An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Nov 19, 2013
05:30 PMThe Connecticut Table
Authentic Szechuan at Taste of China in New Haven
One of the not-so-hidden secrets of the Shoreline dining scene is the Taste of China restaurant in Clinton. Opened in 2000 by Huping and Jonathan Dolph, the restaurant filled a niche the Dolphs felt in a personal way – Huping was frustrated she couldn’t find “real” Chinese food. It didn’t take long for knowledgeable New Haveners to find the Szechuan-style dining spot, even though it’s 25 miles away. That trek is no longer necessary. The Dolphs teamed up with their chef of 13 years, Xiyu Huang, and opened New Haven’s Taste of China, bang on Chapel Street, across from the Green.
Originally from Nanjing, China, Huping went to Singapore in 1996 to learn English. Jonathan, had gone to Singapore to teach English. One year after she they met in his class they were married, and Jonathan returned to his hometown of Madison with his new bride.
Huping was always looking for “real” Chinese food, but could only find cheap take-out that resembled nothing she had eaten in China. “I was talking to my husband and said that I wanted to open a restaurant because I never had real Chinese food here, it’s all American-Chinese. My husband asked, ‘Are you sure?’ And I said ‘Yes, but I want you to quit your job. I want to do this together. You deal with the bar and I will deal with the kitchen and running the business.”