I have officially left the semi-urban landscape of Brookline (where the T stopped right in front of my building) for the more suburban town of Lexington. I'd gotten so used to have amazing food within walking distance, and now... well, at least I have a car.
That being said, I was very happy to notice a new restaurant that had opened in Lexington. Denian's is a small take out shop that focuses on Chinese buns, located right next to the Royal Pastry Shop on Marrett Road. It's strictly for take-out - the only seats are a few along a small bar on the wall (although there is room for a couple of tables, which would definitely help the place out).
Denian's offers seven different types of buns - pork, beef, chicken, green veggie, carrot, sweet bean paste, and taro paste - and you can buy them in quantities of 1, 3, 4, 6, or 12. I opted for three, trying one each of the pork, chicken, and carrot.
The dough itself was light and a little fluffy. Each bun holds a decent amount of filling, which matches up with the amount of dough very well. As for the fillings, the ones I tried ranged from fine to very very tasty. The pork was pretty standard, much like you'd find in any potsticker - it definitely didn't wow me. The chicken (above), on the other hand, was delicious. There was lots of ginger and scallions in there, making each bite flavorful. My favorite of the three, however, was the carrot (top) - both sweet and savory, and wonderfully spiced with five-spice powder and a touch of sesame oil. The chicken and the carrot were both a little unusual, and the flavors were very well balanced.
My three buns made for a decent-sized lunch, but when I saw the scallion pancakes on the menu, I had no choice but to order them. They are one of my favorite foods, and although I make them at home, I prefer to order them out. Sadly, this version wasn't fantastic. They were a little on the chewy side, but that may have been because a miscommunication left them steaming in their take-out box a little too long. That being said, the flavor was good and I would definitely give them a try again.
Denian's also offers noodle soups and bubble tea. Since it's right down the street from Lexington High, I'm sure it will get a good deal of business from students once school starts back up in the fall. The bubble tea flavors are all powder, though, so if that's not your thing (I think the powders are gross), you've been warned.