by Terrance Mc Arthur
Our roving food critic Terrance Mc Arthur continues his search for great food in Sanger and the surrounding communities. Check out more Great Food Search here!
Restaurants are risky businesses. They cost a lot to start, it’s hard to keep them going, and they can disappear overnight.
For decades in Sanger, Tea Garden was “that Chinese restaurant on 10th Street.” It’s gone. In its place at 1335 10th Street is Sun China. Gone are the boxing pictures of Muhammed Ali in the ring. Gone are the hanging oriental lanterns. Now, metal reliefs of landscapes and mythic themes decorate the walls. Things change.
Sun China’s version of Egg Flower Soup has a gentle broth and kernels of corn, with bits of carrot and snippets of chicken: a friendly welcome to their cuisine. If you try the Hot and Sour Soup, don’t have it at bedtime; it’s a peppy pepper-upper, with rich clumps of spinach, lots of egg, and various other veggies. The Fried Shrimp is stretched out, not curled into a ring, and breaded gently. The Egg Foo Yung doesn’t have the usual bath of brown gravy; it’s a splash of flavorful liquid gold, and it leaves you wanting more. Of the meal starters, my favorite was the Fried Chicken Wings, easy to munch, and eminently dippable in a sweet-and-sour sauce.
The basic staples of many a combination plate are Pork Fried Rice and Pork Chow Mein. At Sun China, the rice is a major mound with a minor nutty flavor, bowl-size instead of cup-size. The chow mein is pleasant and flavorful, with great pan-fried noodles, sprouts, and vegetable goodness, and the pork is plentiful.
When thinking of the Almond Chicken and the Broccoli Beef, the word that comes to my mind is “slabs.” Generous pieces of meat, thinly sliced, are the stars of the dishes. The serving sizes spell “l-e-f-t-o-v-e-r-s” in my family, and they last for several meals. The Sweet & Sour Chicken is chunks that are of McNugget dimensions, coated in that yummy sauce.
I was happily pleased with the changes at Sun China, and I found the food a pleasant surprise. The Combination Plates run from $9.50 to $11.50, which is pretty reasonable pricing. I know my selections weren’t adventurous, but they showed competence and mastery of the basic dishes. Now that I’m satisfied with what they do with the old favorites, I can feel confident in ordering fancier fare, something more ambitious like Chow Fun.
Maybe I’ll see you there. Tell me how you like it.