to drval: while I agree this place is one of the best in the area, It Ain't Chinatown!
I don't know which NY Chinatown you refer to, but it sure isn't the one I used to hang out in. Again, Chopsticks is as good as it gets around here, but it wouldn't last 6 months in Chinatown in NY or Philly.
This is truly the tastiest Chinese food in recent memory. After 10 years living near NYC's China Town, that's gotta tell you something. I've had take out from Chopsticks House at least 5 times already, and it has never disappointed. Very rich, heavy on the sweet sauces, but worth the calories. BBQ spare ribs appetizer better than any local rib place. Don't let the horrific ambiance fool you - the food is meant for take out and the generous portions insure plenty of leftovers.
This is my first ever restaurant review so be patient. Walked in the door and wasn't turned off by the decor. It was okay in a hokey pseudo-chinese sort of way but a big improvement on the average strip mall take out. This restaurant is serious about being a dine in experience.
Service was good and prompt but the menus left a film of grease on our hands. I actually had to wash my hands before eating. This is not a good sign.
We ordered the Dragon Palace Sampler (appetizer assortment). The spring rolls were really cabbage rolls, the crab puffs were cream cheese filled (someone waved a crab at the mixture when it was filled) and the fried wonton skin was tough. The honey glazed pork was excellent until I found large shreds of pork fat and the pickled carrot. Pickle flavor didn't seem to fit. The crispy ginger shrimp was excellent but had lost its crispness. I didn't expect the pineapple in the seafood rolls.
The asparagus stuffed shrimp appetizer was excellent until they drizzled it with what tasted like sweetened mayonaise.
We also ordered the steamed chicken dumplings. They were ok but I thought the wonton skins were tough.
We also ordered the chicken Mei Fun. This is a dish that I love. The noodles glistened with a fresh coat of oil at service but they were still dry. I suspect that the mei fun was prepared ahead of time and stored until time to cook.
We spent about $50 (with a pot of tea for $2.50 and two domestic light beers). All in all, a pretty disappointing experience.
Red Ochids truly is the best Chinese food in charleston. The owners are great, food is excellent and the atmosphere is comfortable and casual. If you are craving some good chinese, this is the place to hit up. Tony knows his stuff when it comes to all things beverage related, you will be surprised with the wine, beer and drink selections...
Sauces and soups were outstanding. Chicken was a little dry, but everything overall was pretty good. Definitely one of the better Chinese food locations in Charleston.
I ordered Chow Mein and what I received was cabbage soup with some stale wonton crackers and rice. It was terrible!
Considering that a restaurant is made up of more than just the food, Red Orchids' attention to detail in creating a comfortable, quiet atmosphere is spot on. To RON98, upon entering Red Orchids, did you feel that this was the kind of restaurant that would be kid friendly? Although many kids enjoy different foods, the venue in which these foods are served is not kid friendly. Kids do not, I repeat, do not belong in any bar area. As for allowing them to stand on the stools, I have to ask do you allow your children to stand on your furniture? Also, have you ever purchased a barstool that must withstand a high volume of sitters ranging in weight? The menu prices at Red Orchids are reasonable and the quality of food is incomparable to any other asian cuisine in the Charleston area. When the furniture and fixtures undergo repair or replacement we can all expect menu prices to be increased. By the way, I prefer to sit at the bar at Red Orchids, it is a nice spot to be a bit social and have a great glass of wine. I do not enjoy your kids sitting/standing next to me.
Red Orchid rocks. I have not eaten inside the restaurant in a year, but I call in my orders every couple of months for pickup and the food is always ready within 15 minutes. Ive been doing this for 3 years now. I have lived in NYC where the quality of Asian restaurant is far greater than those in the area, and this is the only place in CHS that comes close to having great Chinese food. One of my barometers in measuring the quality of a restaurant is tasting the soup. The hot and sour soup at Red Orchid is the best in town and no Asian place comes close.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Red Orchid. The food is really good, the service is professional and for the most part efficient, and the atmosphere is much better than you will find in most Chinese places.
Other reviewers have complained about unfriendly patrons, or Tony, (the owner), not tolerating misbehaving children. (Standing on bar stools? Really? You consider this acceptable behavior?) Not legitimate complaints. The truth is that there are a lot of regulars, but everybody is treated well. I've been going there for years, and while service can (on occasion) be slow, it's not directed at the newcomers.
Don't let the naysayers naysay you out of giving this place a shot. There's a reason the Red Orchid is packed with regulars.
Osaka is great. The best sushi in town! Very consistent service, friendly staff.
I agree with Muskie. If you are not a regular at the restaurant then you are not even seen. I went there to place a take out order and after speaking with 2 wait staff they told me to wait for Tony which took him about 10 minutes to make it back to the back to the bar. He ends up serving someone else behind me. When he finally realizes that I am waiting to order, he make comments about my kids standing on his stools. I just found him rude and annoying and not very kid friendly. This place may have good food, but poor service and not friendly at all. That's too bad...
Red Orchids is a favorite of my family, and recently we went on a Tuesday night. It was pretty slow, but was about 3/4 full. There seemed to be a lot of "regulars" there, the owner's assistant (the guy) was touching base with a bunch of people on a regular basis. You could tell that certain folks were regulars simply because they were greeted with a usual seat or usual drink. Not that familiarity is always bad, but in this case it was. The servers seemed awfully enamored of the regulars, which is sad, because I'd love to be a regular and I certainly tip better than most regulars. The food was the to standard for each time I've gone, certainly some of the best Chinese cuisine in South Carolina, although not the best I've ever had (some unnamed place off of Clay St. in San Francisco). Besides the service being below mediocre, the regulars seem to be offended if someone is trouncing on their territory. I had a older woman glaring at my wife and I as we ate our appetizers. She and her husband were regulars (as they were given the check the server made sure to say the husband's first name), and I know we had not said anything to offend her. Note to Red Orchids, the food is still great, but the atmosphere could use some work.
The food at Red Orchid is good. However, we have never received anything but SLOW service. Evidently when you ask for the "express" lunch, they make you wait even longer. Everyone around us who had come in after us got their food before us. We gave them a second chance a couple of weeks later and decided to only order appetizers and Definitely do NOT ask for the "express" service. Sadly, the service was still ridiculously slow. The food is good but if we ever eat there again it will be takeout that we call in 3 hours before we need it...
Took some coworkers to lunch there last week. Everyone loved what they ordered. One person commented that the food reminded him of his favorite Chinese restaurant from back in Greenville. Tony was our waiter, he introduced himself as the assistant to the assistant manager. He told us some stories about traveling around Taiwan and other parts of Asia to find inspiration for new dishes. He talked us into trying some of the in house ice cream. And I'm glad he did! I had a banana caramel ice cream that tasted of the most decadent bananas foster ever. Every single little nibble was ultra rich and ultra sweet and delicious. I sampled someone's black sesame seed ice cream and it was like a benne wafer crushed into premium ice creaminess.
Red Orchids is definitely my favorite restaurant in Charleston. I eat here often and love everything on the menu. If you have never tried it, you need to go. Don't get the usual sweet and sour stuff. ask for recommendations and suggestions. The staff is very knowledgeable about the menu and the service has always been friendly and professional. Their portions are huge and the quality of the food is amazing.
Forgot to add the 5 stars for Red Orchids. Amazing Chinese food, very hard to find location.
I had the coconut curry for lunch. Amazing. Hard-to-find location (next to Big Lots, near TBonz and Kim, behind a Bojangle's), yet quite possibly the best, authentic Chinese food within 100 miles. Staff is professional and caring, interior is very cool (lots of red balls hanging from the ceiling), and their food quality, spices, and tastes are simply stellar. Run, do not walk to the Red Orchids...
I love Red Orchid. After eating here, I could not eat at any other Chinese establishment. The food is excellent. I've been several times. Once I went and tried something that was new to me and didn't like it, Tony took it back and gave me something better. I simply love this place. Even now that I am pregnant my taste buds still crave the taste of The Red Orchid, which is great because I can't eat everything that I am use to eating.
I friggin love Red Orchids - definitely one of my top three favorite resturants in Charleston. If you have a less than stellar first experience (for whatever reason), try revisiting them for lunch where you can get a number of dishes for less than $7. Most dishes come with a spring roll with dinner-sized portions. Personally, I've only had great experiences with the food and service, and I eat there on at least a bi-weekly basis.
Best Chinese restaurant in town. Authentic food, impeccable service and unique atmosphere, what else could one ask for? Owners are the friendliest people I have ever met. I highly recommend this restaurant.
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