosher)
1508 Sansom St. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
215-564-1419
 

Vietnamese

 
Pho Ha
At most pho establishments, the Vietnamese noodle soup can be ordered to your liking. At Pho Ha, go for the brisket, sliced thinner than your typical Jewish deli. Make sure to (slowly) add the accompanying fish, chili and hoisin sauces.
 
610 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19147
215-599-0264
 
Pho 75
This month, Michael Solomonov shared his secret pho spot, Pho 75, on the recent episode of Anthony Bourdain’s "The Layover." It is very good, but still my second favorite noodle soup house in Philly. 
 
1122 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19147‎
215-271-5866
 
Northeast
823 Adams Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19124
215-743-8845
 
Now you have about a dozen restaurants to choose from on Christmas Day. If I missed one of your favorites, please leave a comment in the message field below.
 
In Celebration,
 
Stephanie
The Bubbi Project
 

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