This is literally a hidden neighborhood gem located on the corner of Rowland and Magnolia. Drive too fast on Magnolia, and you can totally miss this black building that blends in with the street. It looked more like a vape or a bookstore, than a restaurant.
When we walked in, they asked if it was our firsttime there. We said yes. The guy told me the theme is similar to Chipotle. Having never been to, or stepped foot inside a Chipotle (but I have been to Subway and Pokinometry) I luckily understood that the first step is pick your base:
– brown or garlic rice to make a plate or bowl.
– ramen (which takes 3-4 minutes to cook),
– french bread to make a sandwich,
– tortillas to make tacos
– chips to make nacho
– or salad,
The staff will ask if you want sauteed vegetables (today’s pick was cabbage) and then you pick your protein, which are is where the Cantonese part of the fusion comes in. The Chinese meats were
– roast duck, served 2 ways: on and off the bone
– roast chicken,
– cha siu (roast pork)
– and 2 kinds of pork belly, classic roasted or with salt and pepper rub
The restaurant says it’s Chinese- fusion. The fusion comes from the base choices, which are not traditional Chinese (aside from the ginger rice), which is mixed with traditional Cantonese style meats. From there you can add toppings, ranging from a spicy slaw, corn, pickled vegetables, green onions, or cilantro.
I chose to build a rice bowl, with ginger rice, cabbage, 1/2 portion chicken and 1/2 portion duck not on the bone, added some corn, onions, cilantro, a touch of slaw and a touch of the picked vegetables.
The last step is adding sauces, and there were quite a few.
– smoky plum
– whatchamacalli (a soy cheese mayo sauce)
– house chili oil
Since I had the duck, they suggested the hoisin and the plum sauce. Even though the rice plate seems to be the most popular, the tacos looked like that was the tastier of the choices, as one customer went back in line to order more tacos.
Prices range from $7.50 – $8.95 and you can add more protein for $3 more. Our dinner for two with no drink came to just under $17, which was a bit pricey as I didn’t leave exceptionally full and could probably have ordered something else to go with the meal.
It’s a tiny little place, so you should avoid the rush hour if you plan to eat there. They have counter seating and about 7 tables. It’s not a place for a group, unless you send someone there to scout for tables. There’s a tiny parking lot in the back, but you’re better off trying to find street parking off of Magnolia. Be careful about parking off Rowland in the residential area, as the sign says permit only.
It’s not 5 star worthy but I’ll give it another try. I think next time I’m going to try the ramen with the duck on the bone.
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