CAMBRIDGE, MA, 02140-1831

Ratings people have voted


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Reviewed by: Matt R. on: 2/28/2013 5:29:00 PM
Best Chinese food in the area. Definitely order from the last 2 pages of the menus. Dumplings are great. Decor is simple, service was friendly. Wife and kids all loved it.
Reviewed by: Thomas B. on: 2/26/2013 5:20:00 AM
I've eaten here a dozen times, mostly with my wife who is from Beijing. I would put this in the upper tier of Chinese restaurants in the Boston Metro area along with Gene's Flatbread in Chelmsford, Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham and Brookline, and perhaps Mulan in Cambridge. (I'm not a big fan of Taiwanese dim sum but Shangri-La in Belmont and Jo Jo Taipei in Allston are pretty good.) Stick to the Northern Menu, the dumplings, the house specialties and the daily specials; it's just silly to eat from the Americanized menu there. Ask about what's good that day--the owner and the waiters are usually refreshingly honest about this. I don't go to Chinese restaurants for great service or ambiance, I go for the food, and for the things it does well this place is as good as any place I've eaten at in the East Coast.
Reviewed by: Jennifer M. on: 1/29/2013 6:37:00 AM
My only mistake when ordering from Qing Dao Garden was ordering something aside from dumplings. We ordered pork and cabbage dumplings, spinach dumplings, and General Gao's chicken. The chicken? Just average Chinese takeout. But the dumplings... we ate all of them in about 5 minutes. I didn't know spinach dumplings could be that delicious. Go here... order all of the dumplings. They also sell them frozen (like 50 for $15), so you could make a sweet soup with them.
Reviewed by: J W. on: 1/28/2013 8:44:00 PM
Great fresh, light Chinese food. It's that easy to describe. Without question the best Chinese food in the Cambridge/Somerville are.
Reviewed by: Monica L. on: 1/18/2013 3:20:00 PM
Dumplings were amazing!!! The honey roast pork is absolutely amazing as well. Crispy duck is yummy and crispy. Cheap lunch special. Ask the owner for whatever is freshly bought from the markets in the morning.
Reviewed by: Justin C. on: 12/23/2012 6:55:00 AM
Pretty good, but found it more ordinary than the hype on chowhound and here. The dumplings were not especially exciting. Chili chicken was very spicy and pretty good, and they do have tasty - if basic - pea pod stems. I enjoyed the food overall.
Reviewed by: Lindsay B. on: 11/30/2012 12:44:00 PM
Definitely our new favorite take out place in our neighborhood. Quality chinese take out, reliable delivery, and friendly staff.What ever you do, just do dont go to Yummy's - down the street thai place.
Reviewed by: Jon A. on: 11/19/2012 4:05:00 AM
Inexpensive by comparison to most. They get bonus points from me as I live within a 3 minute walk. I haven't had a bad item yet!The pan fried noodles were quite tasty, although the shrimp were disappointing, next time I'll order them w/o shrimp...
Reviewed by: Alyssa A. on: 11/6/2012 8:41:00 PM
BEST CHINESE FOOD EVER!Seriously! This place is a great little find and I've never had a dish I haven't liked. There are your typical american-chinese food dishes, but then they have a section of the menu with authentic chinese food. And it's all good!My favorite is their moo shi vegetables. The veggies are really fresh and in a very light sauce. The ginger string beans on the back of the menu are soooo good. I also highly recommend the honey pork which a friend just had last time we were there and it was delicious! And the pork and leek dumplings are really great.A friend ordered the general gau's chicken for the first time and it was on the spicy side but it wasn't in a nasty thick sauce like you sometimes find. She says it was a true delight for the inauthentic chinese food eater.Everything is made fresh. I've been there when they've been sitting in the dining room making the dumplings or preparing massive piles of string beans.So in sum, let me suggest Qing Doa Garden for a great meal! It's the perfect place to go with a group of friends, a lunch date, or your parents. Trust me, I've done all three.
Reviewed by: Brian W. on: 10/18/2012 1:10:00 PM
We were excited to gave some afternoon dumplings and read the story in the globe so this seemed perfect. The overall experience was very good. We ordered WAY too much food so we could try different things and it was all good. We all really appreciated that it wasn't overly greasy and all the ingredients were fresh tasking.We all ordered off the "authentic" portion of the menu and were presently surprised with the more delicate flavors. Not overly spicy, salty or oily. Just pleasant flavors and unusual combinations.The 50 packs of frozen dumplings are an absolute steal.Only complaint is that the restaurant is COLD and the new room is even colder. When we mentioned it we were just told 'it isn't too bad' or something like that. Considering it was in the 60s outside I can't imagine what it would feel like in there if it was actually cold out.
Reviewed by: Jeff M. on: 9/11/2012 6:30:00 AM
How come it took me so long to get to Qing Dao Garden? This is seriously the best Chinese I have had in Boston including anywhere in China town. The staff was helpful. They have daily specials such as crab in ginger depending on whats in the market that day. I really liked the northern style beef with peppers. I now no longer need to go to Boston for Chinese food; I can just walk up to Mass Ave.
Reviewed by: Brittney S. on: 6/27/2012 3:13:00 AM
We used to get take out all the time when we lived just down the street. Recently made the trek up from riverside because the Chinese in Harvard Square is a nightmare. We ordered more than we thought we could eat with the intention of leftovers, ended up eating it all. We usually get pork and leek dumplings, this time we had sweet and sour chicken (the chicken was really good quality, I was impressed) and chicken lo mein. It was all absolutely delicious.
Reviewed by: Neil B. on: 6/13/2012 7:15:00 AM
Was in Boston and so much looked forward to visiting Qing Dao as I had not been there since they expanded. So here is how the restaurant has changed:Their specialty Qing Dao dumplings which were previously outstanding were inconsistently and under cooked and the filling was not very goodThe extremely friendly service staff is no longer. In fact our waiter was quite the opposite.Our ginger string beans were not very gingeryThe one dish we really liked, shredded pork with yellow leeks, is not on the menu and while they make it very well, they charge more than comparable on the menu entrees.Their brown rice is quite good and the restaurant renovation did come out quite nice so it is a shame that the dumpling quality and service have deteriorated from when they originally opened.
Reviewed by: Andy V. on: 5/3/2012 2:40:00 PM
This restaurant is an enigma wrapped in a fortune cookie (which, by the way is the only dessert you can expect here). If the owner, Walter, is around, he'll let you in on the off-menu items that he's got the kitchen cooking up. He'll also tell you what's been freshly purchased at the market in the morning. Otherwise, the overly-helpful waiters will "suggest", at times rather aggressively, what you should order.The restaurant is famous for its dumpling selection, but if you sit in the side room that was added in the past year, you'll see the kitchen staff glumly hauling out bags of frozen dumplings from the freezer to the kitchen to face a pot of boiling water.And about that side room. Although it is spacious, the smell of bathroom disinfectant seems to be ever-present; though no fault of the restaurant, this aroma does not facilitate appetite stimulation.On to the food. The wonton soup is the worst I've ever had, a sickly yellow, with a taste reminiscent of dishwater. Lifeless wontons sulk in the broth accompanied by a lone piece of cabbage. Wonton soup is a tell-tale sign of a restaurant's attention to detail as it relies on freshly-prepared chicken stock for its delicate flavor. This was in short supply. The hot and sour soup fares somewhat better, likely due to the pungent spices covering up the imperfections of the stock.The rest of the menu is wildly inconsistent with some items inspired (e.g. home-style chopped pork ribs, pig's feet, lamb hot pot, lamb with cumin) and others less so. So the bottom line is that if you've dined a few times at Qingdao Gardens, then you are likely to have a few menu favorites. If you are trying the restaurant for the first time, see if you can get a hold of Walter (there's an 8 x 10 picture of him in a Tux on a table in front of the cash register). Ask him what's good today and he'll fix you up.PS. No wine or beer is served. If this poverty of stimulus matters to you, why not cross the Arlington border a couple of miles further north on Massachusetts Ave and try Little Q Hot Pot? The food is better, plus there's wine and beer too. And one of the original waitresses from Qingdao Gardens is now serving at Little Q. Hmm. What does she know that we don't?
Reviewed by: Jason M. on: 4/26/2012 9:23:00 AM
I think we were here on a bad night... unfortunately, the bad night made for one of the most unpleasant dining experiences we've ever had.1. The main room was full, so they put us in the newly remodeled back room. At the time, there was one other table... a large table with approximately six screaming toddlers. Clearly, no one else would tolerate sitting there.2. Being seated was the last time we saw a server.3. I'm still waiting on being served a glass of water.4. Someone took our order and did nothing with it.5. Screaming toddlers ran from table to table, decoration to decoration... destroying things and yelling. A lot.6. After almost an hour, I went back to the front to ask the status of my food. I was told that I had been given my food already. I assured the staff that wasn't true and that I didn't have food. With disapproving looks, they grumbled at me and went on their way.7. They gave the food to the only table in the back... the one with the screaming toddlers.8. The staff managed to get several digs in about how I manage to mess up not being served the food I ordered... and then charged me for it. Bad. And I still want my water.
Reviewed by: Kat O. on: 1/7/2012 2:43:00 PM
This review isn't for dine-in, but for glorious take-out. I work about a 4 minute walk from this place and it is now my favorite fall-back option for lunch. My lunch special for $8ish: HUGE portion of kung pao chicken cooked with carrots, celery, peanuts and green peppers and an equally huge portion of amazing brown rice (brown rice was 50 cents extra), cup of soup of your choice, and two crab rangoons. That, my friends, is a STEAL. The egg drop soup I had was great, as were everything else in my meal.The man who took my order on the phone was polite and clear, and was pleasant when I went to get my food as well. The atmosphere in the place sort of has a bland generic Chinese restaurant feel, but I overheard a waiter talking to a couple who were eating in and he sounded exceptionally friendly and helpful. No complaints here!
Reviewed by: artyachts on: 2004-05-31
Visiting our son & grandchildren, we were taken here for lunch. Our party of 8 was seated quickly as tables were moved to accommodate us. The hostess/owner was extremely helpful, and we decided to let her make choices for us - "Surprise us! ...?
Reviewed by: walter_h_lu on: 2004-07-21
There are two sections in the menu, one side for real Chinese cuises and the other side for Americanized Chinese food. We tasted almost all of the Chinese cuises during my family summer vacation in Cambridge. The food is so good that I have ...?
Reviewed by: musichic67 on: 2007-03-21
standby Chinese dishes, they'll make them here, but what truly entices us back for lunch or dinner 2-3 times per week is: THE PINK SECTION. This part of the menu beats all for authenticity and downright yumminess. If you haven't been to China, consider this to ...?
Reviewed by: TFF429577 on: 2008-02-09
greasy spoon but in fact holds a small family-run gem that will satisfy the foodie on a thin budget. Try the handmade pork with leek dumplings, double cooked pork, or the stir-fried pea pod stems. Just don't mind the decor. ...?
Reviewed by: finlero on: 2008-05-07
dive into some of the city's best homemade dumplings and Northern-style Chinese. The family that runs this place can be a little stand-offish at first, but they warm up when you get to know them. ...?
Reviewed by: danod11 on: 2009-05-02
This small, uncrowded place puts out some great food. My first time in there, one of the employees showed me around, even took me into the kitchen to see the homemade dumplings being made, which he said are their specialty. ...?
Reviewed by: Anonymous on: 2007-07-24
It was our 1st time there tonight... we just got back and i couldn't wait to write this review, because the food was gooood! The cooking was not pretencious...not too much salt or grease... didn't look fancy... but very authentic home-style. It's northen style food...so definitely try their cucumber salad! and the other one that was excellent was potato chips cooked with green chillis... it was fabulous... of course their dumplings are great too, just like what the other reviews described. i wish there were more people eating there... it's really good food, so i hope it gets enough customers so it stays in business! only thing is they don't serve qingdao beer(actually they don't serve any alcohol there)... but you're up for really vegetables and meats, that's the place!?
Reviewed by: Anonymous on: 2008-04-15
It has the ambiance of a pizza place. Aside from that the food is great, prices reasonable. The owner is VERY into his cooking, and that shows. Definitely worth a try.?
Reviewed by: Anonymous on: 2008-12-30
I have yet to have GREAT Chinese food in MA but Qing Dao is really the best. We ordered take-out and the man who delivered the food was so friendly, I ended up chatting on the porch about the extensive menu and apparently Qing Dao is a favorite with my neighbors too! Its nice to have good Northern Chinese food nearby. The food was the best. Great dumplings, great veggie egg roll, great chicken and broccoli, and my favorite Gen. Gao chicken was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Can't wait to try dim sum. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM!?
Reviewed by: Anonymous on: 2009-03-27
I expected better after reading all the positive reviews, but was sorely disappointed. We ordered fried rice along with some seafood, and typical of the chinese food found in this area, both were lacking in flavor and heavy on MSG. The place however was quite busy and I noticed that most of the patrons were devouring their dumplings... so they must be doing something right.?
Reviewed by: Anonymous on: 2009-12-09
I usually order rice from this place, and is very good and priced similarly to other places. However, they could use a more friendly person taking your order.?