Ko's Pot Stickers Critiques

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South Hunan 2 in Oakville on Telegraph next to Dierbergs: Not to be confused with the extremely wretched South Hunan in Arnold (a place so bad that a friend of mine, who might eat things he found in the couch cushions, could not stand the idea of finishing the meal he purchased there), which turned into a Thai restaraunt for a short time and then was bulldozed. But, South Hunan 2 is a nice little restaurant that has a buffet in it, though you can order from the menu if you prefer, or if the Buffet is closed at the time. The Pot Stickers are better when not off the Buffet, but are good either way. This is the place that I had, for a while, based my opinions of other Pot Stickers on. I've since found better places to get them. On one or two occasions, their stickers seem to be from some other brand/recipe/chef/etc and don't taste as good. Stickers: Doughy 8; Sauce: Salty 8.

Southside Wok on Lemay Ferry across from Mehlville High School: Last time I went there, as I was pulling in the radio was playing Southside by Moby. Spooky. I don't know how good the food is there, as I've only eaten the Pot Stickers from there. This was the first place I encountered the Sweet sauce type. Their sauce is not nearly as runny as the 'standard.' Stickers: Doughy 7; Sauce: Sweet 8.

The Orient in Oakville on Telegraph across from Schnucks: This place has been revamped a few times and is the only Chinese place in Oakville that delivers. The food is great. They used to have sweet & sour sauce in ketchup bottles on the tables, but I've not eaten in the restaraunt since they changed it, so I'm not sure if this has changed. They also serve Vietnamese food which is pretty good. The Pot Stickers used to be small and the wrapping a little too resistant to fork-cutting, but they have since changed this. It could be that their latest revamp brought with it a chef who knew more about Pot Sticker design. They're about normal size, and while the wrapping is still rather noodly, it is thinner and more easily cut. They've also changed the sauce since the last time I was there, and is now a more typical type instead of the more viscous stuff they used to serve. Overall, I think they've greatly improved their Pot Stickers. Stickers: Noodly 8; Sauce: Salty-Sweet 8.

Lemay Wok in Oakville/Mehlville on Lemay Ferry.: Not in Lemay, despite the name. This place is a cute little restaurant with wonderful food, and their Pot Stickers are equally wonderful. The reason the Stickers get such a high rating here is that 1.) they're delicious, and 2.) they're HUGE. They are about 150-175% of the size of most Stickers I have encountered. My friend Sarah introduced me to this place, and I love her for it. Stickers: Doughy 10; Sauce: Salty 8.

Emperor's Express in Wentzville: I think that's the name. It is NOT Emperor's Wok, though. Very unimpressed with this place, though it does deliver. I think I only saw one Asian person working there, and I think she was the manager and had nothing to do with the cooking. The food is just plain GREASY. So are the Stickers. If memory serves, there was an inch of grease in the bottom of the stereotypical chinese food take out box within which the Pot Stickers were delivered. Stickers: Doughy 5; Sauce: Salty 5.

Dingho on Watson: Another cute little place. The Stickers tend to become a desert, as the rest of your food will be done, and possibly eaten, by the time the Stickers are ready. This is the first place I experienced the Spicy variety of Sauce. At first, when I tried the sauce, I thought it had a little too much vinegar in it, and it might. Stickers: Doughy 6; Sauce: Spicy 8.

King & I on South Grand: This is actually a Thai restaraunt, though less spicy than what I've become used to. The pot stickers here are very likely not a speciality, but more an effort to bring in the Chinese food lovers. Stickers: Doughy 7; Sauce: Salty 7.

TGI Fridays in various places: This used to be a great place to eat, overall, but the Pot Stickers here leave much to be desired. They used to have better food and had a wonderful variety of shakes. My favorite was Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip, which they don't carry anymore. Go there for other foods, but they have better appetizers than these. The sauce is too much like Soy Sauce (if it isn't just plain Soy Sauce) in my opinion. Stickers: Noodly 6; Sauce: Salty 4.

Cheesecake Factory in Chicago: Really! Look at the menu! The decor is trippy and they have nice salads too. These are Chicken Pot stickers, as opposed to the Pork/Beef kind that is the standard, but they are yummy enough. They tend to be a bit too crumbly (their wrapping falls apart easily), in my opinion. Stickers: Doughy 6; Sauce: Sweet-Salty 6.

Lam's Jade Garden in Festus: Apparently at some point, Lam's Garden split into two restaraunts: Lam's Garden and Lam's Jade Garden. I have eaten at Lam's Garden since this point, but not at the Jade Garden, so everything listed here is an assumption based on how their buffet food was before the split. Everything is kinda sweeter than normal here, they even have donuts on the Buffet, as well as some odd stuff like fried corn. Their Pot Stickers are kinda crumbly here, in that the wrapping falls apart very easily. Stickers: Doughy 6; Sauce: Salty 6.

Golden Dragon Chinese Buffet in Union Station: Of all the places to find such a wonderful pot sticker sauce, a mall buffet restaraunt was not where I'd expected. The rest of the food is pretty good, they even have fresh Kiwi in the buffet. As for the stickers, if they'd been a little easier to cut, they'd have gotten a higher rating. The sauce, though is salty, sweet, and spicy all at the same time, and has the honor of getting my highest rating. Stickers: Noodly 7; Sauce: Sweet-Spicy-Salty 10.

Sesame Chinese Restaraunt on Watson: This place is a nice little restaraunt, though not an exceptional place, in my opinion. Even though Pot Stickers are not on the Lunch Menu, do not let this discourage you from asking for them. The stickers here were pretty good, and the sauce was too. Unlike some restaraunts that give you only a little sauce, the Pot Sticker sauce was brought out in a little pitcher (like what you'd expect pancake syrup to be brought in). Stickers: Doughy 8; Sauce: Salty-Sweet 8.

Yen Ching on Brentwood (across from the Galleria): This place surprised my brother and I. We were expecting an average quality restaraunt and found one that had really good food. They even had some signed Jerseys from the Cardinals and menus and such signed by other people whose signatures were too illegible for me to read. :) Try the Yen Ching Beef. I'm not entirely sure this place exists anymore, unfortunately. They are building something in the area that I think Yen Ching used to be. If anyone spots this place in a new location, or if they haven't actually moved, send its current address to me via the Suggest a Pot Stickers Place thingo on the main page. The Stickers, though were about average, I'd say. They were a wee bit burnt, but that might not be typical. The sauce, however came as a shock to me. We had sat down and noticed that there was a shaker bottle of soy sauce, as well as a shaker bottle of vinegar. We wondered at who would put vinegar on their food, until our Pot Stickers were brought out. The server then picked up both the soy sauce and vinegar, shook some on the Stickers, stirred them around, and then put them on the little appetizer plates. So, they get an extra point on the sauce for that bit of novelty. Stickers: Noodly 7; Sauce: Salty 8.

First Wok Buffet on Watson: Due to the number of cars in the parking lot, I had high hopes for the place. DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP!!! The poor saps who frequent this place probably have never had REAL chinese food. They have a nice selection and all, but none of it is any good. The foods I tried were either bland (like the non-spicy knock off of General Tso's Chicken) or just undesirable. Had they been less horrible-tasting, the large size of the stickers would have been a plus. However, due to the wretched taste, the large size was an unfortunate thing for someone who had taken three of them. The sauce wasn't half bad, really. I've had worse. Stickers: Noodly 3; Sauce: Salty-Sweet 6.

Hsu's Hunan Yu on Gravois: Of the general food there, I've only tried the fried rice and the crab rangoon. The fried rice wasn't bad, all in all. The crab rangoon was bad, all in all. The pot stickers are pretty good, however. They would have been easier to eat had I been using a proper plate and not using a serrated knife to cut them. :) The sauce is a little sweeter than I'm used to in a Salty type, but I'm still going to list it as a Salty type. Stickers: Doughy 7; Sauce: Salty 8.

Emperor's Wok on Gravois: I've been avoiding going to one of these places (it's a chain of restaraunts) as I suspected them of being low quality. I can say that I have been proven wrong. While not the greatest place in existence, it's certainly a good place. The stickers here are called dumplings, but I knew what they meant. The stickers here are shaped like I'm used to seeing Fried Won Tons in, but they were cooked like Pot Stickers. The wrapping was a little tough in some places, but that could have been due to them sitting out on top and getting a little dried out. The saving grace in this matter is that they gave you a knife, so you can deal with slightly tough Stickers. The people I'd gone with didn't have a high opinion of the Pot Stickers here, and I share it now. The sauce was pretty nice, actually. It had the consistency of motor oil, but definately not the taste. Stickers: Noodly 5; Sauce: Sweet 8.

New Hong Kong at Baumgartner and Lemay Ferry: I've not eaten the food, other than the Stickers, here yet, so I cannot comment on it. The stickers smelled odd when I opened them, but don't let this fool you. They taste pretty good. They're a little less expensive than normal, as well as coming in larger orders than normal. 8 for $4 isn't bad. The sauce was pretty good. Is a slightly sweet version of the Salty type. Stickers: Doughy 8; Sauce: Salty 9.

Patrick's Potstickers: Not really a restaraunt. An acqaintance of mine tried making some potstickers he'd found in the frozen foods isle. He decided it wasn't necessary to fry the stickers in oil as the directions said, so they ended up with this foul tasting goo where the meat should be. I may fix this entry if he ever decides to try making them again. The sauce wasn't bad for a dehydrated mix. Stickers: Doughy 1; Sauce: Salty 7.

China Wok: On Telegraph just north of Erb. The food here is pretty good, and they give you plastic containers with clear lids when you order the food to go as opposed to those not-quite-sealable traditional boxes. The only real downside to the restaraunt is that there isn't very much space in the dining area, so keep the option of carry-out open. Try the crab-rangoon. The pot stickers are pretty decent. The sauce is decent, too, and they give you more than what I'm used to getting for carry-out. Stickers: Doughy 7; Sauce: Salty 7.

Mai Lee on Delmar: Mai Lee is a Vietnamese/Chinese restaraunt that my mother loved to go to on her lunch break. She always gets the #8 with yellow noodles, but she says it's made differently each time she orders it. I've only been there once, and I had the #51, which is grilled beef on noodles and vegetables. It was rather good, despite my reservations about eating Vietnamese food since that "hundred year egg" incident. In spite of my mother's claim that the chinese food they serve isn't too good, the pot stickers were excellent. Easily cut with a fork, good consistency, about normal size. While they don't provide oodles of sauce, they do provide enough for me to do my favorite thing, which is to dip the half'a'potsticker in such a way that some of the sauce is pooled inside the wrapping. :9 Yum. The sauce was ever so slightly sweet, but not enough for me to label it salty/sweet. I'd call it the second best sauce in town. Stickers: Doughy 9; Sauce: Salty 9.

Lam's Garden in Festus: Not to be confused with Lam's Jade Garden, which is apparently where the buffet went to when the restaraunt apparently split into two. The food here isn't bad, though a touch on the sweet side. With the buffet having been moved elsewhere, the place didn't seem quite as busy as I remembered it being. One really nice thing is that, unlike other restaraunts which give you orange slices to help get rid of any fish-breath that you might have after your meal, they give you a couple pieces of this orange layer cake that has some orange mouse between the layers and a glazing of what I can only guess at being orange marmalade or something like that. The Pot Stickers served at the non-buffet restaraunt are different than I remember the ones present on the buffet being. They are smaller and the wrapping is thinner, but better at staying together. It is probably the thinnest workable doughy wrapping I've ever encountered. The meat filling, however, falls apart very easily when the Sticker is cut in half (as I often do). It reminds me of very fine pulled pork or beef in some ways. Like everything at this restaraunt, the sauce is somewhat sweet, though if it were only salty, it wouldn't be very good. As it stands, it is relatively good, but as you can see from other entries, I've had much better. Stickers: Doughy 6; Sauce: Sweet-Salty 6.

Mongolian Eastern Buffet (though the sign just says Eastern Buffet) a wee bit south of Olive on Ballas: We went here because a nearby place that my mom loves was not only evil, but also very busy. But, the Mongolian Eastern Buffet surprised us. They have a bit more selection than most buffet-style chinese food places I go to, and quite a bit of variety. They have a large selection of appetizers, many of which are excellent. I tried sushi here for the first time, and predictably hated it, but that's not the restaurant's fault. We were told they had undergone a change of management in the last three months, so, if you disliked them under their previous incarnation, I suggest you give them another try as the food is excellent. The potstickers here are pretty nice. They're a little compact, but still nice. I'm almost undecided on whether to describe them as noodly or doughy, as they were sort of in between. So, the designation of Noodly is based on the thickness. The sauce, however, wasn't great. Maybe it was just a bad day or there was a mistake in the kitchen, but the sauce had too much garlic and onion in it. It was almost overpowering. You'll note, however, that I didn't give it a really bad rating. This is because the excessive garlic/onion levels almost worked. If it had been a wee bit weaker, it would have been pretty good. Stickers: Noodly 8; Sauce: Salty 6.

Genroku on South Broadway in Englewood, Colorado: I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a big fan of Japanese restaraunts. They always bring out appetizers I didn't order and don't want. Miso soup is fine, usually. But, they bring out this salad that I don't like and consider seaweed to be an acceptable thing to put on someone's plate. Plus, my Green Tea tasted fishy, which is a horrible thing for tea to do. I struggled through the tea and had them bring me water instead of bringing me more fish tea. Okay, so they're not really Pot Stickers, but they're supposedly what Pot Stickers evolved from. They had two Pot-Sticker-like appetizers that I tried. Gyoza and Shumai (I may be getting the name of the second wrong). More or less, they tasted like my own attempt at making Pot Stickers: well off target. Too much cabbage or something. They weren't *bad*, but they weren't a good substitute for Pot Stickers. The Gyoza were more similar to what I think of as the normal pot sticker than the Shumai. Do not consider my rating of them to be anything than what they would be rated as if they were Pot Stickers. It is entirely possible that they were excellent examples of Gyoza and Shumai. But, compared to Pot Stickers, they can't cut it. I don't think I got a good sampling of the sauce, since I only got one of each and didn't have any utensils to cut them with to get a good soaking of the sauce. Again, remember that I'm rating the sauce as if it were Pot Sticker sauce. Stickers: Doughy 5; Sauce: Salty 5.

China Buffet (IIRC) in Festus in the K-Mart lot: It's more or less a buffet-only type restaraunt, though I suspect you could get them to bring you freshly made food. They have a decent selection and have Mongolian BBQ. The only problem I had was that someone had used the same tongs for the Lo Mein as for the Crab, thus putting me in that unpleasant "have to use willpower to consume this" mindset that is entirely my father's fault. Despite being a wee dried out from being on the buffet, the Pot Stickers were pretty good. They'd get a little better rating if they'd been fresher. But, they provided knives, so slightly tough Pot Stickers were not a problem. The sauce was pretty good, and there was plenty to go around, which is always nice. Stickers: Doughy 7; Sauce: Sweet-Salty 8.

Shogun at Lindbergh & Baptist Church Rd: My family and I had been wanting to try this place for a while, but we wanted to wait until we could all go together. Well, yesterday was my mother's birthday, and we were going to go to Fridays for a birthday dinner for her. Since Fridays had a line, we decided to go to Shogun instead. All in all, I was a little disappointed. It's the sort of place where the guy will stir fry your food right in front of you, making a little show out of it. That's fun and all, but their menu was a little sparse outside of that sort of stuff. Don't get me wrong, the food is very good, but I was kinda hoping for a greater sampling of Japanese cuisine. If you decide to go here, try to go in groups of at least six. We showed up in a group of three and had to wait a while for our table to fill up. Well, they weren't Potstickers. They were Gyoza. I don't know what sort of filling they had in them. Maybe chicken, but thankfully, they didn't taste fishy. They were actually pretty decent, though they relied a bit on the sauce. Easily cut with a fork, which is the only utensil they gave us. The sauce was a little thinner and less flavorful than what I'm used to for Pot Sticker sauce, but other than that, it was actually pretty good. Not the same recipe, but it would certainly work with regular Pot Stickers. Stickers: Noodly 6; Sauce: Salty-Sweet 7.

Hunan House on 5th Street Saint Charles: Hunan House is a quaint little buffet restaraunt, but they do carry-out and delivery. Which is good because I have never seen a buffet that small before, unless it wasn't the main source of food for a place. Six dishes, two appetizers. Thankfully, their menu has a full selection of the typical dishes, including Pot Stickers. When I ordered them, the lady told me it would take a while to make the Pot Stickers, around 35 minutes, she said. I decided I'd wait that long. I mean, who knows, the Pot Stickers here might be the greatest ones in the world. The Hot Braized Pork was pretty good, but the crab rangoon and fried rice were rather dry. Maybe they'd been sitting under a heat lamp while my stickers cooked. The Pot Stickers were a bit of a disappointment. I think they must have followed the same recipe I did when I tried to make them, though theirs turned out much better than mine did. The wrapping was the doughy type, which itself was easy enough to cut. The filling wasn't all that great, and was the source of anti-plastic resistance. The sauce was also a bit disappointing, being a slightly burned-tasting salty type. Even had it not had a slighty flavor of having been cooked too long, I don't think it would have gotten a better rating. Together, they weren't terribly bad, the sauce helping to overcome the sticker. Stickers: Doughy 5; Sauce: Salty 5.

Stir Crazy on Olive near Lindbergh: The restaraunt was rather neat. Whimsical decorations and stuff. They had all sorts of different sorts of Oriental cuisine. I ended up having a rather Thai-oriented meal. Thai Basil Beef and potstickers and a couple of Thai Iced Teas. Definately one happy Ko. The pot stickers were a chicken sort, with a thick and soft sort of noodly wrapping. They weren't terribly great, but weren't bad, either. They were heavy on the vegetation, or at least heavier than I'm used to tasting. So, if you're a fan of pot stickers, go to Stir Crazy for the other foods. The pot stickers aren't really worth a trip here, in and of themselves. A bit of a novelty was the fact that they brought out *two* sauces for the Stickers. One salty and non-viscous and one sweet and viscous. So, my rating is basically for both, since they were about equal, and not to say they had one sauce that was both salty and sweet. Again, I wasn't very impressed with the sauces. They were both too heavy on the ginger, moreso in the case of the sweet one, which actually wasn't all that sweet. Stickers: Noodly 6; Sauce: Sweet-Salty 6.

China House in Pevely near the intersection of I-55 and Hwy Z: This was a wee little place, apparently shoehorned in next to an empty space. Cute in some ways. We apparently showed up at a slow enough time that the lady at the counter was kinda sitting and looking bored when we pulled up. The stickers were surprisingly good. You should grab a knife before you sit down because plastic forks are woefully incapable of cutting any pot sticker. The sauce was what really make their pot stickers stand out. It was nearly perfect. Stickers: Doughy 8; Sauce: Salty 9.

Happy Wok on Vogel Road in Arnold: This is like my "neighborhood chinese food place" for my new house. It's not too far away, only like a mile and a half. Pretty nice place, one of those tiny little shops. Four or five tables, more reliant on carryout customers, etc. The food's pretty good, so far that I've tried. They were a doughy type that I've gotten quite used to, though I think they're a bit heavier on the ginger than most. But, other than that, they're pretty standard from my experience. The sauce, however, was a departure from the normal. It was pretty heavy on ginger and kinda light on everything else. It was a salty type, to a degree, but not very flavorful. Stickers: Doughy 8; Sauce: Salty 5.

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