The Dayton area has a new Chinese restaurant! I had seen a "coming soon" sign up for several months, and it turns out that Golden Kitchen opened for business just over a month ago, on May 4. At least for now, that likely qualifies The restaurant as the newest Chinese place in town. It is located on the east side of Union Boulevard/Road, right across from Kroger's in Englewood.
If memory serves, I believe that at one time - perhaps 12 years ago - there was a Chinese buffet in the same location that I had enjoyed. However, the last few times I had driven by the area, it had been vacant. It is nice to see a business there again.
Here is a photo of owner and chef Zheng Feng Cai, who I saw busy at work in the kitchen during my visit. He owns another restaurant in Cincinnati, but this is his first in the Dayton area.
I stopped by during the lunch hour, at which point it had been 7 hours since I ate breakfast. Saying I had worked up an appetite would have been an understatement - I was famished. I decided to get takeout for 2, and got the triple delight. This turned out to be a very generous portion of broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bamboo shoots, baby corn, water chestnuts and mushrooms all topped with a salty mild brown sauce. Plus, the dish also had shrimp, beef and chicken. It came with a huge portion of rice on the side, which lets you have the choice between mixing it in with the vegetables, or eating it on its own. It also came with choice of sides, so I got 1 egg roll and 2 crab rangoon. Lunch specials also come with free can of pop. 2 complete meals for under $11!
The inside of the restaurant is a bit spartan, though neat and tidy. There were some oriental decorations along the north wall, and the inside walls had been painted a sort of pastel blue color. There are a total of about 5 or 6 tables inside. The place is certainly not huge, but should be adequate in seating most families.
The vegetables were very firm, but not too crunchy, so I'd say they were done just about right. I did find myself wishing a couple of times that the sauce was slightly thicker, so that it would stick to the vegetables a bit more. However, it was great with the rice after the vegetables were finished. As for the meat, they included a good amount of it, and the shrimp were of a nice size. Beef could have perhaps used a tiny bit more spice, but the chicken was succulent. I think it would have been difficult to spice the different meats different ways without causing some sort of clash in flavors. As it is, this was a healthy, balanced and tasty dish, and a good choice if you find some of the others too hot or spicy for your tastes. Despite the fact that I was truly hungry, I don't think there is any way a person could order this and go away hungry.
The egg roll was very crisp without being burned, and the stuffing was excellent. However, I'm saving my best praise for last - the crab rangoon. I think the crab rangoon were among the best I have ever tasted. Even though I was completely full at that point, I found myself craving a couple more. At far too many Chinese places I've tried, I've found the crab rangoon to be underwhelming - sometimes with a too salty, or even a slightly sour taste to the filling. Another problem is a lack of crab flavor - it is called a "crab" rangoon, after all. The filling in these had a wonderful sweetness that did not overpower, yet still brought to mind the fantastic feeling of wealth that you feel as a child, on halloween, when you get home after trick or treating, and settle down to look over all your goodies. Yes, they're THAT good.
Location: 852 Union Boulevard Englewood, OH 45322
(AKA Union Road, east side across from Kroger, just north of Wenger)
telephone: (937) 836-7020 fax: (937) 836-7280
hours: Sun 11:30-9:30, Mon-Thur 11-9:30, Fri & Sat 11-10:30