Hunan Family serves variety of Chinese food

Restaurant profile

May 09, 2002|By Jody K. Vilschick | Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Tucked between Dave's Natural Market and Produce Galore in Wilde Lake Village Center, Hunan Family Chinese restaurant serves standard and specialized Chinese fare.

"We like being in Columbia," owner Zhi Chen says. "There are a lot of people here who love to eat good Chinese food."

While looking for a Chinese restaurant to buy just over two years ago, Chen says he fell in love with "Columbia's prettiness." He particularly likes being in Wilde Lake Village Center.

"It's really the center of town," he says. "It's a great location, and I've got wonderful customers."

All the dishes you expect to find at a Chinese restaurant, such as General Tso's chicken, Szechwan chicken, Hunan shrimp and other Chinese standards, are offered on Hunan Family's menu. And there's more.

Some menu items not often found at other Chinese restaurants come from Hunan Family's "New Grill Menu," which offers grilled chicken, beef, tiger prawn or salmon steak on a stick, served on a bed of steamed rice or rice noodles. Variations span a variety of Asian countries and cultures, with a choice of sauces including Satay (Malaysia), Kung Pao (Taiwan), hot garlic (China) or Teriyaki (Japan).

In addition to standard Chinese soups (egg drop, wonton, chicken and corn) are a variety of big-bowl noodle soups, such as vegetable, roast pork and seafood.

"Chef's Specialties" run the gamut from hot and spicy crispy chicken or beef to Family Delight (shrimp, crabmeat, scallops, chicken, beef, snow peas and mushrooms cooked in a sauce).

There also are crabmeat and scallops in lobster sauce and Crispy Delight (crispy chicken, shrimp and eggplant in an orange-flavored sauce).

Hunan Family offers a diet menu that comes without MSG and "less oil, less sodium, all steam."

Entrees that fall into this category include Vegetable Delight, chicken with mixed vegetables, Moo Goo Gai Pan, chicken with snow peas or broccoli, and Hunan shrimp or scallops.

The restaurant also offers "Lunch Box" specials, which include an egg roll and fried rice. Among the lunch specials are Kung Pao chicken, chicken with cashew nuts, green pepper beef, sweet and sour pork, and shrimp in garlic sauce.

If you're a regular of Hunan Family, stay tuned for new entree choices. "We're always adding new entrees, step by step," Chen says.

A long-term goal for Hunan Family is a possible expansion, although that would depend on what his neighbors decide to do. "I'm boxed in here, but I don't have any plans to move," he says.

Hunan Family

Where: Wilde Lake Village Center, 5430 Lynx Lane, Columbia; 410-997-8010.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Prices: $5.95 to $11.95

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard.

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