She had me at whatever is Mandarin Chinese for hello.
When I called New Kam Fong (2400 University Blvd. W) to order takeout for dinner, the woman who answered was both friendly and genuinely helpful. She steered me to a “roast pig” preparation that would better survive the takeout process; she discussed the pros and cons of Chinese broccoli with garlic versus oyster sauce; she spoke eloquently for more than 30 seconds on the merits of shrimp with or without their shells and the fact that I understood no more than half of what she said didn’t matter at all. I have never had such an enjoyable telephonic ordering experience.
The food was pretty good, too. And plenty of it.
NKF’s menu is wide-ranging and includes some unusual dishes, and I tried to avoid the Americanized stuff this time. They do have the usual array of kung pao/orange/sichuan/beef with broccoli, etc. We got:
Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce — no different than the usual Chinese broccoli, but good, and the sauce was very nice.
Shrimp with “ginger spring and onion” — at least that’s what I tried to order, possibly we got something else. The shrimp were shelled and (unexpectedly) breaded, tender and flavorful, on a bed of fried noodles with a delicate green (hot) pepper sauce. NKF’s dishes are generally not spicy — I will continue to visit Joe’s Noodle House for my Chinese fire fix — but the shrimp did have a nice little kick.
Roast pig — I’m not sure technically which pork dish I ended up ordering, but I suspect any of their roast pig dishes would be just as good. The skin was delicious and still somewhat crispy despite the time lag between cooking and eating, and I bet it would be an unmitigated winner in the restaurant. Pork was juicy, savory, very very very good.
Fried “Good Dale” — Apparently a D.C.-area tradition, this was kind of like non-spicy drunken noodles with wonderful bits of shrimp, pork and egg. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but solidly good. I would get the Good Dale again, but I really want more of that pig.
Mrs. Me: “This is better than that other place.” Well said.
NKF doles out crumbly little peanut cookie/wafers in lieu of fortune cookies; Mrs. Me was unimpressed but I liked them. Bottom line: best Chinese in Wheaton, and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the menu, both in-house and takeout. The restaurant isn’t anything special inside, in fact the fluorescent light and formica isn’t all that inviting, but some of the best dishes on the menu really deserve to be eaten on the premises.