Portland >Hunan Restaurant
An Expensive Disappointment.
My girlfriend and I had planned to order delivery from August Moon this evening, but we were notified that they would not deliver to us any longer, as we are now out of their delivery radius.
As we were dead set on eating flavorful and inexpensive Chinese food, we searched the internet for local recommendations; after reading several reviews for Hunan which mentioned that the prices were reasonable and the food was amazing, we headed downtown with high hopes.
As soon as we arrived, I began to feel a bit apprehensive about whether or not the food would actually be affordable, and upon perusing the menu, my suspicions were confirmed. There was not a single entree for under $11.95, and the appetizers seemed to be inordinately pricey as well. Regardless, without thinking too hard about the price, we ordered two entrees (General Tso's Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken), an order of pork fried rice, and two bowls of won ton soup.
The service was relatively quick for a restaurant with such a bourgeois atmosphere, which is likely a selling point for some people; in this instance, I am inclined to believe that this means the food was not in fact prepared to order, though with the prices as high as they were, I would have expected it to be fresh.
The won ton soup cost $2.50 per cup, and was fairly insubstantial and flavorless. There were two won tons in each bowl, which was excellent, but there was almost no meat in the won tons, and the broth tasted like vaguely onion-flavoured water.
The General Tso's chicken was delicious, but was unrecognizable as General Tso's chicken. It was not spicy at all, did not come accompanied by broccoli as General Tso's usually does, and was portioned in a way that made me wonder if they had given us a lunch special at 9 PM.
The Sweet and Sour chicken was also rather tasty, but not what I look for in a Sweet and Sour chicken dish. Instead of a plate full of delicious morsels to be coated in sweet and sour sauce, I was presented with a half-plate of shredded chicken bits and a half-plate of what appeared to be garnish, all pre-slathered in sauce. Like the General Tso's chicken, this dish appeared to be sized for a lunch special.
The pork fried rice was legitimately some of the better fried rice I have had, though the fact that it cost $8.25 for a portion sized (again) as if it were part of a lunch special is a definite downfall.
All in all, our bill came to $42 and change, which could have bought us at least twice as much (and likely more) food at August Moon, or two weeks worth of staple groceries.
If you have a lot of money burning a hole in your wallet, enjoy food that is expensive for its own sake without being particularly noteworthy, and really want Chinese food but don't want to feel like a college kid or a bachelor, go ahead and go to Hunan.
Otherwise, skip it and save your money. You can feed a family of 4 and have leftovers at other places for cheaper than you can eat for two at Hunan.
Good Food At A Reasonable Price.
I have eaten at Hunan's since 1979. I am a creature of habit and inclined to have the same dish over and over. As I have grown older I eat less spicy food. Hence I am not a good source for the entire menu. But I very much enjoy what they serve me.
It is really good Chinese American food. They will customize it if you ask (in my case I always have them add cashews to my dish).
I say "Chinese American" in that most Chinese, Mexican, Thai etc. food served in the U.S. is tailored to American taste.
My travels take me to the Orient where I can have "authentic" Asian food. By way of example, I am not a fan of Sea Slug soup or a bowl of Jumbo Shrimp intestines. Although I have eaten both in Hong Kong and Bandung (Indonesia).
Lastly, you can enter the restaurant from Broadway (through Morgan's Ally) or from Park (up a short flight of outside stairs).
Service is always great. I have eaten there at least a thousand times over the last 31 years.
General Tsao's not so hot. Tasteless General Tsaos. How can you people say it's the best? Have you even tried Chinese food east of Denver? The worst carryout in the DC area could produce a more flavorful General Tsaos.
Outstanding Chinese cuisine. I've been going to Hunan for decades and it's never disappointed. The General Tso's chicken is extraordinarily good -- I've never tasted better. Hunan lamb is superb. In fact, there's nothing on the menu (and I've tried a lot of it over the years!) that I wouldn't recommend highly. I even had Peking Duck - well worth planning ahead for.
Very good food at an excellent price.... A little annoying to find as the address is misleading. You have to enter the restuarant from Park around back. Once I found my way in, I noticed it was dead. There was only one other couple in the restuarant, yet they sat me at the the next table over. That struck me as odd, but that said, the service was quick and hospitable. They got me seated and brought over some green tea right away. They took my order quickly and made a few recommendations. My appetizer was delicious and came within about 10 minutes. Right as I finished (I took my time reading and they paid attention) they brought out my main course. The main dish was excellent and even though there was quite a bit on my plate, I wanted more. When the check came I was somewhat surprised at how inexpensive it was. $16.95 for everything. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone and am looking forward to trying out other items on the menu next time I'm back in town.
Editorial Review by Mary Morley. Downtown staple has been serving traditional Chinese food for more than 20 years; full bar available.
Portland's hidden treasure.. Very good food. No batter fried tasteless stuff here. The best General Tso chicken ever. Hunan Lamb was great. Can't wait to go back. Good service and a warm atmosphere. Ranks with the best of Marco Polo.
I love it. It's not that the food is exceptional. It IS good, don't get me wrong. The sesame shrimp and the shrimp in cream sauce and the dry sauteed string beans are the best. I think I like the atmosphere, and the fact that they can acconidate large groups in a heartbeat. The service is prompt and I like the location. I will be back again and again.
Exceptional!. We find Hunans to be an exceptional Restaurant. We have been going for almost 18 years now (Holidays, birthdays etc.) and find the chef's to be so consistant. We always order the same menu items; Pot stickers, 10 ingredient fried rice, Lovers shrimp, General Tso's chicken and Dried Sauteed string beans. Everything is always excellent, the shrimp is cooked to perfection and the General Tso's chicken is so good it's hard to stop when you're full! (AND, it's not breaded) You won't regret going and you will keep going back!
Lake Tung Tin Shrimp is Excellent. Also try the General Tso's Chicken...its great. The Hot and Sour soup is very good.
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