Sunday, February 1, 2015

China Chen, Valrico, FL

Whoa!  What did Valrico ever do to warrant a Yummy House Mini-Me?  Not to worry...the East Hellsborough County universal white-bread-and-Velveeta-palate will almost certainly be its undoing, but I intend to enjoy it while I can.

With a former Yummy House chef at the helm, this relatively sterile strip-mall outpost dishes up some of the best Chinese food I've ever eaten in the Tampa Bay area. You won't find pallid, hours-old buffet food here, nor simply "all the usual suspects". The cuisine is authentic, made fresh to order and comprised of quality ingredients.

Veggie spring rolls were crisp and light...tasty, but the most anticlimactic offering of the meal.  I prefer protein-packed rolls, but that's just me. There was nothing wrong with these.

Redemption arrived in the form of twelve fat and phenomenal, ethereally lightly breaded and fried shrimp slathered in candy-like walnut and honey accoutrements. This is the sort of stuff that leaves your eyes rolled in the ecstasy position for a good 24 hours.

The sizzling beef short ribs with mushrooms and asparagus was nothing short of amazing.  I tend to go a little postal when presented with limp, lukewarm food, but there was no fear of that with this platter of juicy, tender and tongue-scalding spicy goodness.

China Chen's toothsome duck and dried grape fried rice is the fodder dreams are made of.  A $9.50 trough of theverybestfriedriceintheworld will easily feed a family of four for three days.

China Chen imparts quality bang for your buck.  While the ambiance leaves a little to be desired, the venue is comfortable overall and servers seem to care.  Beer and wine only, but that's good enough for moi.

China Chen on Urbanspoon

My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.

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