With just a few weeks to go of acceptable soup weather, we've had a hankering for wor wonton. Both China Village and China Chili serve commendable wor wonton soup, so we decided to put them to the test and see whose bowl is best.
In this corner: China Village
The Setup: Furniture from the '70s, wood-paneled walls and Chinese art fill up the restaurant and add to the character. So does the staff -- quick to guests and offer a joke or two. The menu offers guests Chinese selections of Hunan, Mandarin, and Szechuan cuisine.
The Good: The wor wonton soup comes in a flavorful chicken broth full of lettuce, carrots, and scallions, giving a bit of crunch to balance the tender wontons. Chicken, beef and shrimp also accompany the dish, giving it something more to savor. Unlike other wor wonton soups, China Village does not hold back on the quantity of wontons, so you're not left with a bowl full of broth and vegetables.
The Bad: The pork inside the wontons lacked any flavor, so even though the soup was full of other extras, most of the flavor came from the broth.
In The Other Corner: China Chili
The Setup: If you go during lunch hours, waiting for an open table in the dining room fit for 200 at China Chili is to be expected. Like China Village, they serve Szechuan-style along with Cantonese- and Hong Kong-style food. The family-owned restaurant is located in Central Phoenix, not far from downtown.
The Good: The wontons were large enough to eat in two bites or shove them down whole because you can't get enough of the perfectly seasoned pork inside. When the soup is brought to your table the server ladles it into a small cup of soup for all the party. The soup doesn't come with other vegetables or meats as it does at China Village.
The Bad: We wished there were more wontons. The chicken broth was a little plain, so we had no interest in drinking the broth once the wontons were gone.
The Winner: Both restaurants had good and bad that almost leveled the playing field, but in the end, China Chili's flavor-packed wontons made the better showing. China Village had other offerings that added to the dish, but the lack of flavor of the pork put it in second place.
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