Does the name Cheng Du sound a bit familiar to you? If so, it might be because the mostly little-known Stoughton restaurant was in the news back in the fall of 2009, as it was more or less destroyed in a devastating fire that hit the center of town. Well, the Chinese eatery never did return to its old Washington Street home, but the good news is that Cheng Du does continue to bring tasty food to folks in and around this southern suburb of Boston, as it now resides a few blocks north on the same street in a more spacious location (and one that also happens to have a parking lot, unlike its former spot).
While the old Cheng Du had been a simple little restaurant with a small bar and a quiet dining room, the new location is quite a bit bigger, and has a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. The warmly lit carpeted dining room to the left is probably best for quiet conversation, while the smaller dining area to the right, while slightly more noisy due to the hardwood floor, is also a pleasant spot for a meal, and it has some large tables set up for families and work groups. It is nice to see that the quality of the food hasn't changed much at Cheng Du, as it remains a good option for both Chinese-American and authentic Chinese fare, being better in quality than your typical suburban Chinese restaurant. A mild but delicious vegetarian hot and sour soup is a good option for starting out, as are the sweat-inducing spicy wonton soup, the nicely textured chicken shumai appetizer, and the freshly-made pork dumplings (when they have them, that is). Some entrees of note here include ants on a tree, which has bits of delicious ground pork mixed with shitake mushrooms and rich-tasting glass noodles; a particularly good kung pao chicken that has roasted peanuts mixed with a variety of vegetables and diced chicken; a spicy and slightly hot plate of curry noodles with shrimp and chicken; a delectable chicken chow foon that has wide rice noodles and bean sprouts mixed with tender pieces of chicken; a good version of moo shi beef that has lean and tender meat mixed with eggs and an array of veggies; a sweet-tasting Mongolian beef dish that also has a good amount of lean and tender meat; and fresh fried rice that isn't dried out or overly salty like it is in so many Chinese restaurants. Drinks include beer, wine, and four different types of sake, with the Gekkeikan perhaps being a good introduction to those who aren't familiar with this rice-based alcoholic beverage.
More than a few folks who live south of Boston believe that the old Cheng Du in Stoughton Center, as well as the current version of the restaurant just north of the center, may be one of the best Chinese restaurants south of Boston. It is tough to argue against that, though granted it is pretty tough to top some of the best Chinese spots in nearby Quincy. But nevertheless, it is nice to see this restaurant back in Stoughton once again, as the food is satisfying, the folks who run the place are very nice, and, now with the new spot, the parking is pretty much stress-free. A big welcome back to this restaurant, which has literally come back from the ashes to become a local favorite once again.
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