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Taste of China

In a word: You taste it, I'm bitter.

The specs: #0653  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Restaurant DB, The Front Porch Times, Yahoo Travel, Yelp; listing at Eat Drink Madison; Taste of China on Urbanspoon

Latest Taste of China news and reviews

Elizabeth, Evy, Greg, JM, Jordan, Nichole, Paul, Todd and Trish ate the hot and sour soup, dumpling soup, fried dumplings, pork egg rolls, crab rangoon, cold sesame noodles, boneless pork spare ribs, and Chinese donuts with a few sodas.
The bill was about $7/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Taste of China a C (see our grading rubric).

After the Taquerias came the Tastes, and so we beckoned another group of diners to travel with us around the city in a Taste Quest. The first stop was Taste (of) China.

Inside we found that there were not enough chairs for the nine of us to eat at one time.  T(o)C's business seems to be providing Monona with takeout Chinese, as the dine-in area is basically non-existent.  The staff did process everyone's orders quite quickly, which may have had something to do with the fact that we mostly got apps and soup.

Dumpling soupRangoonHot and sour, short ribs

While standing and milling about, we sampled each others' cuisine and offered notes and comparisons, but what was captured on paper reads a little like Dangerous Liaisons: half-remembered ideas and half-whispered conversations about egg rolls.

"The pork egg roll is very tasty and a little spicy" but it ends up "ok, [a] standard egg roll."

"The boneless pork spare ribs were different than any we'd seen." These ribs came in a bucket and were the color of sunburn. They "taste OK but weird."

"The hot and sour soup is surprisingly hot and peppery. Very good."

"Average fried dumplings: standard, a bit messy."

"Crab rangoon: not terribly crabby, but tasty."

Sesame noodlesDumplings

Even the donuts were a little more crispy around the edges than they should have been.

Donuts

The universal opinion was that everything was average or a little better.  Based on their seating area we all had pretty low expectations and they cleared the bar - though no one would have called this place a hidden gem.  We've said it before and we're likely to say it again: don't avoid it, don't go out of your way to get it.

Comments

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It may be Taste OF China, but it looks like TASTE CHINA on the sign. Sounds like a command rather than a name. Like every time I drive by. "TASTE CHINA!" "But I don't want to!" "TASTE CHINA!!!" "NOOOOO!!!!"

Out of curiosity, does anyone know of a Chinese place in Madison that does Brown Rice as an option?

Like the photo with the saying on it :)
Also, I happen to like semi-crunchy sugar covered donuts so long as they have enough sugar.

Imperial Garden (at least the west side one) does brown rice if you ask. Lee's Garden (formerly Hong Kong West) also does, but they charge you for it.

I've seen brown rice at China One Buffet (years ago), Tagura, and Chin's, but those each stretch the definition of "Chinese place" in a different direction.

I recently had my first experience with Taste of China. The kung pao chicken was delightfully spicy, but widly salty.

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