Chinese food is not my favorite Asian fare, primarily because fast-food Chinese places have killed it for me. However, Lee’s Chinese Restaurant has been in business for 33 years (more than 20 in its current location), so it must be doing something right.
Lee’s is on the frontage road just off West Kellogg, mixed in among specialty shops, restaurants and airport hotels. The interior and exterior are nondescript, much like any of the large number of Chinese restaurants in Wichita. Lee’s offers dine-in, carryout or delivery. A weekday buffet for only $5.95 is a good option for lunch. Prices for entrees range from $8 to $20.
I liked the abundance of options the restaurant offered. Lee’s has two menus. One lists traditional Chinese fare including black mushroom chicken, braised tofu and mussels in black bean sauce. The other has more Americanized Chinese dishes, including sweet and sour chicken, mu shu pork and broccoli beef. You could visit the restaurant once a week for a year and still not be able to try everything on the menu.
Even though I wanted to be adventurous and try the traditional menu, I settled on one of the weekly specials – eggplant chicken with ginger onion. The meal came with egg drop soup or salad, mandu, which is a triangle-shaped pork egg roll, a vegetable egg roll, and fried or white rice. Everything came out quickly but not so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. It almost seemed like they could sense when I was ready for the next thing.
The egg drop soup was OK, and the mandu and vegetable egg rolls tasted overcooked and more typical of fast-food Chinese. I hoped my entree would get things back on track, and it didn’t disappoint. The ginger, a favorite spice of mine, immediately got my attention. The eggplant looked like it was just cut fresh from the garden, and bringing it all together were tender chicken and onions, all bathed in a light brown sauce.
The vegetables, which were perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crunch, coupled with the ginger sauce left me with a taste to savor the rest of the day. The portion size was generous, but I could have eaten more. Some of the other dishes that came recommended were the egg foo yong, braised duck and general’s chicken. For those with diet restrictions, Lee’s has a special section of the menu and can make almost anything to order.
I was impressed by how speedy the service was on my visit, and I was in and out in about 30 minutes. I was immediately seated by an extremely helpful woman who appeared to be the manager. I almost felt like I was being invited into her home.
Overall, I liked Lee’s Chinese Restaurant because of its fast and friendly service, unique entrees with fresh ingredients, and a comfortable atmosphere.
Ratings reflect the critic’s judgment of the food, service and atmosphere in relation to the price. If you would like to nominate a restaurant to be reviewed, call 316-268-6327.
Lee’s Chinese Restaurant
Where: 6215 W. Kellogg, 316-942-8822
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays
Type of food: Chinese