It’s a new restaurant in the same building as Hong Kong Market at 3510 I-70 Drive S.E. Suite A, Columbia, Mo. And I’ve decided it stands for Absolute Best Chinese in Columbia.
This is it. This is the Chinese restaurant we have been waiting for. The food is amazing, the menu is large and varied, and the decor is sophisticated, soothing, and simple. Their display of vases and art is gorgeous; be sure to check out the beautifully stylized Buddha.
As I have often said, I do not know what “real” Chinese food would be, but this menu appears to have authentic choices, some of which don’t sound appetizing to MY taste, but I’d love to hear back from any of you who might be adventurous enough to try the fish heads or pork intestine. Fortunately, I could try more commonly found American choices, such as orange beef. Billed as spicy, it really wasn’t. But the beef was fork-tender and the breading so light as to be almost invisible, yet lending a satisfying crunchy edge to each piece. The flavor was deep and complex, well set off by a ring of lightly steamed broccoli. We had pot stickers as an appetizer, obviously homemade and served with a light vinegar-based sauce with tiny slices of ginger floating in it. We also did crab rangoon and, again, though these are Americanized of course, they were freshly prepared, using thin wonton that fried to a light crisp finish and homemade sweet-sour sauce.
I also tasted shrimp with walnuts, dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce. It was excellent and served with a large number of huge prawns. The kung bo chicken was very tender with excellent flavor. One of my friends had a lamb dish that I did not try, but she said it was excellent.
Now, they’re new. The timing was a bit off on the delivery of our food, with some entrees coming out early, then another, then finally the last which they had actually forgotten. However, the server explained promptly and apologized several times, which removed a lot of the sting. She also had a little trouble splitting our ticket. But it was well worth a bit of inconvenience.
I hope they are ready for an influx because they will get one as soon as word gets out. As far as I’m concerned, there IS no other Chinese restaurant in Columbia. Not like this.