Spring Chinese Kitchen - Low Price Draws High Traffic To New Tamuning Eatery
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
If you are looking for good Chinese food to eat at a price that's hard to beat, then Spring Chinese Kitchen may be the place for you and your family, especially during these penny-watching times! Located on Farenholt Avenue in the old Cyber-Up Cafe location between Scuba Company and Video Quest, Spring Chinese Kitchen is a first-time effort for the Yeh family. This little place opened on July 4. I've been meaning to stop by and try this new restaurant, and I'm glad I finally did. Spring is the name of the owner, Spring Yeh. Her husband does the cooking and her young daughter and son help out in the dining room. Spring is a vivacious, energetic woman whose small size belies her ambition. Running a restaurant is not easy, and starting one from scratch is even more difficult .
What's surprising about Spring Chinese Kitchen is how low the prices are! The most expensive menu items are $5.95, and these are all dishes that include shrimp. I had the Egg Fu Yung with Shrimp, which I considered to be above average. For the price, that's really saying something. The portions are all sized for an individual meal, yet at these prices, a family can really afford to order a variety of menu items.
There is one caveat though about Spring Chinese Kitchen's prices - they may not last much longer. Why? The present menu is the Grand Opening Lunch & Dinner Special menu, and features 28 items, ranging from Roast Duck (they'd just run out before I could order), Fried Rice with Barbecue Pork, Braised Tofu, to Chop Suey Fried Noodles. The menu will change in September and there will be modest prices increases. However, Spring did say they will be adding more dishes to the menu, which will increase their appeal to more customers.
Spring Chinese Kitchen is really quite small, and only has 10 tables. It is brightly lit at night, quite well-airconditioned, and has a monitor with DVD movies playing in one of the upper corners of the room. Spring Chinese is still very new, and one can't help but get the feeling that there's still a lot of polishing needed, especially with service. In fact, when the kids start school this Thursday, their presence will be missed on Friday.
The main waitress who served me is named Cindy. She was friendly and very enthusiastic about the menu and food and eagerly recommended a dish. However, when it gets busy, the demands of the many customers absorb her time, so there may be some delays. One thing you will notice is the use of clothes pins to keep the order tickets organized. It's quaint and charming, and made me think about how automation has changed the flow of information. One dish Cindy recommended was the Spinach (Kang Kong) something that was not on the menu but available. It was also one I liked as it was healthy with crunchy stems and plenty of garlic.
Other dishes I tried included the Mapo Tofu ($4.95) which was quite flavorful and spicy, as is their Stir Fried Chicken ($4.95). The Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings seemed to be on the short side, however, they tasted good. Just be careful with the peppers that are minced on the plate with garlic and onion. They are pika pika!
To avoid the lunch-time rush, you should plan on arriving at 11am when they open or after 1:30pm (they close at 3pm). Lunch is served Monday - Saturday, and dinner is served 7 days from 6pm - 11pm. They are doing a lot of take-out orders and you can call 646-6365 or 727-6365 to place your order. They also offer catering, and sell party platters. They do ask that you order one day in advance.
Spring Chinese Kitchen is a simple restaurant, serving popular (to Westerners) Chinese dishes that are simple to order and to eat. It's a good place for families, especially with young kids. They seemed to be able to move around the dining room every now and then and it wasn't a problem for the other diners. In fact, the intimacy of the close dining spaces seemed to bring everyone together, so that conversations could be held around the room.
Stop by and give Spring Chinese Kitchen a try. Who knows, you may become a regular like some of the other diners who frequent Spring Chinese, a good place for low-priced Chinese cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere.