Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by Laurie Skrivan (Post-Dispatch)

Chef Ma's Chinese Gourmet Restaurant

I know the menu at Chef Ma’s Chinese Gourmet Restaurant isn’t boundless — a copy of it is right here in front of me as I write this — but it certainly seems so. Every visit, I find a new favorite. On my most recent meal it was chef Ying Jing Ma’s Twice Cooked Pork Spicy Flavor. The pork hits the right textural notes — crisp surface, tender meat with just the right amount of rendered fat — and its natural flavor is cut with the bite of chile and scallion. It joins such other favorites as fried squid with garlic, beef short ribs and Hainan chicken rice.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2015

Must order: Twice-cooked pork ($12.95)