Han Dynasty is one of these restaurants we had heard about but never had a chance to visit until recently. A few friends have said they serve some of the best spicy Chinese food, which meant we wanted to give it a go. Han Dynasty actually has several locations in the Philadelphia region. They are known for serving a special once a month—a twenty-course prix fixe dinner for $25. After hitting the movies one night, my family (wife and two sons) stopped in for dinner, though it was not for the prix-fixe.
Inside the Exton Han Dynasty, the decor is pretty simple. Only a few small paintings dot the walls. We were shown a booth by the window and a short time later, our order was taken. I noticed we didn’t have any chopsticks though another table was using some. Hmmm…
For appetizers we ordered the steamed dumplings and egg rolls. My sons are steamed dumpling aficionados. We always order dumplings and they were impressed with these hot and pork-filled dumplings and the sauce.
I ordered an egg roll that was squat, fat and a very tasty mixture of cabbage and pork. Beware the hot mustard sauce—yowza! The duck sauce was also an excellent accompaniment.
For the entree, I couldn’t decide whether to try the Chicken Curry or the Chicken Hunan, so I asked the waiter. He suggested the Chicken Hunan.
Two of the plates came out rather quickly, so my wife and son started dining while it was hot. My son had the General Tso’s Chicken and he was pleasantly surprised how spicy it was. My wife enjoyed her Sesame Chicken. My other son and I sat waiting for a rather long time. At one point, someone stopped by to clean our appetizer plates and I was tempted to ask if they had forgotten our other two entrees. Instead, I bit my lip.
When my Chicken Hunan arrived, I have to admit it was excellent. The chicken was shredded, with large chunks of hot peppers. Onions were perfectly sauteed. Really hot. Really spicy. Halfway through, I needed a refill on the water glass and the waiter said he’d be right back with the pitcher. Maybe the wait for water seemed longer because of the intense five-alarm chili pepper fire on the tip of my tongue, but the servers had again disappeared. My son eventually shared his water, a small gesture for which I will always be grateful.
At the end of the meal, the waiter brought our check out with only two fortune cookies to split between the four of us. I actually called out in disbelief. When he returned a short time later, he dropped off four additional fortune cookies for us. In all, my family thought the food at Han Dynasty was typical of other Chinese restaurants we’ve dined at, though they agreed the dumplings were very good. The spicy food at Han Dynasty makes this one place for those who love it hot, but unfortunately, the service left us feeling cold.
Han Dynasty actually has several locations, including Old City, Manayunk, Royersford, University City and Exton. The Exton location is located at 260 North Pottstown Pike. It’s a BYOB and the phone number is (610) 524-4002.