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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Confucius: Excellent Chinese

Took a friend to Confucius Chinese Restaurant in Appleton for lunch this week. He was definitely impressed and will be back. It was my second time and I was again impressed, more than on my first visit.

Confucius has a beautiful interior - simple but elegant, with some of the charm of the Far East. The staff is friendly and well trained - excellent, professional service. The lunch menu offers over 20 specials for around $7.95, including soup and an egg roll. I decided to choose something very mainstream and familiar to help me evaluate the restaurant better, so I went with Kung Pao Chicken. The chicken was remarkably tender. The peanuts were not Planters out of a jar, but were raw peanuts that had been freshly cooked, not too much. The celery was finely chopped (a common shortcut in American-style Chinese cooking is to cut food into large, coarse bits), increasing the labor but also improving the texture and flavor (more surface area, for example). The sauce was exquisite. I had asked for hot and spicey, and as a result, there were eight dried Asian chili pods in my dish. Yes, that's the way to do it, rather than dumping a little cayenne pepper into the dish.

All this pointed to an attention to detail and a desire to make the food taste the way it is meant to be, at least as I understand the dish. Not bad for lunch!

My friend had a shrimp and broccoli dish with beautiful looking large shrimp. He found it to be delicious as well.

The hot and sour soup was fine - not my favorite in the Valley (Bao Zhu's in Neenah may have the best), but definitely good.

The egg roll was decent. Nice texture inside.

Overall, an outstanding and memorable lunch.

I took my wife to dinner there last year and was happy with the food, but not thrilled. Thought the chicken in a curry dish was a bit tough, and the curry was a bit dull in flavor. But it was still fine. Based on the quality of the Kung Pao Chicken I had this week, I think any weakness in my previous meal must have been an anomaly or a problem that's been corrected (maybe the chef was on vacation then?).

Look forward to trying Confucius again.
Ah soo.. Jeffley as usual your
reviews are honkytastic but also
as usual bery, bery wong. The restaulants in crappleton are so
bery, bery weak that they should NEVER be considad authentic or tasty They are ALL lame - POsssible except fo Koreana - sai Ram or asian taste and maybe you could try solea they ar kinda mexican. but you are too much of a mormon to eat the tasty laab raw. baby - just eat at perkins where you belong.
Interesting mix of incisive logic, culinary expertise, religious understanding, and novel orthography. Thanks for the insight!

Actually, Solea is one of my favorites for Mexican.

And right - if you demand truly authentic Chinese food, you need to be in China or at least a major China town, otherwise you are almost certainly going to be using at least some locally available ingredients and menus adapted for typical Americans. But frankly, there are advantages to local ingredients from the States, including lower risk of pollutants.
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