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“Cuisine with the personal touch”

Kwan's Original Cuisine
Ranked #86 of 534 Restaurants in Salem
Price range: $0 - $8
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dow
Level Contributor
86 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Cuisine with the personal touch”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Just had a wedding rehearsal dinner at Kwan's and I highly recommend this restaurant. Chef Kwan is a treasure in Salem. His personal attention to all the details made this the perfect choice for this special event. The food was fantastic—strawberry chicken! Five kinds of rice combined with five main dishes made for a super filling and a delightful evening with friends and family. If you find yourself in Salem and are looking for good food this is the place.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    56
    17
    11
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    23
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Salem, Oregon, United States
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A secret gem, but only if you know how to order good Chinese food...”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

This place is amazing, but I see that some of it's reviews are not as high as they should be; let me explain why: You've no idea how to order TRUE and DELICIOUS Asian food! Yes, if you order chow mein, or a combination order, you will get an "ok" experience developing into a title such as "tastes the same as every other mediocre Chinese restaurant in Salem".... that is exactly what NOT to do. The Kwans are wonderful people who love to serve delicious meals and who regularly come to the table to greet their customers and help make suggestions. My advice to you is never order the same thing twice, stay away from your common place orders you generally make at every other Asian-style restaurant, and experiment. After all, you pay hard earned money to go out to eat; why not enjoy every single bite of it? Oh, and if the chef does come to your table, ask for his suggestions and take them. Once, while dining out at this fabulous place, Mr. Kwan advised me to try his chicken curry, but to order banana with it. Strange idea? Yes. Was it the most amazing and scrumptious curry I've ever tasted? Yes. I'd eat here any day of the week. The food is always fresh, the menu is longer and has more actual selection than any I've seen, and the family atmosphere is fantastic. A great recommendation over all.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sydni_HM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keizer, Oregon
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Tastes the same as every other mediocre Chinese restaurant in Salem”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

After all the rave reviews, I tried chow mein, Malaya chow mein, and twice cooked pork. As with my visit 5 years ago, it was all bland, saucy, plain. The meat was overcooked, the vegetables were soft. It's basically the same as Golden Crown, Lum Yuen, and the other places in Salem where the food tastes like it was scooped out of a crock pot. However, the menu is huge, the owner a delightful older man who wants to make you happy, and the restaurant is fascinating inside. Everyone else seems to like it, so maybe I just got the wrong dishes. The dishes are about $8 to $10, which is in line with most places.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jimevarts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Ok place”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Picked the place based on tripadvisor recommendations. Food is ok, service is ok. The only negative is that our server either had cold or allergies because she had runny nose and I wish she either cleaned her nose or taken something for it. It was very unpleasant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hurik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
318 reviews
225 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Uninspiring; garish decorations, strip mall food quality”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Let's start with the parking. It's around back, and the parking lot needs some TLC. It does not present curb appeal. The exterior and interior look like the 1950s came calling and threw up on the place...a combination of the Inn of the Sixth Happiness and Flower Drum Song, complete with the huge Buddha in the lobby. Institutional green paint is yucky. Led down a ramp into a dark dining area with plum and red everywhere with a splash of gold paint. And where in the world did they get that wood paneling that lines the dining cubicles? The shoulder-height cubicles contain about six or eight tables. The plum table cloths don't need changing, because there is a glass panel on top of them. Must save on the laundry bill, but the slop over from previous diners was still apparent on my tablecloth that was not protected by glass. The salt, pepper, sugar, and pink stuff were on the table in a wire caddie that you find in diners. Plum sauce and mustard sauce were in waffle syrup-type dispensers. The gold panels around the top of the cubicle where I was sitting had some 24x36 inch piece of plywood screwed onto it. Many of the cubes showed Phillips-head type screws that was a very amateur carpentry job. The air vent plenums are dirty around the edges. The walls show scuff marks from the three-tier server carts that deliver the food.
I had the chicken foo young. The patties were burned on the bottom, had a hard crunchy exterior, and turned face down to swim in some brown liquid viscous liquid they passed off as a gravy. The gravy had no real flavor. The chicken pieces were sprinkled on top of the patties, seasoned only with the gravy and some sesame seeds tossed on them with green onion dices. No flavor in the chicken at all. The patties were similarly tasteless. Given the Best of Salem award, recommendations from the hotel front desk staff, and some TripAdvisor decal in their window, I had high hopes for what I would have for lunch. Significantly disappointed. Where's the ginger? Where's the Chinese 5 spice? How about some zing in the sauce? Some vinegar maybe would have helped. This was a big disappointment.
The staff put my bill folio on the table before I had even gotten through 1/3 of my dish. The owner might be disappointed to know they did not try to sell me dessert. And only after I paid the bill did they ask if I wanted more water. If I return to Salem, Oregon, I'll not dine here again. This place needs a major restaurant makeover. It's the 21st century folks. We don't need the set from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to know we're eating Chinese food. The Internet has filled us in on what the tradition country hangouts look like. Let's go for some good food instead in a pleasant atmosphere.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jim O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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