Table of 12 for business lunch. We called ahead of time so the table was already assembled for us. We were greeted promptly and drinks were delivered quickly as well. We ordered several appetizers, including crab rangoon, dumplings and vegetarian Manchow soup. From there it went downhill.
Admittedly I did not try the crab nor the dumplings, but the Manchow soup was extremely salty with a strange aftertaste. It literally had a dirty dishwater finish to it; needless to say it was sent back. The fried spring rolls served as part of the lunch combination dishes were dark brown,full of oil, and very overdone.
Beef and broccoli, sweet and sour chicken, sesame chicken, chili chicken, and hakka noodle dishes were ordered, among a few others. The main courses began coming out about 30-40 minutes after we were seated. Two guests had ordered beef and broccoli; one received theirs, and then dish by dish the food was auctioned off (I loathe this practice - and it's so easy to prevent) until all had their respective main courses with the except of the second guest that ordered beef and broccoli. They obviously missed this order, because we waited for 15 minutes at least for the second order to arrive to complete the entire table's order. The chef would have made a double order and those dishes should have arrived at the same time. It was missed somehow...
On to the taste! The sesame chicken and chili chicken were indistinguishable, save for the sesame seeds and the green peppers, respectively. Tons of oil remained in the breading and there was no crispiness to be had here. I remember many years ago the Chinese Kitchen was famous for their crispy General Tso chicken! The hakka noodle dishes were very salty as well, and others confirmed the same with their dishes.
Our particular server (female) was very nice but she was definitely unfamiliar with the menu, and it seemed that she was somewhat rattled by the larger table. I believe one of our guests overheard her mention that she was only newly hired at this restaurant, so I'll take that into consideration.
One of the other servers helping seemed very put out by the whole exercise, and muttered things as he cleared. "Sorry I am all up in your grill" was a classic phrase, and as he walked away carrying a full tray of dirty dishes he commented to himself "lats for days", as if to herald his strength at carrying many plates. Needless to say he was not in shape. The same server brought the check and after dropping it he began to clear another table in the middle section of the restaurant, which is elevated. He shouted over "I'll bring your fortune cookies in a minute" Comical!
Note to all restaurants: servers should never ask to refill water; MAYBE at the very end after plates have been cleared, but it is not necessary. Keep water filled silently. This happens at many, many restaurants and it is easily avoided. Also, stop auctioning food. Anyone that has worked in the business knows that simple organization skills makes the experience flow much more smoothly for server and guest.
I know what you guys are thinking: what am I expecting at a Chinese joint?! Times have changed my friends, and people are more savvy these days. I''m sad to say this, but with service and food like this, I'll spend my money elsewhere.
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