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Review of Taste of China

Taste of China
Ranked #135 of 563 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Chinese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I recommend the crispy beef for anyone who likes a little heat. I've tried every soup they offer and they are all delicious. The decor leaves something to be desired; not a place to go for formal occasions. The only dish I have had that wasn't 100% was the crispy duck. Love the warm sake.

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Thank Kathryn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 38 of 70 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2013

By pure dumb luck, I discovered Taste of China several years ago while attending a conference in Charlottesville, and I make a point of dining here whenever I’m in town. I am never disappointed.

Tucked inside a large strip mall (Albemarle Square), Taste of China serves up a wonderful mix of authentic Sichuan dishes, along with the Chinese-American standards that probably enable them to pay the rent.

Steer clear of the lunch combinations and General Tso’s Chicken and all that, and focus on the specials (written in Chinese and English upon entering, and shown in photos on the wall as you enter). There are some real gems here, especially in the “Chef’s specials” part of the menu.

Dumpling addict that I am, I typically start with their Dumplings with Red Oil, perfectly-cooked half-moons of thin dough encasing a ground pork filling, served awash in red chile oil and topped with sliced scallions and minced raw garlic.

I’ve sampled many of their offerings, but lately I keep going back to Crispy Shrimps with Scallions. Delicately battered and fried shrimps are heaped on a plate with shreds of scallion and lightly breaded (dusted?) onion slices that resemble nothing more than bits of a “Blooming Onions,” but heavily dusted in powdered red chile. Oh, don’t forget the plentiful pieces of dried red chiles. No sauce, just waves of flavor and heat. The Crispy Fish with Green Onion is nice too … I never associated ground cumin with Chinese fare, but this was a flavor sensation.

The portions here are very generous, I always leave with a take-out box, and they are always glad to provide an extra portion of steamed rice to accompany my leftovers.

They used to offer dim sum here at lunchtime, but that’s apparently ceased. The General Tso’s crowd probably avoided that like the plague and led to its demise.

Service here is pleasant and efficient, although I have occasionally been subjected to the arrival of the main course before the appetizer. But otherwise, they are friendly, helpful, and ready to make recommendations if I’m feeling undecided. Prices are reasonable as well, given both the quality and quantity of the food.

I only wish that Annapolis had a Chinese restaurant of this caliber.

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Thank John V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Found this place on Tripadvisor on a recent stopover in Charlottesville. My girls had soup, steamed dumplings and spring rolls which they really enjoyed.
My husband and I started with the dumpling with red oil and they were very good. More Chinese than "American Chinese". When then shared the crispy beef in chef special sauce. It was tasty and had the perfect amount of heat. Glad we shared, as the portions are large and were did not want any left overs.
The service was good. The bathrooms were clean.
This was an easy walk from the Courtyard Marriott.
If we are ever in the area again, we will stop back by.

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Thank Abycats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

We were so excited to try this restaurant the evening of July 1 after reading the many favorable reviews on TA. I called to place a carryout order for General Tso's Chicken. I tried to ask for white rice and was cut off by the rude, demanding employee on the phone who blasted me for not specifying chicken. I was so taken aback by her yelling at me, that I didn't answer her question right away and she continued to yell, repeating over and over, "What Your Order?" I can handle unpleasant people, but this woman was over the top and completely unprofessional. I did not finish placing my order and I will not visit this place. I refuse to give my business to a restaurant that condones such rude staff. Yelling is never necessary when answering the phone. There are many other Chinese restaurants in Charlottesville, skip this place and go elsewhere where your business is appreciated.

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Thank Akargus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We have been here twice now and really liked the food. However, this last time our entrees (crispy shrimp and spicy crispy duck) were so salty, it almost detracted from the dishes. The first time, the dishes were salty but tolerable. I would still recommend the cilantro fish rolls for an appetizer and the dried fried eggplant, roasted fish (which was actually fried) and the shrimp dish that has the yellow dipping sauce (also fried). The service is okay--efficient at times and then absent at times. The waitstaff is nice though. We would go back. I might try something that isn't fried to see if the salt content is lower.

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Thank CKF825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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