North Austin’s House of Three Gorges specializes in hard-to-find authentic Chinese cuisine

House of Three Gorges
Yangtze country-style garlic bacon ($9.99) | A cold appetizer, this dish is made with pork belly, garlic and chilis. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Yangtze country-style garlic bacon ($9.99) | A cold appetizer, this dish is made with pork belly, garlic and chilis. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Cumin lamb ($15.99) | This Sichuan dish is made with cilantro stalks and spiced lamb. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Cast iron braised beef brisket hot pot ($24.99) | Tables can share this dish made with brisket and Sichuan spices. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Spicy pork ribs ($13.99) | This crispy and spicy dish is good finger food, according to the restaurant. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Head chef Larry Bai (center) helps Jim Li (left) and Sharon Li run House of Three Gorges in North Austin. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Less than a month after the Li family opened House of Three Gorges in North Austin—the family’s first foray into the restaurant industry—they were forced to close their dining room due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jim Li, one of the restaurant’s owners, said the business quickly pivoted last March to serve customers through takeout. But Li said many of the restaurant’s dishes are best enjoyed as a dining experience inside the restaurant, and the family is excited to welcome customers back when the opportunity arrives.

“There are some dishes just not suited for takeout. We really want to give our customers the best experience they can have and that can only happen in the short distance between the kitchen and the dining table,” Li said.

Such dishes include the restaurant’s hot pot offerings, Li said. House of Three Gorges serves hot pots in cast iron dishes that can be shared by a table of diners, and the restaurant will be adding new hot pot dishes for customers to cook ingredients in a simmering broth that comes served over a small, operating stove.

House of Three Gorges’ menu is filled out with authentic dishes from the Sichuan province of China. The Lis come from the adjacent Three Gorges region, and many of the restaurant’s dishes are served in houses along the Yangtze River, Li said.


“We’re overwhelmed with the comments from people. ‘Oh, my gosh, I have never had this kind of food,’ or, ... ‘This reminds me of my grandma's cooking,’” Li said.

All of the dishes at House of Three Gorges are prepared to order, Li said, so that each order comes out fresh and handmade by Larry Bai, the restaurant’s head chef.

Some of the restaurant’s plates are further made with ingredients sourced from local farms, such as the Mouthwatering Chicken with Mala sauce.

“Instead of making very generic Americanized Chinese food, why not stay with our passion and really demonstrate what is authentic Chinese?” Li commented. “Hopefully you experience something you've never experienced before.”

AUTHENTICALLY SICHUAN

The Li family hails from the Three Gorges area of China, adjacent to the Sichuan province. Many of the dishes customers can order in the restaurant are authentic dishes prepared and served in the southwestern Chinese province.

Yangtze country-style garlic bacon ($9.99)

A cold appetizer, this dish is made with pork belly, garlic and chilis.

Cumin lamb ($15.99)

This Sichuan dish is made with cilantro stalks and spiced lamb.

Cast iron braised beef brisket hot pot ($24.99)

Tables can share this dish made with brisket and Sichuan spices.

Spicy pork ribs ($13.99)

This crispy and spicy dish is good finger food, according to the Lis.

House of Three Gorges

8557 Research Blvd., Ste. 144, Austin

512-953-8666 | www.houseofthreegorges.com
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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