Philly food is so much more than cheesesteaks. Let us show you.
We’ve always loved Asian food—or thought we did, anyway. It was the usual delivery spots and buffets that kept us satisfied until, like when The Wizard of Oz turns from black and white to color, Han Dynasty showed us what real Chinese cookery could be like. Spiciness, and not just for spicy’s sake, but for added flavor and effect, blew us away—but also kept us coming back for much, much more.
The Old City space, which is the only one we’ve been to thus far, is a massive and ornate former bank. And while this helps with walking in on a random night without needing a reservation, it does lose some of the charm of the original cramped outpost across the street. But, with the new space came a new bar, which offers a nice selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. Just remember to keep the beer light while you’re there to help with the spice.
And if you don’t tend to spicy things, there is plenty on the menu that won’t make your eyes water. Just pay attention to the number ratings next to each dish – the higher the number, the spicier the dish. And don’t think if you’re missing out on spice, you’re missing out on the experience, either. The dishes all range in spiciness and use of pepper, but the constant among all of them is, extreme flavor that won’t disappoint.
EAT YOUR FILL OF…
Dan Dan Noodles – This is a must-order whenever you’re at Han Dynasty, and the dish that sparked the love for these noodles all around the city (where you’ll find comparable version at DanDan and V Street). There is a small bit of spice to the noodles, but the pork sprinkled on top and the peanutty sauce is what really stands out. Do not go here without ordering a bowl.
Mapo Tofu with minced pork – Silky smooth blocks of tofu sit in the spicy, rich, and flavorful sauce amid small pieces of minced pork and green onion. The bowl can feed two, so be sure to have a partner or a hearty appetite when you order, because you’re not going to want to let any of this go to waste. Spoon it over some white rice to temper the heat if necessary.
Spicy Crispy Cucumber – Who would have thought slices of cucumber in chili oil could be so delicious? Another of our must-orders, the cucumber and chili oil have a beautiful dichotomy of being both spicy and cooling at the same time. The dish seems to have picked up some more sugar over the years, so it’s also slightly sweet in addition. This is also great for cooling the tongue off after another spicy dish.