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Tony Chan's Water Club

With its sterile, glassed-in views of Biscayne Bay on one side and the kitchen on the other — and nary a hint of Chinese tchotchkes anywhere — the setting of this upscale old-timer (opened in 1991) seems better suited to slick rubber-chicken fundraising dinners than to ethnic eats. But Chan's is one of Miami's best sources for hard-to-find authentic specialties: real Peking duck (served in two courses: crepe-wrapped crisp skin and stir-fried meat with veggies); richly flavored three-cup braised chicken; dynasty squirrel-like fish (Jiangsu-style crisp-skinned fish with spicy sweet-sour sauce, praised by one Qing Dynasty emperor as "the number one dish in the world"); and traditional clay pots of particularly garlicky, ultratender lamb. There's also real sushi, plus standard Chinese choices such as General Tso's chicken, but the specialties are the way to go.

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