China Lily

Pork lomein

Boneless ribs

Eggroll

Exterior

Interior

*** (3.5 stars)

This is a typical small Chinese restaurant in a strip mall. It offers a very comprehensive menu. Although they have a good size dining area, they seem to be focused on takeout. I wasn’t a big fan of the interior, so I ate at one of the two tables on the front walkway, which was very pleasant.

My food was extremely fresh and hot, obviously prepared to order. The eggroll was nice and crispy, with lots of fresh veggies inside that weren’t overcooked.

The small portion of boneless ribs was very generous, and good quality.

Pork lo mein was also pretty good and certainly hot, but I might have something more interesting next time.

Communication wasn’t all that easy with the guy working the counter, but he got my order right!

China Lily
360 Moore Rd
Ocoee, FL
34761
(407) 656-6868
https://www.yelp.com/biz/china-lily-ocoee

Pei Wei

*** (3 stars)

This Pei Wei is organized a bit differently from the one I usually go to, with a U-turn in the queue and the menus against one wall. There’s a large wall of windows in the dining area, and a large outside dining area, too.  Other than that, it’s pretty much the same as all others.

There was a new item on my visit to this one, and I really like it: cauliflower fried “rice”. It was very good with the spicy Korean sauce.

And yes, they have Coke Freestyle machines, which are my favorite fast food device of all time.

Pei Wei
3337 Daniels Rd
Winter Garden, FL
34787
(407) 347-9928
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pei-wei-winter-garden

Hokkaido Chinese and Japanese Buffet

Buffets

Exterior

Dining room

Sushi

*** (3.5 stars)

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this buffet. There’s an extensive selection of Chinese foods, and they are kept fresh, so the flavors and crispness are about as good as you would get by ordering off a menu. There’s even a lot of shellfish. But the real highlight is the sushi buffet, which is the largest I’ve seen. The quality and freshness are amazingly good.

The price is very reasonable given the quality and location.

Hokkaido Chinese and Japanese Buffet
12173 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL
32836
(407) 778-5188
https://www.yelp.com/biz/hokkaido-chinese-and-japanese-buffet-orlando-2

China Poblano

Tuna ceviche

Chilaquiles

Interior

*** (3.5 stars)

This interesting concept mixes Chinese and Mexican food, but not on the same plate. That is, it’s not fusion cuisine, just two cuisines in the same room.

We like the Mexican items we tried better than the Chinese. Tableside guacamole was very good, and although pricey it was a generous serving. The chilaquiles appetizer was also good and quite authentic.

Tuna tartare was just okay; it suffered from too many ingredients, and ended up a bit muddled. Dan Dan Mien tasted okay, but the noodles were unusually large and sticky.

My favorite item was the four cocktail sampler, which featured four different cocktails in reduced portions for the reasonable price of $32. All four were interesting, and several were quite good.

The room is fairly high energy, but we has a table in the back corner which had much more reasonable noise levels.

China Poblano
3708 Las Vegas Blvd SLevel 2Boulevard Tower
Las Vegas, NV
89109
(702) 698-7900
https://www.yelp.com/biz/china-poblano-las-vegas-2

Ok China Restaurant

Interior

Exterior

Boneless spare ribs with beef fried rice

Bourbon chicken with pork fried rice

Pork lo mein with pork fried rice

Curry chicken and onion with shrimp fried rice

***** (5 stars)

I’ve been looking for good Chinese takeout in Orlando for a while, and this place is the first really good one I’ve found.

All four dishes I tried were excellent. Bourbon chicken was probably my favorite, with big, meaty chunk of chicken, and not super sweet, just right. Boneless spareribs were meaty, and not over-sauced. The lo mein in the pork lo mein was a bit overcooked by the time I got home, but it was a long drive, and it was still very hot, so that’s not their fault. Curry chicken and onion was an interesting non-Chinese dish.

The fried rice that came with each was excellent, and the protein–whether beef, pork or shrimp–was plentiful.

Each lunch was huge, so at about $5 each, they’re an amazing deal. There is literally 2 pounds of entree and rice in each meal.

Because my order came to $20 I got two free eggrolls. These were easily the best eggrolls I have ever tasted, including in Hong Kong. They were extremely savory and flavorful, and the wrapper was delicate and crispy without being oily.

It’s just counter service with very little seating, so it’s mainly a takeout place. I don’t think they really started fixing my Internet order until I arrived, but it was pretty quick, and that guaranteed freshness.

Ok China Restaurant
7359 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32818
(407) 299-8955
https://www.yelp.com/biz/ok-china-restaurant-orlando

Kim Wu Chinese

Buffet

Exterior

**** (4 stars)

This place has been in business a long time, and has a loyal following. I remember eating here long ago, and it seems they’ve expanded since then. But unlike some old restaurants, this one still seems fresh and clean.

Lunch is a buffet, and there are many dishes to choose from, including nearly all the American Chinese restaurant standards. They did a nice job of keeping the items on the buffet fresh and well-stocked.

When I eat at American Chinese restaurants I always find the food a lot heavier and oilier than those in Asia, and this one is no exception, but I can’t fault them for it since it seems to be the accepted style.

My lunch included hot tea, my choice of soup, and even an eggroll from the buffet, so for $10 it was a good deal. My server was fast and friendly.

Kim Wu Chinese
4904 S Kirkman Rd
Orlando, FL 32811
(407) 293-0752
https://www.yelp.com/biz/kim-wu-chinese-orlando

Kome Japanese Chinese and Sushi Bar

Soup and salad

Salmon teriyaki box

Interior

Exterior

*** (3 stars)

This area of Metrowest needs a Chinese restaurant, so I was surprised when the one that previously occupied this space went out of business. This one has potential, but so far is not as good.

We tried it for lunch, and the service was friendly, and the kitchen was very fast. The lunch boxes are a good deal because most include soup, salad and a bento box with sushi, rice, three large wonton triangles stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried, and your entree.

The salad with ginger dressing was the best item. Salmon teriyaki was a bit fishy, as was the California roll. Overall the meal had that heavy oily sense you sometimes get from Chinese food.

There are five tables, but most of the business is probably “to go” or perhaps delivery. The price was reasonable for the large amount of food.

Kome Japanese Chinese and Sushi Bar
2407 S Hiawassee Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 299-8687
https://www.yelp.com/biz/kome-japanese-chinese-and-sushi-bar-orlando

Beijing & Tokyo

Polly roll and spicy salmon roll

Pad Thai

Yellowtail jalapeno (seared)

Exterior

Interior

Menu

Lunch menu

**** (4 stars)

This small mall-based restaurant offers sushi, Chinese, Thai and other Asian cuisines. Although it describes itself as Fusion cuisine, there aren’t actually any blendings of cuisines, just a variety.

The quality of the sushi we had was very good, and the Pad Thai was also nicely done, although it could have used lime instead of the small slice of lemon.

The place is very clean, and the service was friendly.

Beijing & Tokyo
16112 Marsh Rd
Ste 413
Winter Garden, FL 34787
(407) 654-3800
https://www.yelp.com/biz/beijing-and-tokyo-winter-garden

India House Restaurant

*** (3 stars)

This is a very nicely decorated restaurant with about 150 different dishes on the menu. Unfortunately the staff isn’t very good, and the food is just average.

It’s odd browsing through the menu, because it seems to have little organization with multiple sections devoted the similar categories, and very few of the standbys like korma, saag, and so on.

We tried Papdi Chat as an appetizer, and the flavors were good, but it wasn’t enhanced by the sturdy wafers mixed into it.

Mahi Mahi Fish Tikka was good fish, but the seasoning on the fish skin wasn’t my favorite flavor.

Bhuni Gobi was extremely overcooked cauliflower; it resembled something that had been sitting on a buffet for hours.

The best dish was Channa Palak, chick peas in a garlic, onion and spinach sauce. Garlic naan bread was also okay.

The service staff seems to be mostly Russian, and wasn’t strong on communication. They were out of all the juices, and couldn’t produce a beer list.

There aren’t many Indian restaurants in River North, but even so, I wouldn’t bother to return here.

India House Restaurant
59 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 645-9500
http://www.yelp.com/biz/india-house-restaurant-chicago-2

Duck Duck Goat

IMG_2060

*** (3 stars)

I’m a huge fan of The Girl and the Goat, so I was really looking forward to Stephanie Izzard’s take on Chinese cuisine.

The place is absolutely gorgeous, with every room decorated in a uniquely elaborate way. Unfortunately the decor was pretty much the only noteworthy thing about the meal. We tried four items from the dim sum list, plus a noodle dish and an entree, and none of them were different or better than what you’d get at any high-quality Chinese restaurant.

The dim sum was all fine, the best item being the ribs.

The slap noodles were the worst thing we had, very heavy wide noodles that were quite durable despite seeming overcooked. The accompanying mixture of vegetables and sauce was better than the noodles, but we both barely tasted this dish.

The special fish dish was a whole snapper, which was very good. If having the head and tail on a fish doesn’t put you off, I recommend this.

Cocktails were excellent. There is a limited selection of wines by the glass or bottle.

Service was pleasant, and the dishes, although all ordered at once, came out in an orderly fashion.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with this experience, but at $200 including tip for two, it was probably about double what comparably good Chinese food might cost elsewhere. In short, a decent experience, but not one I’d repeat.

Duck Duck Goat
857 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 902-3825
http://www.yelp.com/biz/duck-duck-goat-chicago