This place is not bad at all.
They have an excellent Orange Beef. I have them kick up the heat a bit and I'm in heaven. I have had the scallops as well and have found them to be quite tasty.
The kicker is I feel great after eating here compared to many Chinese places where I feel like crap after eating the msg loaded food.
I have always been happy with their service. They sometimes get a bit busy but they always are checking to make sure everything is alright.
Portland's Chinese places are not very good. This one is.
Just another thought....
Hey 221040, instead of attacking my review why don't you find something good to say about the food at Hunan Pearl if you're such a big fan?
I KNOW that fried rice is not authentic Chinese food. I have also eaten at dozens and dozens of Chinese restaurants around the Bay Area and at least a dozen in Chinatown in San Francisco. I have eaten the spiced dried anchovy fish and peanuts they bring as an appetizer at one in particular and I liked it tremendously.
Guess what? Cooks from China have to be taught how to cook for American Chinese food restaurants because preferences are different. There aren't any truly authentic Chinese restaurants. FYI, authenticity and quality are two different things.
I happen to like fried rice, regardless of whether it is authentic or not. And I can tell if fried rice is made without effort and with crappy ingredients. And white fried rice is NOT unseasoned. I didn't say steamed rice, smart guy. There are lots of seasonings and ingredients other than soy sauce. Throwing some soy sauce and frozen peas and carrots into some rice does not make for a quality dish.
If your argument is that only the Americanized dishes at Hunan Pearl are made without effort and with junky frozen vegetables, can you please direct me to the authentic dishes at this restaurant that are made with care and only fresh vegetables? I would like to try them. I've been to this place several times now and have yet to find a truly good dish.
I have found lots of good restaurants, actually. No good Chinese food unfortunately, but the Thai place right around the corner from here is fantastic. All fresh vegetables. Mmm. I truly hope that all of the people who think this is good Chinese food have a chance at least once in their lives to have REALLY good Chinese food. You'll never be satisfied with Hunan Pearl again.
Not to be trusted. I was invited to a party at this restaurant, and I was surprised by how rude and unprofessional the waiters were. At one point, the male waiter even yelled at me. I would have left and never turned back, but I was a guest to this party and I did not want to insult the host. Although the food was okay, the waiters were agitated by the guests. It was a sit down affair, and one food would make its way to our table while others would not. Upon talking to the host after the party, it turns out that they were betrayed too. What they had communicated with the owner and how waiters handled their request was totally different. Obviously, this restaurant is incapable of handling larger crowds. A friend of mine was considering having a corporate party there, but she also witnessed how the business was conducted and decided against it. If you are planning on having a party at Hunan Pearl for a massive crowd, do not trust anyone, have the owner sign what he commits to and keep a copy. I am amazed how this restaurant is still surviving in this economy!
Just a thought....
I'm sorry..my arguement was not that it was made without effort. Sure, I'll agree with you. They use frozen chestnuts..broccoli..onions..carrots...bell peppers, ha. Did I mention they were sliced?companies are so nice these days as to hand chop your veggies for you too. Nice Joke sir, but i'm afraid that they are fresh vegetables besides the peas and carrots. Why not suggest to them what you'd like to eat? tell them to take out the peas and carrots, throw in some fresh broccoli, or maybe some bell peppers, or water chesnuts. If you're such an expert on your chinese food, they why don't you tell them what to put in there and how to cook it, in all seriousness? Sure you may be critical on the peas and carrots, I can see that but you are most definitely missing out on the other hundred dishes out there, and i would happily direct you to many yummy dishes out there.
You say that authenticity and quality are two different things...obvious. problem is, everyone else has their own definition of authenticity. You say theres none here. I take this back if you have been to China, but if you haven't, good luck having horrible diarrhea and stomach problems when you're eating your true 'authentic' chinese food.
and no offense, and with all respect....but your anchovy fish don't impress me. We have them dried at our home. to eat as snacks. unseasoned. Not to mention we have water snails..pork tongue..chinese braised pork legs..chicken feet.. chicken gizzards..should I keep listing?
I'm so disappointed to read that so many people think this is the best Chinese food in the Portland area. If that's true, then I guess I'll have to wait for trips to Vancouver and SF to get my Chinese food fix. Personally, I judge Chinese food primarily by the fried rice, which is often overlooked and prepared as an afterthought. I know it's not the most authentic Chinese dish, but if it's really good, everything else is usually spectacular. The fried rice here is mediocre. It's not the worst I've had, but definitely not the best. It's not as bad as, say, Safeway's or PF Chang's. A truly good fried rice should be white (not brown and horribly over-seasoned with soy sauce), NOT so greasy that it's shiny, and should have bits of egg and FRESH chopped up vegetables (like green onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, etc.), NOT frozen peas and carrots- YUCK.
But maybe Americans are so used to that greasy, brown, overly-salty, vegetable-less junk they serve as fried rice in mall food courts that now Chinese restaurants think they have to serve it this way?
As for their pot-stickers, also just OK. Acceptable, but a little too crunchy on the outside. I think pot-stickers should have a a pan-fried (or steamed) pasta/dumpling-like exterior, not a crunchy deep-fried consistency.
They're hot and sour soup is pretty good, though. I can't remember what else I've had there- nothing stands out as particularly good or bad.
If it's close and you're not too picky (or not a fried rice consumer), the food is OK. But I would NOT go out of my way to come here if you're searching for really good, authentic, high-quality Chinese food in the Portland area. I guess it just depends on your standard and what type of Chinese food you're used to. If you've never had really great Chinese food, then this might seem good to you.
A dear man and friend to many has passed at the young age of 47.
Miles Shu was co-owner and manager of Hunan Pearl. Miles was a true gentleman and fair to all that knew him. Miles was a writer and musician in his younger days in Taiwan.
Miles was loved and will be remembered fondly by many.
Our prayers and well wishes go out to all of his family and friends.
Bob and YuHong
"Beef, Spicy Beef!"
Best Chinese Food in Portland. I have eaten here for the last 10 years at least 40 times. I've introduced dozens of people who now call it their favorite. Without a doubt, this is the best Chinese food I've found in the greater Portland area. I highly recommend the Sesame Shrimp - sometimes a special but never on the menu. If you like it spicy, tell them so. They have many great dishes and I've yet to get one that I thought outright sucked. If you're into Mu Shu, they have a top notch version. The service for the most part has always been good. The tropical drinks are standard Chinese Restaurant fare - A Mai Tai tastes prety much like a Scorpion tastes pretty much like a Zombie. I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates good Chinese. I've eaten at some great places in LA and in the greater New York area and Hunan Pearl is as close as I've gotten to Chinese food Nirvana in PDX.
Will never go back..
I normally won't take the time to write a bad review, but my recent experience at Hunan Pearl was quite different from anything restaurant I have been to. I have been to Hunan Pearl, on several occasions before, but this last visit will be my last.
I took my family there recenlty for a lunch and we ordered several items from the menu. As we waited for our food, however, we noticed that some of the plates were greasy. We told the waiter and asked if we could get some clean(er) dishes. He responded by saying, much to our surprise, that all the dished were like that. I then said, "Maybe we should just leave." And, his response was, "If I was you, I wouldn't eat here, either." Wow! We promptly got up and went down the road to Wu's.
I know the waiter was not very good in his response, but the owner/manager never came over to us to find out why we were leaving. Poor, poor customer service - and, in today's world with food prices rising, that means as much as how good the food is, too.
Best Chinese in town. Felt compelled to write a review because everytime we go for takeout the place is empty and I can't figure out why. Wife and I love this place, we're planning to get takeout tonight. Big fans of the Sesame Beef and Kung Pao Shrimp. We had friends over a month ago and they called it the best Chinese they have ever had. We agree!
Excellent Chinese food.
My wife and I have been customers of Hunan Pearl for more than seven years. We travel to China often and know what great Chinese food tastes like. Hunan Pearl serves excellent food.
The menu is extensive. We love the large variety of flavors, whether it is spicy, hot, or both. They will, without hesitation, make many of the dishes to suit your taste. Whether you order beef, chicken, pork, or seafood, the meat is tender. Vegetables such as peas, beans, and asparagus retain the crispness one should expect. Many Chinese restaurants overcook everything. Hunan Pearl prepares and serves your meal fast and fresh. We have tried many of Hunan Pearl's offerings and have never received less than great tasting food.
The staff of Hunan Pearl are professional, friendly, and aim to please the customer. Whether you dress up or come in casual attire, you never feel out of place.
The prices are very reasonable. Whether it is lunch or dinner service, the meal portions are generous in size.
Of special note is that Hunan Pearl is kept extra neat and clean. An added bonus is the smoke-free environment.
One of the best Chinese restaurants in the Portland area, and probably the best on the west side.
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