Hunan East in Turnersville, NJ, is always the place my husband and I go when we want a good meal with no surprises. If we’ve both had a busy day and are famished, the last thing we want to do is go some where new, dislike the food, and leave starving. Mind you, we are adventuresome when it comes to food, but even we have times when we want to go to a restaurant where we know the food is consistently good. That place is Hunan East.
There was a point there for a while that our family was going there so often, the people that worked there knew us well. One time we went in and the hostess giggled and said in broken English, “Ah, you Ruggieri’s – you grandparents here at 4:00 o’clock, you parents here at 5:00, and now you here!” All three generations at the restaurant there on the same day, but didn’t go together – you know it has to be good.
Well it is. They always start you off with water, which they keep filled for you throughout your meal, Chinese noodles with duck sauce and spicy mustard, and pickled cabbage with carrots. I don’t usually waste any time when these land on the table. I dive right in.
Then there is the appetizer which is always delicious and comes out quickly. We’ve tried the Chinese pizza (a personal favorite), fried wonton with sweet and sour sauce (yummy!), hot wonton soup, and the pupu platter. This is gigantic and could be eaten as a meal. For ten bucks you get two tender spare ribs, two pieces of shrimp toast, two full size egg rolls, and two sticks of marinated meat, all over a flame to keep everything warm, served with tasty sauces. I would highly recommend it. And like I said, it can be a meal there is so much of it.
Dinners are excellent too and I can honestly said I’ve never had anything I didn’t like. They have a book for a menu and I’ve selected dishes from several different chapters, or should I said, types of entrees. From the menu, one of my favorites is the garlic shrimp filled with water chestnuts, red and green peppers, and large, plump shrimp (not breaded) fill up the plate is a light brown sauce enhanced with garlic. Topped over white rice, it’s delicious and a little better than some other dishes, I’d imagine.
I always enjoy lemon chicken and orange chicken. Both are breaded and come with flavorful sauces. Be aware though, the orange chicken comes spicy with peppers hiding throughout the sauce. If burning your tongue off isn’t your thing, be sure to specify “not spicy” and they’ll gladly leave out the peppers.
If you aren’t in the mood for orange chicken, you can also opt for orange beef. The house special chicken is really good, too, although I am not 100% sure what the sauce is. The best way I can explain it is it’s red, sweet and thick rather than liquidy, and it covers breaded chicken and mingles with water chestnuts.
The special menu is usually pretty lengthy, but the only thing I’ve tried on it was to die for. If you are a beef eater, order steak kue. It’s small cubes of beef marinated in a flavorful sauce. The meat is always tender and lean – no fat what-so-ever. My only recommendation is to ask for a little sauce on the side because it’s so good it could really use more.
Stop by Hunan East for a hot, tasty meal that always comes out quick and is served by friendly staff. And it won’t hurt your pocketbook. Most meals are priced between $7 – $12 and is usually enough to have for dinner today with leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Enjoy!
Bonus tip: At the start of each year, ask for one of their pocket calendars. You can bring the month before in and get 10% of your meal. If you missed out at the beginning of the year, either look for their coupon in the local papers that come in the mail, in the Entertainment book, or bring in any coupon good towards Chinese food because they take competitor’s coupons.