Rating: Two forks out of four
Where: 13303 Maple, Suite 105 (Auburn Point Shopping Center), 316-721-9888
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 10 p.m. Sundays
Type of food: Chinese and sushi rolls
The Great Wall chain has transformed Chinese takeout in Wichita. Locations have popped up all over town during the past few years, meaning that no matter where you live, Great Wall's fast, high-quality takeout is just a quick drive away.
Now, residents on the far-flung west side have access to Great Wall-esque food and service. In January, Yan Liu, the niece of Great Wall's owners, and her husband, Tony, opened Sino in a strip mall at 135th Street West and Maple.
It features the same type of fresh, inexpensive dishes served at Great Wall plus a menu of various maki rolls.
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ON THE MENU: A nearly never-ending list of Chinese favorites made with chicken, shrimp and beef. Among the familiar dishes: sweet and sour chicken, shrimp with lobster sauce, moo goo gai pan, Szechwan beef, Mongolian beef and General Tso's chicken. There's also a variety of chow mein, chop suey, moo shu, egg foo young, soups and appetizers.
In addition, the menu includes 15 varieties of maki rolls.
DON'T-MISS DISHES: Sino's food comes out fast, hot and, for the most part, tasty.
A particular favorite was the shrimp with mixed vegetables, which came as part of a combination plate with fried rice and an egg roll for $6.50. The shrimp were surprisingly large and plentiful, and the crunchy vegetables included broccoli, onions, peppers and water chestnuts.
Also good was the Szechwan beef, made with large strips of meat accompanied by bits of mushrooms, broccoli and onions. The dish had a hint of spiciness that was just strong enough to provide a kick without overpowering the other flavors.
The curry chicken, however, was missing its signature flavor. The curry was barely detectable, leaving the otherwise attractive dish of chicken, onions and peppers pretty bland.
The main complaint about the entrees is that the sauce binding the dishes together, though tasty, was a bit too thick and gooey.
We also tried a few varieties of the sushi rolls, which were perfectly acceptable if not quite as fresh-tasting as rolls in more upscale sushi places.
AMBIENCE: The restaurant is designed for a take-out crowd, so it's pretty sparsely decorated with just a few tables for dine-in customers. But it's clean and bright.
Customers order at the counter, then wait for their food, which is served in to-go containers regardless of whether the order is for dine-in or carryout .
PRICE RANGE: Quite reasonable. Dinner combination plates are $6.50, and at lunch, a combo that includes fried rice is $4.75. A plate of sushi rolls ranges from $3.95 for the California rolls made with crabstick, avocado and cucumber to $8.95 for the dragon roll made with eel, cucumber, avocado and eel sauce.
SERVICE: Quick, friendly and no-fuss.