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“Disappointing after many years and visits . . .” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hunan Empress

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Hunan Empress
162 Four Seasons Shopping Ctr, Chesterfield, MO 63017-3104
314-878-8828
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Ranked #65 of 186 restaurants in Chesterfield
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Columbia, Missouri
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing after many years and visits . . .”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

I will say immediately, I give great credit that the sauces are house-made.

Then the bad . . . unfortunately, there is much. My girlfriend and I were regulars more than a year ago as we lived in the area. In our return the past 2 months after four experiences here this is vast change to the past.

The sauces are still house made, but largely inconsistent. The crab rangoon had no crab and very little, what ill call "fish flavored creme cheese". The rangoon themselves were not fresh, but freezer-burnt, pre-made and 1/3 the size you'd expect. The egg rolls were similar, freezer-burnt, not fresh pre-made with stale vegetables and foul-smelling pork.

Based on our last order . . .

The General Tso sauce was either the wrong sauce or poorly made; it was heavy on the ginger, but there was no other flavor or spice, whatsoever -- despite ordering in (fluent) Chinese, asking for authentic, spicy food. No spice, no flavor. The chicken itself was an undesirable medley of over-breaded chunks of fat. I am not trying to be mean or dramatic, but the portions were tiny, over-crunchy and sometimes impossible to chew chunks of fat and breading.

The Sweet & Sour chicken was adequate; the sauce was fresh (A+) and the chicken was average; good enough that I couldnt tell if it was also pre-made, flash frozen, but not good enough I was certain it was fresh batter, fresh fry tempura.

And it is worth mentioning twice, the crab rangoon was atrocious; freezer-burnt, stale, hardened crisps of salt with salty creme cheese. Egg rolls were the usual freezer burnt excuse to over-charge the menu.

The white rice was dry and hard and hardly edible.

The egg drop soup was not a soup, more like soupy rotten scrambled eggs. The smell was offense and the taste made me gag and immediately dump the cup down the drain.

With all this said, more than a year ago I loved this restaurant, and we took the first two visits as 'bad timing' against the consistent, great experiences for the prior 2 1/2 years (excluding the last 14 months), but based on these 4 visits in the last 2 months I will avoid this place at all cost -- and I will post this review to encourage them to return to their former level of service and skill.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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15 reviews from our community

73% Recommend
    8
    3
    1
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Accommodated a large party!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Nine friends and myself decided to gather at this restaurant for Chinese. We did not make a reservation due to not knowing how many would be coming. The management seated us without a problem. All orders were perfect and delivered timely even though we ordered on separate checks. And the food was so tasty! Waitress and management was very nice. I will be back with my family.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Our Favorite Chineese”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Best Empress beef in town. Crispy and flavorful. Service can be very slow if there are busy, but food is always hot and good.

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
“The best ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

This is the best Chinese food place of all time. I have tried other places and nothing compares. Try the crab Rangoon.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Finally Found Good Chinese in St Louis Burbs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

After a horrendous experience at Happy China, we finally worked up the courage to try another Chinese place. Hunan Empress was a much better experience. Their lunch menu prices are tough to beat and there is a good choice of combinations offered. The lunch combos come with choice of soup and both a crab rangoon and mini egg roll. We've also stopped in for dinner a few times and have not been disappointed. Get there early for lunch on a week day as the place can fill up quickly.

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