Good Chinese food, especially in the Central Valley, is a rare and precious resource. When an excellent restaurant is found, one should love and coo over it, going there as often as reasonably possible in order to support it. However, in the hunt for that wonderful establishment, one must unfortunately search through other, lesser restaurants. Such a lesser Chinese food place is New China, a small cafe at 1513 W. Main St.
Finding the restaurant is a chore in itself. The ordinary storefront is placed a bit back from the street, making it easy to miss while driving by. It is located away from the street because of a parking lot where customers are welcome to park to go in and eat at the restaurant or simply pick up an order. The cafe itself is sparsely decorated and diner-like; linoleum and plastic seat covers are the rule here. Service is slightly slow but friendly, and the kitchen is openly viewable from the dining area.
The variety of foods served is about standard. The most interesting thing about the menu is the drink availability; various types are on tap, ranging from the usual hot tea, to Thai tea, to an avocado milkshake. Other than that, all the old favorites are here: egg foo young, orange chicken, mu shu anything, and so on are on the menu. This lack of unusual items can either be a positive or negative trait, depending on whether one wishes to try new dishes, or simply wants their General Tso's chicken with steamed vegetables and fried rice. Vegetarians are well served here, with many options compared to other local restaurants.
The first thing received, the tea, is a fairly basic restaurant black tea. There is nothing particularly interesting about it; it tastes nice, and goes well with the food. Dinners are served with a small bowl of egg drop soup, which definitely contains egg, but is bland and a little on the salty side. The main course, the mu shu pork, tastes good, with all the flavors it should have. The wraps, however, are not as warm as they could be, and the sauce was slightly watery. In addition, the mound of cabbage and bamboo shoots used to fill the wraps has sparse and barely discernible pieces of meat, which detracts from the experience of eating mu shu pork.
There do not appear to be any dessert items available at all, except for the standard fortune cookie, which actually contains a fortune rather than a piece of advice. The price tag is average to cheap for dinner: around $7 to $8, depending on which main course one chooses. This makes up somewhat for the quality of food, but does not really justify eating here.
New China is a decidedly mediocre Chinese restaurant. It is not bad, as one could do a lot worse, but it does leave a lot to be desired. The atmosphere is not worth eating in, but the food could possibly be worth taking out, especially given the amount that it costs. A different restaurant is advised for those who truly enjoy Chinese food.