Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spice China, Louisville

Why so many food post these days? Because I've been traveling a lot and I feel I'd taken these places for granted. I blog about the food I eat and the places I visit in Japan, so I figured why not at home too.

When visiting my folks, Spice China is a must eat for me. It's pretty much American Chinese, definitely not fusion but not really authentic either. They do have an "authentic Shanghai" section on their extensive menu (that's more like a freakin' book!!!), but I don't really buy that claim ^.^ Regardless of authenticity, the food is great. The service is spotty though. It's the unfortunate result of high turnover thanks to the big state university 15 minutes' drive away.

I have been dining here since the place opened back in the early 2000's, having learned of it through my shifu who holds much respect within the Chinese community in town (let's just say if you were involved with the Chinese community there, you will undoubtedly hear of him and if you have kids, you will send your kids to him for some tough Shaolin discipline). The place used to be much more authentic, hence had a large Chinese patronage. Gradually, it grew to cater to more "American" taste and the Chinese crowd moved on else where. A little more than a year ago when I came home from Yokohama for a brief visit, I learned they had added a full sushi menu, going as far as to remodeled the restaurant to add a sushi bar. Hey, whatever sells. I don't mind the "American-ness" at all, and neither do the Chinese grad students I often spot dining there, because the food is still good, even if not authentic. I haven't tried the sushi though, so can't vouch for anything there ^.^

Many of the dishes on their rather large menu are available in a lunch and dinner portions. The lunch portion is pretty generous and comes with a spring roll (vegetables only, no meat) or spinach cheese wonton, rice, and a bowl of soup (choice of egg drop, hot and sour, or wonton). The dinner portion is much larger and is served family style with rice. They have weekly specials for appetizer, entree, sushi, as well as desserts.

This shrimp wonton appetizer was a weekly special. It was meh. I'm not really into any variation of the spinach cheese wontons that are so popular in America.

I ordered a lunch portion of Hunan style chicken, which was chicken diced and stir fried with a peppery concoction and lots of ginger and scallion bits. The result is a rather spicy dish with crunchy bite sized chicken. Loved it! I've had this dish several times now and haven't gotten sick of it yet :P Oh, and they do not charge extra for brown rice, which most restaurants do. Also got a spring roll (forgettable) and egg drop soup (decent) with my lunch.

My sister got a Mongolian combination (with chicken, beef, and shrimps), which was also delicious! It was perfectly balanced between savory and sweet, and it was spicier than expected.

Hubby got Mongolian lamb, which was another weekly special. I didn't try it (I don't like lamb) but he loved it too.

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