Fried rice

Linger

There were a lot of great eats in Denver so its hard to narrow it down to one favorite, but Linger took the cake for many reasons. Number one, their menu is crazy good (read on for more). #2. The restaurant was once the historic Olinger Mortuary (super creepy and cool). Numero Tres, the atmosphere and ambience is different than any other restaurant I have been to. Food is emotional for me and the feeling I got from sharing each dish and experiencing the different layers of flavor was incredible.

How the Menu Works: Its divided up into different regions of the world (tasty and educational) and each dish is served family style and designed for sharing. Works for me, since this is how I usually dine.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Stem Cider Branch and Bramble: Dry, Raspberry Cider. Very good!

Likes: Local, fruity, not too sweet, crisp.

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Cowboy Popcorn: BBQ flavored popcorn for the table. Smoky, salty, good!

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Devils on Horseback (Europe & Eurasia): Applewood Smoked Bacon, Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique . Our server recommended these and they were spot on! The smoky, sweet, and salty bacon was cooked perfectly. The dates were caramelized and went well with the creamy, tangy goat cheese. As soon as I popped one of these in my mouth, it was over. So delicious.

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Michelle’s Pick

Thai Fried Rice (Asia): Poached Egg, Corn, Tomatoes, Charred Pole Beans,  Fried Shallots, Thai Basil, Five Spice Cashews, Coconut & Nam Prik Pao Sauce. I love that this fried rice had corn-not too common. Lots of flavors and spice from the red/green chiles. The yolk from the eggs created a luxurious, rich sauce. The char from the beans added a smokiness and the basil was a nice touch of brightness. The crispy shallots were delicious with the sweetness from the Coconut & Nam Prik Pao sauce.

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Stacey’s Pick

Colorado Lamb Kabob (Africa & Middle East): Cucumber, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Cilantro,  Chapati Bread (traditional Indian flat bread), Tzatziki, Carrot-Chili Purée & Green Harissa (condiment consisting of jalapeno, parsley, cilantro, chilies, spices). The lamb was tender and juicy. The bread was warm, slightly charred, and acted as the perfect device to soak up the delicious sauces. The tzatziki was creamy and cool and the harissa was fresh and spicy.

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Dave’s Pick

New England Fish Tacos (Americas): Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins, Bibb Lettuce, Dill, Cherry Tomato Relish & Tartar Sauce. Whoever thought of the salt & vinegar potato skins should get a raise. This was a flavor bomb of salty, vinegary, crispy, crunchy, goodness. Of course this paired well with the fresh, flaky fish. The tomato relish and tartar sauce was tangy, yet sweet. Love these!

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My Pick:

Mongolian BBQ Duck Bao Bun (Asia): Scallions & Miso Pickled Cucumbers. Holy Duck! The duck was so tender it was as if it was slow roasted for hours. The sauce was sweet and sticky. The scallions and cucumbers added a nice crunchy brightness. The steamed bun was light and fluffy.

Dave’s Pick

Fried Chicken Bao Bun (Asia):  Togarashi Ranch (spicy Japanese seasoning), Kimchi & Honey Sambal. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and had a brilliant crunchy exterior. The kimchi was the perfect side kick and went well with the honey sambal (spicy relish).

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My Pick:

Sesame BBQ Tacos (Caribbean): Wagyu Short Rib, Napa Slaw, Radish, Avocado & Lime. The short ribs were super tender, lean, and had a rich and hearty flavor. The slaw and radish lightened up these tacos and added texture. The avocado added color and freshness.

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Service was great and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and offering suggestions. Linger has the perfect lighting, low, warm, like eating by candlelight. The décor has an industrial, casual feel, but is still upscale enough for a nice night out. I really liked that the menu was a taste of different areas of the world. It gave us a chance to try different things and it was exciting as each new dish came out one after the other. The menu ingredients explode with flavor and elevate your taste buds to places they haven’t gone before. The menu is very unique and the vision of showcasing different cultures is amazing -where else can you get both Cricket Empanda’s and Egplant Soup on the same menu?  Linger has an additional rooftop dining area, happy hour and brunch menus, and offers 3 course dining every Tuesday.  They use local ingredients and suppliers and also offer gluten free and vegan options. If you haven’t checked out Linger, you need to.

Linger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Johnny Noodle King

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Another best seller from the owners of Green Dot Stables, Johnny Noodle King is one of the few spots to score ramen in Detroit. Even though the menu has a lot of Japanese influence, Johnny Noodle King incorporates tastes from all over the world. Janet and I were lucky enough to score a seat at the counter right in front of all the action. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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We started off with a drink

Hitachino White Ale

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“Shark Fin” Dumpling: House Made Dumpling · Shrimp · Sweet & Spicy Sauce. So good! Really fresh and light despite being fried.

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Gong Bao (sauced): Chicken· Bell Pepper · Carrot · Scallion · Peanuts · Korean Chili Powder · Bean Sprouts · Garlic · Wide Rice Noodles. Spicy as shit! The Korean Chili was a little overpowering, but had good flavor. The peanuts added a nice crunch and saltiness to counteract the heat.

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Southwest (brothed): Shredded Pork · Corn · Scallions · Pickled Poblano · Ricotta Salata · Cilantro. The best! If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything South of the border. This was everything I hoped for and then some. The broth was so flavorful and spicy without being too hot. The ricotta was a nice touch to add a creamy coolness and the fresh cilantro and corn were amazing. Who doesn’t like pickled pablanos? We went with the shredded pork versus the pork belly and it was a good choice. So tender and juicy.

Before

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After

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Service was great and they were packed even on a rainy Wednesday. It was the perfect day for ramen. We only waited about 10 min, but it was definitely worth it. This isn’t your ordinary dorm room ramen. Although, they do have it on the menu (comes plain, just noodles and broth for those less adventurous). I can’t wait to go back and try the Bacon Fried Rice  and the pork belly bun. Check it out!

Johnny Noodle King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bangkok 96

Today on the Bite Tonight is Bangkok 96. Located on Telegraph Rd. in Dearborn, MI is a Thai restaurant that has been a neighborhood favorite for years. It’s no surprise that these guys were nominated for “Best Thai” in Detroit in 2008. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (Portion size and taste).

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My Pick

Thai Fried Rice: Chicken, peas, carrots, green onion, and egg. This was the best fried rice I have ever tasted and the portion size was huge! Everything was perfect and each piece of rice was fried to perfection. There was  no clumps of white rice at all. I also love the exotic and colorful garnish.

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Jacki’s Pick

Veggie Pad Thai: Rice noodles with bean sprouts, eggs,  carrots, pea pods, and green onions & topped with peanuts. A classic Thai favorite. I really liked that this sauce was light and not too sweet. Possibly my new favorite!

20160618_163105.jpg The dining room was small, but was beautiful with it’s Thai culture and decor. Service was OK, food was delicious, and the portions were huge for the price. Bangkok 96 offers appetizers, lunch and dinner entrees, desserts, Thai Ice Tea, soup, and vegetarian options. Bangkok 96 even caters. The next time you have an event to plan, but don’t want boring old pizza, think of Bangkok 96.  Jacki, another dinner date is in store very soon!
Bangkok 96 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine

Today on the Bite Tonight: Wasabi

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Located in Midtown on Woodward Ave and Kirby St, is Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine. Offering a wide array of Korean and Japanese selections, Wasabi has been a favorite in Detroit since 2008. We were disappointed that the lunch boxes aren’t available on the weekends (that’s what brought us there), but we still managed to make the most of it. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 2.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Avocado & Pickled Radish Sushi Rolls: Fresh, light and delicious!

wasabi's veggie roll

Chicken Tang Soo Yook: Deep fried chicken and mixed vegetables in Korean sweet
and sour sauce. For the most part this dish came equipped with the expected fruits, veggies, and lightly battered fried chicken. But, despite the description on the menu, there were pieces of fish thrown into the mix. You can imagine the horror on my moms face when she found out what she was eating were small pieces of fish and not a vegetable.

Side note: MY MOM DOESN’T LIKE FISH.

Dinner for 3: $60

The look on my moms face when she asked our server what the tasteless, white thing on her plate was, then was informed it was fish: Priceless!

Other than the deceiving explanation, this dish was good. The chicken was crispy and wasn’t covered with a large amount of breading. The sauce was thick and that perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Tip: If you put something as significant as fish in a dish, put it on the menu, please!

sweet and sour chicken

Bu Lkogi: Thinly sliced tender rib eye marinated in Korean barbecue sauce. The flavor of the steak was slightly sweet and delicious. The marinade made the steak super tender. The only thing I wished for was a little more sauce so I asked the server for a side of Teriyaki which took the dish to the next level. The fresh fruit garnish lightened up the fact that you were eating rib eye.

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Dolsot Bibimbab: Assorted vegetables over rice with beef and fried egg baked
in hot stone bowl served with Korean hot paste on the side. This was my brother’s pick and I almost wished I would’ve ordered one for myself. First of all, the fact that the food is cooked in a hot stone bowl and comes sizzling to your table is amazing. The dish reminded me of a deconstructed or layered fried rice. Once it arrived at the table, my brother mixed up all the ingredients and broke the egg yolk. Bibimbab means “mixed rice” and that is exactly what this tasty dish is.

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What I liked about Wasabi is that you had your choice of Korean or Japanese dishes. It was really slow for being a Saturday afternoon and because of that service lacked slightly. However, I was really impressed with the unique (to me) menu items and the fresh homemade fruit sake. We tried the Pineapple and Ginseng flavors and there were pretty good. I have frequented many Japanese places, but now I can add a Korean restaurant to my list. Thanks, Wasabi.

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Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Benihana

Today on the Bite Tonight: Benihana

To celebrate my birthday Wednesday, Josh took me out to dinner. We normally frequent the Dearborn location, but decided to try out something different and ventured to Big Beaver Rd. to Benihana in Troy. Specializing in hibachi style cooking, Benihana is sure to please any diner, with they’re interactive, entertaining experience. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites (sign up for the email club for $30 on your birthday)

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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I had to get the sushi!

Crunchy Roll: Shrimp Tempura, avocado, cucumber, crab, and tempura crumbs. Not as good as expected, but still yummy. Smooth and creamy from the avocado with a nice crunchy texture from the tempura and cucumber.

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Las Vegas Roll: Salmon, avocado, cream cheese, jalapeno, with spicy sauce on top and deep fried. Now, I don’t normally care for cream cheese with fish, but this roll has changed my mind! You get warm, creamy, crunchy and spicy all in one roll. Presentation was money. Superb!

las vegas roll

Now for the good stuff.

Teriyaki Chicken served with onion soup, salad with ginger dressing, shrimp hibachi appetizer, hibachi vegetables, and dipping sauce. The only thing I didn’t like was that the chef put so many sesame seeds on everything! Our server asked us if we had any food allergies when we ordered, but she should’ve asked if we liked an excessive amount of sesame seeds.

Tip: Order Chicken fried rice! And then order another! It’s delicious and I always get two orders.

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The good part about Benihani is that everything is cooked right in front of you on a screaming hot grill. If you get a good chef, he will do tricks (and not just the “toss the shrimp tales in his pocket” one either). It’s fun, interactive, and entertaining. The bad part is that it takes a long time and you should allow a solid two hours for dinner. I do think the food at the Dearborn location tasted better, but liked the more intimate dining room at the Troy location better.

Green tea ice cream: Refreshing, light, with a hint of green tea. Different, yet delicious.

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After dinner, Josh surprised me with lots of birthday gifts which included a delicious Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake. He won’t tell me where he bought it, so I will just have to wonder. It it was still tasty and chocolatey without being too rich.

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Thanks, Baby! You made my birthday a great one. I love you!

Benihana on Urbanspoon

Yum Yum Express

Today on the Bite Tonight: Yum Yum Express

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There seems to be an influx of Asian restaurants opening up Downriver. The newest one is located on the corner of Southfield Rd. and Lafayette in Lincoln Park. Specializing in Chinese and Thai cuisines, Yum Yum Express announced it’s grand opening a few weeks ago. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

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Ma and I wanted to dine in, but the restaurant was only opened for carryout due to a broken dishwasher. The restaurant was still very accommodating. Sometimes, Chinese tastes better out of a box anyways!

Sweet & Spicy Thai Wings: Now, based on the menu description, I expected these to be tossed in a sweet and spicy Thai sauce, but it was served on the side. Bummer! The wings still tasted good, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside. Tip: Toss the wings in the sauce so that it caramelizes. This will really up the ante!

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Chicken Fried Rice: Chicken, Carrots, white onion, peas and egg. Pretty standard. I did have to pay an extra 75 cents to add the egg to the fried rice which I didn’t like.

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Beef in Garlic Sauce: Beef sauteed with broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, green pepper, and water chestnut in a slightly spicy garlic, brown sauce. Pretty tasty, with a rich garlicy sauce. I would’ve like some onions, but the veggies were crunchy and fresh.

beef with garlic

beef with rice

Yum Yum Express has better prices then other local Asian restaurants. The food is decent, not the best, but not the worst. Service was really good and we were greeted with smiling faces. The inside of the dining room is really nice, with bright walls, and a modern design. Yum Yum Express offers party trays which sets them apart from the rest. Stop in and check em out!

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Yum Yum Express on Urbanspoon

Bd's Mongolian Grill

Today on the Bite Tonight: Bd’s Mongolian Grill

Creating your own bowl of stirfry and watching as it’s grilled up right in front of you is a blast. What’s even more fun is that Bd’s offers more than just stirfry including a variety of appetizers, Create Your Own lemonade, specialty drinks, fried rice bowls, soup and salad and desserts. We visited our favorite location on Main St. in Royal Oak. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Strawberry Lemonade

CYO lemonade

Plum Crazy Queso Dip: Queso dip with a hint of Plum Sauce. Served with handmade, seasoned tortilla wedges. The tortillas were delicious (thick and crunchy) and the queso dip was good, also. Cheesy, with slight sweetness from the plum sauce. The only thing I didn’t like was that the queso wasn’t hot, but that’s probably because we ordered it and then headed to make our stirfry.

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My creation: Fajita chicken, broccoli, rotini pasta, 2 eggs, carrots, onions, edamame, red skin potatoes, pineapple and a couple pieces of sausage with Mongolian Ginger sauce. Nothing is better than getting a huge piece of a fried egg. The only thing that was a bummer was that our food was burnt and had little black burnt pieces in it.

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Lettuce wraps are a nice change from rice and tortilla’s.

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Bd’s Mongolian Grill offers a lot of ways to save including Club Mongo, rewards cards, buying gift cards and various contests.  While Josh and I were enjoying our creations we downloaded their app and won a free fountain beverage. Service was good and at 7 pm on a Saturday, we were seated right away. Stop in and check out Bd’s Bacon Fried Rice and Chicken Sriracha Bites. Unfortunately, we were too stuffed to try the Fried Oreo’s, but they are next on my list!

BD's Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

Thai Vylai

Today on the Bite Tonight: Thai Vylai

Located in Downtown Allen Park on Allen Rd. is Thai Vylai. I’ve been meaning to try this place ever since it opened several months back. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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Pineapple Kow Pa: Fried rice with chicken, pineapple, egg, onions, and carrot. Fried rice is one of my favorites as long as its done right, and this one was! Spicy, sweet, and salty.

fried rice thai

Mee Khoua: Egg noodles fried to a crisp and topped with chicken, peapod, carrot, green onion, and bean sprouts in a garlic Oyster sauce. The veggies were fresh and crisp. The egg noodles were crunchy, yet soft while they soaked up the deliciously rich sauce. However, towards the end of the dish, the sauce became a little too salty and overwhelming.

fried egg noodles thai

Thai Vylai is a nice addition to Allen Park, but price and service were pretty mediocre. The dishes tasted pretty good and I look forward to trying more Thai very soon. My next stop is Coastal Thai in Wyandotte.

Thai Vylai on Urbanspoon

Leftover Love

Have you ever thought of a way to spice up boring leftovers? Me, too. So, I thought I’d share my leftover makeover with you. Enjoy!

On the Bite Tonight: Leftover Ham

Whenever I cook a baked ham or spiral ham I love making fried rice with the leftovers. It’s little tedious, but it’s so worth it.

Here’s the recipe: 

Prepare 1-2 cups of rice per package directions. Set aside to cool (spread out on a plate).

Dice fresh veggies. My favorites are scallions (green onions), carrots, peas (no need to dice), white onion. 

Tip: Pineapple is a good option as well. Pairs well with the ham.

Dice ham. The thicker the cut the better for nice ham chunks.

Scramble three eggs and set aside.

Saute ham and veggies for a couple minutes in butter.

Add rice and eggs and 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce allow to brown for a couple minutes.

Stir all ingredients together until rice takes on brown color from sauce. Add more sauce as desired.

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What goes well with Ham Fried Rice?

Teriyaki Burger, of course! I know what you’re thinking and Yes, it’s not a ham burger, but still delicious nonetheless (Hey, it’s already leftover ham, let’s not over do it)! A little, American meets Asian, if you will 

Marinate hamburger patty in a little teriyaki sauce and garlic.

Cook as desired and add a dash of teriyaki while grilling to add a nice crusty, caramelization.

ham fried rice

 

I first fell in love with ham fried rice @ Cathay House Chinese restaurant in high school. You might think it’s a weird combination, but in my opinion, it’s the best fried rice out there. Good thing Cathay House just re-opened after a fire. Stop in @ the Lincoln Park location and try it out.

Another go to leftover ham idea is Grilled Cheese. I love it, because the possibilities are endless.

I sauteed ham first to get a little color on it. Then grilled with Muenster cheese and pickles. Yum!

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Tip: With Easter right around the corner, these recipes are a great go to!  Try em and let me know what you think. You’re welcome.

Cathay House on Urbanspoon

New Peking

Located on Ford Rd, in Garden City, New Peking is one of the better Chinese restaurants I’ve been to. I’ve been craving General Tso’s Chicken and this place finally satisfied my craving. Introduced to me first by my brother, I wanted to share my experience with Josh. He liked it.

See how they rated: 

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price/Quality: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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Egg Drop Soup: Classic Chinese soup with added tofu. I like this soup, because it doesn’t have that fake bright yellow hue that you get at some Chinese places. Creamy egg drop soup!

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Sizzling Rice Soup: Josh’s pick! Chicken and Chinese greens served with sizzling morsels of golden rice crust. The golden rice crust was poured in at the table and actually sizzled when it touched the broth. However, the rice crust tasted a bit burnt and distracted me from the rest of the ingredients. The veggies and the broth had a good flavor. I was disappointed I had to ask our server for those yummy soup noodles. Those soup noodles were the reason I ordered soup in the first place!

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Fried Wonton: Fried wontons filled with savory pork. The fried wonton was light and crispy and had a subtle sweetness tasting almost like elephant ear dough. Then you bite into the small center of savory pork and it added some saltiness to balance the sweetness. I only wish there were more of the pork filling.

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Hot mustard & what I think was sweet plum sauce. Be careful with the mustard, it’s potent. The plum sauce went well with the fried wonton.

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Chicken Fried Rice: I like that this fried rice is actually juicy and doesn’t taste like it was made hours ago.

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General Tso’s Chicken: Marinated chunks of chicken breast stir-fried with vegetables in a house special brown sauce. Huge chunks of juicy, chicken breast with a delicious breading. I like that the breading wasn’t too crispy and the veggies were fresh. The sauce was sweet and spicy. This is what General Tso’s Chicken should taste like!

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And now dessert…….

Almond Cookie: A little dry and didn’t taste fresh. Not the crumbly, soft almond cookie I’m used to. Eh.

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New Peking is an authentic Chinese restaurant serving up huge portions for your money. You still get the old school Asian decor, but the flat screen TVs add a modern touch. I recommend New Peking if you are looking for great food, decent prices, and good service.     My favorite part: fortune cookies!

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New Peking on Urbanspoon