Friday, January 15, 2010

Leanh's Chinese Restaurant

at a nice find, excellent Chinese food in Daytona Beach. I am fortunate in life in that in the past I have had a number of meals of authentic Chinese food prepared by chefs from China using the finest of ingredients. Though I am not an expert of Chinese food, I know how wonderful and flavorful it can be done when it's well done. Am NOT talking the "junk" you get on any one of innumerable so-called Chinese Buffets all across the nation, either. I am talking good Chinese food.

A short disclaimer: China is a huge country with many distinct regions, so even calling something "Chinese food" is really not doing it service. Various regions have widely varying cuisines. So eating "Chinese food" can in reality be a cultural journey across a huge continent. But in my case, I was just glad to find very decent Chinese food.

We went to Leanh's Chinese Restaurant on a chilly Sunday evening and were immediately greeted and seated by our waitress, Chris. We took a bit of time to peruse the menu, and first ordered an appetizer, Steamed Dumplings. These are crescent shaped dumplings filled with ground chicken and vegetables and

pan fried. It did not take very long for our appetizer to appear, and when it did, we were amazed: there on the plate were eight of them, a very large portion. But not only was the serving size more than adequate, the taste was all of that too. First of all, they were not over-salted, and the soy sauce served on the side was also not overly salty--definitely not the typical stuff you'd buy in the store--and served with a sprinkling of scallions. These were a big hit. Yumm!

We both ordered soup as well. My friend, Tommy, had the Wonton Soup, pork wontons, shredded pork, and scallions in a chicken broth. It was very good with a nice and delicate flavor. Again, not overly salty as the food in so many Chinese restaurants can be. 

I had the Hot and Sour Soup which contained chicken, bamboo shoots and mushrooms with a dash of vinegar and hot white pepper--among other things. I'm a big fan of Hot and Sour soup--I love the stuff. I looked into making it myself once, and it takes a lot of various exotic ingredients I'm not familiar with. So I stick with letting the experts prepare it. This one was very well done, definitely.

We both had Egg Rolls with our meal, hand-made rolls that were stuffed with pork and shredded cabbage and vegetables, then deep fried. These were very good too, not at all greasy, and with a nice flavor. We asked for some Chinese mustard to go with these, and were immediately delivered a large plate with a tiny dollop of mustard in the center...and that was a very adequate portion. This was excellent Chinese mustard in every regard. Just a tiny touch was enough to clear out my sinuses--we both really loved this stuff!

But now on to the main courses! My friend Tommy had a combination dinner, Subgum Roast Pork Ding. This was diced roast pork that was stir-fried with assorted Chinese vegetables in a brown sauce. It was served with the egg roll, roast pork fried rice, and the soup. This was an excellent dish. The pork had a nice flavor, the vegetables were expertly wok-fried, and the gravy just present enough to add a rich depth of flavor. We both agreed, this was a home run! 

Finally, on to my main course. I had a hard time choosing because there were so many great items on the menu. But I finally decided to try the Szechwan Chicken. This was sliced chicken breast meat that was stir-fried iwith julienne vegetables in a spicy brown sauce. Now Szechwan food can be very hot, and i would call this one just "spicy" as the menu says, not mouth burning hot--though Chris did offer it as hot as I wanted. It was an exellent dish. The chicken was moiste and tender, not at all dry or rubbery. The vegetables were nice and crispy, though cooked and warm. The sauce complimented the vegetables and the Chicken without hiding or overpowering. I'm sure that whoever cooked this dish has done it many times before, and they certainly have perfected their technique.

Overall, we had an excellent meal here at Leanh's, and I'm anxious to go back. I note that they also have Thai and Vietnamese food on their menu, I'd like to try that as well. Our service here was very friendly, prompt, and attentitve. A manger came aound to check on things as well. And this is a well run place with well trained employees. One thing that stood out was Kyle, the buss boy. In most restaurants, buss boys appear, clean a table, and disappear. Not here. This buss boy filled water, took away plates, and also enquired if we needed other things. I was impressed by this, such efficient and well-trained staff. I enjoyed my experience at Leanh's and look forward to eating there again soon. Yumm!
Leanh's Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. A well deserved review. Thank you for taking the time to let people know the difference between good quality Chinese food and the stuff they throw at you at these buffets.

    There is a big diffeence and yes, it does cost more to eat at a good sit-down Chinese restaurant. You get what you pay for in life..most of the time.