Hunan Kitchen: The Little Shop That Could
This small restaurant in Howdershell Plaza offers delicious Chinese cuisine at a low price. Have you dined here? Tell readers about your experience in the comments section.
Hunan Kitchen is nestled in an unassuming strip mall in the City of Hazelwood. Located next to a chiropractor’s office, this small restaurant may be missed if you’re not looking closely; however, Hunan Kitchen is not to be missed. This authentic Mandarin Chinese shop offers delicious food at a low price.
Despite its location, Hunan Kitchen has quite the following. Entering the restaurant on a Friday afternoon, I was surprised at how many people were actually inside. The medium-sized restaurant, with about 15 tables, was filled to near capacity. Boisterous laughter, smiles, and the scent of delicious food filled the air. Clearly, Hunan Kitchen is the place to be during lunchtime in Hazelwood.
I was immediately offered a menu and water upon being seated. Hunan Kitchen offers a variety of Chinese food including the standards: orange chicken, Mandarin beef and General Tso’s chicken. The typical seafood, beef, pork and chicken fried rice were also present; however, Hunan Kitchen also offers a few things unique to St. Louis – the St. Paul Sandwich ($3.99) is one of them. This local Chinese staple consists of an egg foo young patty on white bread with dill pickles, white onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato.
Wanting to stick with the more traditional route, I opted for the Kung Pao Chicken ($6.29), which was offered on the lunch special menu. Along with the Kung Pao Chicken, I was also presented with plain fried rice, hot and sour soup, crab rangoon, a beef wonton and a fortune cookie. Talk about a lot of food – this is certainly enough to feed a hungry adult at lunchtime!
My meal was presented in a timely fashion, even despite the massive lunchtime crowd. Everything was piping hot, and all of it was extremely tasty. The fried rice was fluffy and flavorful and paired wonderfully with the Kung Pao Chicken, which was tender, juicy, and chock full of vegetables and a slightly spicy brown sauce. The Crab Rangoon and Wonton rounded out this near-perfect meal.
I will admit – I had doubts about this tiny restaurant. However, the scores of hungry locals that filled Hunan Kitchen weren’t wrong – this place is definitely worth a stop.