Seafood dishes were surprising standouts at Wahsun. Salty, spicy, and crunchy, the salt and pepper shrimp was simple yet satisfying, leaving granular grains of finger-lickin' goodness behind after the skins were peeled away. A steaming bowl piled high with thick slices of tender tofu, shrimp, chunks of scallops and fish, onions, and mushrooms, in a light but rich sticky broth with a hint of ginger, made up my scrumptious seafood tofu hot pot. And golden fried cubes of flounder fillet stir-fried with crunchy celery and onions in a thick sauce of light soy and sesame oil had me swooning.

If Wahsun happens to have crab on hand that day, order it immediately and watch with mouth agape as two pounds of it lands tableside as a piled-high plate of in-the-shell parts and Chinese cabbage in a slightly salty black bean sauce. Get to crackin' those shells and be rewarded with the contents inside. It's a huge, delicious, fun-to-eat mess, best enjoyed with good-natured friends who won't mind if a piece (or two) of the sweet meat flies into their tea or onto their laps. Hey, it happens.

Like its food, payment at Wahsun is strictly old school: cash only — or, if Rose deems fit, you can write a check. One look at the "register" (a metal box on top of one of the dining tables in the back) and you'll understand why they don't take credit cards. Luckily, you won't need much of the green stuff to get an authentic, exceptional Chinese meal — and you'll leave with plenty of leftovers in tow.

The no-frills Chinese fare at Wahsun Restaurant.
The no-frills Chinese fare at Wahsun Restaurant.

Location Info



8056 N. 19th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85021

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: North Phoenix


Wahsun Restaurant
8056 North 19th Avenue
Summer hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, excluding Thursdays. Regular hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, excluding Thursdays. Hours may vary. Call ahead first.

Egg rolls: $5.95
Beef with Chinese broccoli:$7.95
Roasted half duck: $7.95
Seafood tofu hot pot: $10.95

On my last visit to Wahsun, I asked Rose, "What makes your food so good?"

She waved me off, "It's nothing special, just made with good ingredients. It's . . ." Her words were lost as she disappeared into the kitchen, her voice overpowered by the thwack, thwack, thwacking sounds of more glorious crispy skin pork being prepared to meet its eater.

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Brandon McGill
Brandon McGill

I've always been VERY pleased every time I've eaten here.

Kathy Johnson
Kathy Johnson

Yum! Yum! Yum! We tried this place tonight because of your article as did 3 other couples there at the same time. Excellent egg rolls, duck and chicken and peapods!!!! We will definitely be going back. Thanks for the tip!


Sounds great! I will definitely check it out. I've always liked Diamond Chinese Restaurant on 7th Avenue and Campbell in Phoenix - similar deal: the place is a total dump and frankly filthy, but the food is the best Chinese food I've had outside of Asia. Singapore noodles taste like they do in Singapore!!!


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As the review states, this is one of the great finds. I've dined here about 50 times over the last decade. Rose is a gem. Check your expectations at the door, and just go for the experience.

I remember last time I was there some lady complained about getting two meals worth of fresh chinese food for like $6, saying "I want fried rice. Everyone else serves fried rice." So Rose patiently explains that they make it ahead of time, but rather it's a regular dish only. The lady was upset and complained about it being a bad deal.

Give me a break. The quality of the meet is about 5x what the average chinese restaurant serves, about 2x the quantity, and 1/2 the price.

I've never had a bad dish, but I will say the chicken is better than the beef, the shrimp are huge and good, etc.

If there is ONE complaint... it's that the food is NOT spicy in the least. So you have to add your own spice if you need that.


Sounds yummy! Great review as always!