A Hot Bowl of Soup at Chef Hsu

by Steven Doyle

It’s cool and misty out and this weather almost always screams for soup to fend off the chill. I made a bodacious tank of home-made chicken noodle soup this week that will last me through the winter, but what really makes the cut this time of year is something spicy. And preferably with hand stretched noodles. There are a few great options in the area including the Beef Stew Noodle Soup at King’s Noodles, which is fantastic year round.

Another fantastic choice, also off the beaten path, is Chef Hsu located south of Royal Lane on Harry Hines just on the cusp of K Town.

Giving Chef Hsu a good study you might be disarmed by the giant Chinese buffet in the large front room. Dismiss this area regardless the time of day and insist on the smallish room to the left that is swarmed by mostly Korean-Americans. This is where you find the real menu.   

Most likely, even after seating you in the left room, the staff will still try to ply you with a small paper take-away menu. Refuse this and ask for the Chinese menu. Here is where it all gets a bit murky, even for me. The large menu is in Chinese with some rather weak interpretations on the side. In the very back you will see a list of noodle and rice dishes.

There are numerous noodle soup dishes available and they all contain seafood. In fact the description on all of them have various ways of saying “seafood noodle soup’ with little or no distinction otherwise. Ask for the Cham Bong, which is a spicy Chinese-style Korean soup full of extremely long hand-stretched noodles, plenty of seafood (including clams, shrimp, scallops and cuttlefish), and a terrifically spicy broth.

The bowl is larger than your head, even larger than a enormous bowl of pho if you can imagine,  and can be shared easily by two to four people. All the dishes are large and served family, so they are meant to be shared. The soup costs a mere $6.95.

Another dish you will see fly by your table with regularity is jajangmyeon . This is another fantastic Korean-Chinese dish which is based on the Chinese zha jiang mian. The dish contains wheat noodles topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (a salty black soybean paste), diced meat and vegetables. On my last visit every table had one order of this to share, and although it is pure black (not a color found palatable by most Americans) you will enjoy.

You may have already tried Chef Hsu but were unaware. At the mega Super H mart you can find a Hsu outpost in the food court merely labeled Dumplings. This is where Hsu creates a large variety of steamed and fried dumplings. The main restaurant on Harry Hines doesn’t have all the varieties of the Super H dumplings, but you can get fried or steamed pot stickers that are fat and happy made in house.

There is no website or Facebook for Chef Hsu, and the English spoken is a bit precarious, but isn’t that the best type of place?  Best tip we can offer is to speak to one of the few Hispanic waiters.

Chef Hsu
11180 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas
(972) 484-0808

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Filed under Asian Cuisine, chefs, Dallas, food classes, Steven Doyle

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