Drawing inspiration and flavors from Chinese cuisine, Uncle Chen Restaurant's chefs dedicate themselves to crafting a menu accessible to virtually any palate or diet. Crispy duck, shredded pork, and tender beef highlight a fair portion of the menu, but the pages also include more than 28 vegetarian-friendly entrees with tofu, vegetables, or housemade rice noodles in the same selection of aromatic sauces. Many of the meals incorporate onion, ginger, or mushrooms for their distinctive and savory flavors, but the chefs can also forge entrees with fiery doses of chili peppers.
The dining room embraces a calm, understated atmosphere with its neutral tones and framed pieces of parchment with Chinese characters. Wall stencils of budding tree branches add a naturalistic touch to the serene ambiance, and a handful of verdant plants provides the restaurant with a hyper-local supply of homemade oxygen.
After bringing menus to each table, servers ask if anyone would like to sign a waiver. Without endorsing one of these forms, diners can't order the devil's chicken or vegetables, two formidable entrees made with fiery ghost chilies.
On request, chefs can tone down the heat of various entrees, which combine the culinary traditions of India and China. Relying on locally sourced ingredients when possible, cooks prepare each dish for family-style serving, which encourages diners to split piles of poultry with visiting friends or every member of the Channel 5 news team. Though braised beef and sautéed chicken are prominent on the menu, the kitchen also creates vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes that rely on the same regional sauces for their piquant flavor.
On one side of the main dining room, red vinyl booths add a splash of color to the restaurant's sleek gray walls and modern décor. The restaurant's bar keeps tables full of libations, including craft beers and glasses of food-friendly wine from winemakers on both sides of the equator and the center of the Earth.
Yan's Garden piques palates with lunch and dinner menus brimming with Mandarin and Cantonese classics crafted using fresh ingredients and no MSG. Warm up meat macerators on crisp vegetarian egg rolls ($4.95) before graduating to the main meal event with large portions of sweet and sour pork ($8.50) or chicken in hot and spicy garlic sauce ($8.50). The Dragon and Phoenix plate flies to tables to slay hunger with a savory synthesis of chicken breast, prawns, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and vegetables ($10.75), and white wine adds a splash of sophistication and inebriation to the seafood combination's stir-fried fusion of fresh fish, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, and snow peas ($14.25). Traditionalists favoring fried rice ($6.25–$8.50) or egg foo young ($8.25–$9.50) can find the savory standbys prepared with a choice of pork, chicken, or beef, as braised tofu ($9.25) sizzles to the excitement of both vegetarians and swooning soy beans.
Henry's Garden Restaurant treats guests to a smorgasbord of Chinese cuisine with a diverse menu full of dishes, including mu shu, curries, stir-fries, and vegetarian feasts. Though the food focuses on Chinese-American and Chinese cooking, patrons also find fragrant curries and spicy Thai-style seafood. Diners pinch their chopsticks over morsels of beef with black mushrooms, twice-cooked pork, and Thai-style vermicelli or dig into family-style dinners of whole peking duck, multicourse kung pao seafood plates, or a single enormous egg roll.
JK Kitchen, formerly known as Hong Woo Chinese Restaurant, serves up classic Asian cuisine in a newly remodeled space. Servers present tables with plates of fried rice, soups laden with Chinese vegetables and roasted meats, and clay-pot specialties simmering with fresh seafood. Flat-screen televisions line the walls, keeping diners attuned to the lives of the tiny people who live beneath the glowing screens.
Since 1980, Chef Peking Restaurant has been a longtime favorite of the Peninsula. Eddie and Shirley Shyy have been running the restaurant for close to 25 years and have now turned over the business to their son Arthur, who will continue the tradition of a family style restaurant, with friendly service and tasty food.