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“Great Food & Prices! True Hidden Gem!”

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Formosa Chinese Restaurant
Ranked #88 of 272 Restaurants in Lake Forest
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Lake Forest, CA
Level Contributor
74 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great Food & Prices! True Hidden Gem!”
Reviewed January 22, 2009

After reading the many reviews (on yelp) about Formosa Chinese for a couple months now, I have been quite intrigued, and frankly excited to finally get to go... we just got back.... holy crap! I honestly can't remember having better Chinese food before!

After looking over the menu for about ten minutes, and asking the owner what he recommended ( I said I liked Duck, so he recommended the "Crispy Duck" and said it was his favorite), we were finally ready to order. Since we had a party of 5 we decided to order many things and share family style.

First thing out from the Kitchen was the "Egg Fried Rice" which was amazing and the whole plate was literally empty before the next dish came out. The flavor of the rice and the steamy warm freshness of the rice is was made it great.

Next out was the "Sweet and Sour Chicken" which I am told was also very good. After that came the "Shrimp in Hot Garlic Sauce", and the warm/spicy sauce combined with hot/juicy shrimp was out of this world. After that was the "Chicken with Snow Peas" which I am told was good, but could have had a little more flavor on the chicken. (The chicken on this dish looks very white amongst the vegetables... imagine the look of boiled chicken) but this dish was consumed also. We also got an order of the Scallion Pancake, which was good but I think I lost some of the flavor because it was very hot as I ate it.

After those dishes came my two favorite of the night, "Crispy Duck (half)" and the "Crispy Whole Shelled Shrimp w/ Salt and Pepper"... the latter being my favorite of the two. The Duck was very crispy, moist, salty, and tender... wonderful!

But the shrimp is was really caught my attention (besides that they come out complete with the heads on still). They are lightly coated in a homemade mixture of salt/pepper/flour.. and possible some sort of a yellow curry? I couldn't figure it out but there was a flavor I could not put my finger on! Either way thinking about the dish again is starting to make my mouth water... it was that good!

** If you are truly adventurous I would recommend trying the shrimp with the shell and legs still attached (remove the head), I found it to be very flavorful with a little extra crunch in the mouth! **

I can't wait to go back!

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23 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Nice little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The small, lunch-style place seems pretty authentic, though you do often have...”
Reviewed October 13, 2008

Nice little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The small, lunch-style place seems pretty authentic, though you do often have to ask them to "make it spicy." Nice menu, pleasant service.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“a hidden treasure at the...”
Reviewed March 28, 2008

a hidden treasure at the Best Western in Lake Forest. good cheap eats!

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