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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 7 July 2018  

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  China Recipe
  By Lindsey Harrison

   As one of two Chinese restaurant options in Falcon, China Recipe may be small, but it packs a powerful culinary punch that the locals must recognize, as a steady stream of take-out and sit-down customers pour in on any given night. With Mongolian, Szchewan and Cantonese cuisine available, there is an option to fit almost any Chinese food craving, at reasonable prices.
   
   To start, we ordered several appetizers: golden tofu, fried dumplings, egg rolls, crab cheese wontons and each of the three soup options. The fried dumplings were fresh, not greasy, crispy and tasted like they were homemade. The egg rolls, also nicely fried, had a crispy texture while the cabbage filling was soft but with a bit of a crunch and a light peppery flavor. The crab cheese wontons were a hit with our group, with not too much filling and a flavor that left a few of us wishing we had ordered more.
   
   One surprising dish was the golden tofu. We all agreed it was a bit bland at first, considering it was lightly battered and fried tofu, but once we dipped it in the dumpling sauce or the sweet-and-sour sauce, each bite seemed more flavorful than the last. We finished the entire plate, which was a rather large portion for an appetizer.
   
   Each soup –- egg drop, wonton and hot and sour –- was well-received, and everyone agreed that they were not too salty or too watery. The egg drop soup had just the right amount of egg and tofu bits, although it could have been a bit warmer when it was served. The wonton soup was one of the best I have had, with a bold flavor that hit the spot.
   
   With so many entrée options to choose from, we had quite the sampling when our food was delivered. We tried the Mongolian chicken, which included nicely cooked green peppers, green onion, yellow onion and a savory, richly flavored sauce.
   
   The Pad Thai chicken was different from offerings at other Chinese restaurants, but in a nice way. It had a pleasant, mild peanut flavor and overall was very good.
   
   The sesame chicken, which was listed as “spicy” on the menu, fit the description. Each piece was covered in a crisp breading and drenched in a sauce that started out sweet and finished with a slightly spicy bite. One person said she was tempted to eat the entire plate.
   
   My husband diverted from his usual choices and ordered the seafood sizzling platter. It was served much like the fajitas found at a Mexican restaurant, on a hot skillet. It contained shrimp, crab, scallops and a variety of vegetables, covered in a fresh, light sauce.
   
   My son decided on the sweet-and-sour shrimp, which he said was tasty but a bit difficult to eat because the pieces were so large. The shrimp was pleasantly fried and the green peppers paired nicely with the white onion pieces, making for a delicious bite.
   
   We also tried the shrimp lo mein, which my son said was one of the best he has ever had. The noodles were cooked well, not at all mushy, and the sauce amply brought out the flavors of the ingredients.
   
   Chicken cashew is one of my personal favorites, but only when it is prepared as China Recipe prepares it. The cashews were lightly roasted and the chicken was very flavorful. Chunks of zucchini, watercress and bamboo shoots completed the dish, which was equally tasty as lunch the next day.
   
   Moo Shu pork, which is served with thin rice “pancakes” and plum sauce, was a hit as well. The mixture of pork, egg and vegetables was served piping hot and can be ordered pre-assembled or ready to assemble for the more do-it-yourself type of diner.
   
   Two types of rice, either white or fried, were served in bowls on the side. There seemed to be much more rice than may have been necessary, and the fried rice was slightly bland.
   
   An item that none of us had seen before at other Chinese restaurants was the Thai iced tea. We all sampled the beverage, which seemed to have a wide array of flavors. Initially, we thought it had an orange flavor, similar to an orange creamsicle, with undertones of chocolate and coffee flavoring. When mixed together, the chocolate tones took over and mingled with the milky tones, making for a refreshing and creamy drink.
   
   Overall, we each found something we enjoyed enough to take home, which was helpful considering the portions were large. We all agreed we would go back!
  
Although the Pad Thai chicken at Chinese Recipe variated from similar dishes at other Chinese restaurants, it had a pleasant, mild peanut flavor and was very tasty. Photo by Lindsey Harrison
 
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