The Basics at Golden Hunan, One of My New Go-To Chinese Takeout Spots

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
There's nothing like the sheen of General Tso's chicken on a cold, dark night...
There are tons of amazing restaurants in our city, but sometimes I want nothing more than some good old-fashioned (Americanized) Chinese food. When you're craving an egg roll, you're craving an egg roll; you know what I mean?

On a recent Friday night, my fiancé and I needed a quick spot to grab dinner before a Dave Attell show at the Comedy Improv...and I was not eating at Red Robin or Dave & Buster's -- mainly because I am not 15 and my parents did not just drop me off at the mall to troll for boys. Since I'm always looking for new Chinese takeout spots, we decided to try out Golden Hunan on the way to the show -- and I am happy to say that we've found a new addition to our lazy-night takeout rotation.

No, the menu isn't particularly adventurous, but the restaurant manages to do the classics right. We started with steamed dumplings ($5.99 for eight) and ordered two combination platters to split: the chicken & broccoli ($9.99) and General Tso's ($10.99). And since it was only 99 cents (and you can sell me mostly anything for under $1), we each added on a wonton soup.

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It's all about the dumplings, baby...
I'm all about the dumplings -- so when our waiter warned us they'd take 20 minutes to prepare, I knew we were in the right spot. Now at least we had an excuse for ordering the soups; we crushed crunchy fried wonton strips into the tasty wonton soups and bided our time until the real stars arrived.

The made-to-order treats were worth the wait -- plump and filled with a flavor-packed, ginger-laced beef (an unusual but enjoyable substitute for the more classic pork filling) and cabbage. The dough was just thick enough to give the dumplings bite, which is something I always crave in a fresh-made pasta. I drizzled each delicately wrapped morsel with spicy chile oil before dunking them (perhaps several times) into the vinegar-punched soy sauce that accompanied the plate.

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Soon after the dumpling massacre that had taken place at our table, the combination platters arrived. With separate compartments for fried rice, eggs rolls, garlic- and butter-drenched vegetables (which is not a complaint but rather a compliment), and the main event -- our chicken entrées -- they looked like beautiful Chinese versions of the Japanese bento box. The restaurant definitely gives you your money's worth.

We soon decided that the chicken & broccoli -- coated lovingly in a thick, slightly sweet and garlic-kicked brown sauce -- was the better dish of the two. Luckily, there was more than enough to share. The General Tso's, while not my favorite version of the classic around town, was fair enough. Next time, though, we agreed we'd opt for something else - perhaps a chef's special or, even better, one of the restaurant's diet dishes (considering we started out our meal with deep-fried dough dipped into a broth filled with dough, then followed it with more meat-filled dough, it couldn't hurt).

And I can say that there will definitely be a next time for us and Golden Hunan -- likely involving delivery, pajamas and a bottle of wine.



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Location Info

Golden Hunan Restaurant

1801 Durham, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Improv Comedy Club

7620 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: General

Red Robin Gourmet Hamburgers & Spirits

7620 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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12 comments
Anse
Anse

Allow me to recommend Heights Asian Cafe on Yale. It's a basic Chinese-American menu with some Vietnamese thrown in. Everything is incredibly good. The dumplings are especially tasty. 

Tangyjoe
Tangyjoe

Haven't been since they moved from Memorial and Westcott but this was the only place to get sweet and sour pork with tender pork trimmed of excess blobby fat.  Everywhere else is tough chewy meat with gobs of fat.  Yeah I know, might as well eat a plate of doughnuts but sometimes you just get a craving. 

I get annoyed at the idea that something isn't authentic so therefore it's not good.   Sure, like something or somewhere better than another because of the flavors or atmosphere or service but when someone turns up their nose at Americanized ethnic foods and says this place is better than that one because it's more authentic I say:  "So is amoebic dysentery, what's your point?"

And I miss the sweet and sour pork from the old Chicken and Eggroll on Shepherd...

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

I can't wait to try this place! While I like to think I have a fairly sophisticated palate, sometimes I just love so good (Americanized) Chinese. I just wish it was close enough to my office for me to go for lunch right now. I'm totally craving some dumplings!

Adrian Taylor Barnard
Adrian Taylor Barnard

My husband and I used to order from Golden Hunan II in Spring Branch. It was some of the best Chinese I had ever had. I have to go back soon.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Fun. I absolutely LOVE the Asian-print convict trays. KUTE!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

This was one of Marvin Zindler faves when it was still on Memorial replete with extremely 1970's pink decor. Their lunch specials have always been good, and the hunan lamb is excellent. I haven't tried them since they moved, but my buddy works down the street from them and has nothing but good things to say about them, seems the picky set on yelp have differing opinions.

Ogden
Ogden

If you're headed to the Improv, you'd do better at Kpop (same center at Improv) or at Vieng Thai (a few blocks away). Neither is Chinese American food, but both are better and you could get the same crispy textured rolls and the same flavors you describe above

Matthew
Matthew

sounds good, but i'm always disappointed with the paper thin eggroll wrappers. give me the bubbly skinned ones every time.

csoakley
csoakley

Oh Chicken and Eggroll, where art thou?

claiborne
claiborne

@Ogden Agreed. Improv Comedy deserves better than this pickled tripe-band of a restaurant

claiborne
claiborne

@csoakley Turned into either Houston Wine Merchant, or a defunct sushi place owned by the same gems at Osaka on Westheimer, the latter case I believe---the insanely dumb and bunker-like Toyama, or something to that effect

csoakley
csoakley

Right before they closed down I was talking to the beautiful girl that ran the register and she said they were only moving down the street. Alas, it was not to be. Maybe she's working as a model these days because she could have definitely pulled it off.

 Damn I miss their crawfish fried rice!

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