Weekly Dish: No buffet, but all the flavors you've come to love

Happy Family Combo at Taste of China Xpress

Chinese cuisine first came into prominence in America in the late 20th century though Chinese restaurants have been in America since at least the mid-19th century. Taste of China Xpress in Beaumont is another addition in this rich and delicious history of Chinese cuisine in America. Located on College Street, this Chinese eatery goes above and beyond in terms of flavor, portions and choice.

Taste of China was originally located at I-10 and College and operated as a buffet. However after seeing the decline in popularity for buffets, it moved down the street and opened as a made-to-order restaurant with a steam table. The steam table starts at $5.75 and entitles diners to a choice of rice or noodles, one side and an appetizer with a choice to add an additional side for a total of $7. They also offer delivery with a $15 minimum order.

The curry chicken is one of the stars at Taste of China Xpress. This chicken centered entrée with a side of white rice can also come in a dinner combo that upgrades the white rice to either fried rice or lo mein and adds an eggroll. The curry chicken is chicken in a curry powder sauce with onions, carrots and red and green bell peppers. The spicy curry powder sauce brings all of the items on the plate together under one flavor profile, making the plate a great vehicle for the delicious sauce. The sauce itself is a blend of spicy and savory that suggests a question: Why can’t it come on everything? The eggroll is filled with veggies in a flaky wrapping pairing neatly with the plate and begging to be dipped in curry powder sauce.

The sautéed shrimp plate is also a site to behold. The seafood entrée features whole shrimp fried in a light batter then stir fried with onions and jalapenos. The shrimp embody the “salt and pepper” mentality by relying on simple flavors to bring together a delectable experience. The jalapeno and onion flavors cook into the already tasty shrimp, making these minimalistic flavors impact the overall plate in a big way. Mixing good seafood with culinary know-how, this shrimp plate is unlike anything else in the area.

The Happy Family combo deserves its name. A giant combination of beef, chicken, and shrimp with vegetables paired with shrimp fried rice, the veggies and proteins are cooked in a “Brown Sauce” that is a restaurant specialty and well-kept secret. The proteins are plenty and the “Brown Sauce” invigorates the savory flavor of the whole dish. The cooked veggies consist of broccoli, snow peas, carrots, onions, peppers and baby corn. These mixed veggies give the meal multiple facets of texture and flavor and help to make every bite something unique. The shrimp fried rice is an excellent pairing to the meal. The fried rice accompanied by carrots, peas, egg and shrimp, offer the already complex bites even more variety while also allowing itself to stand on its own. If the abundance of savory flavor and variation weren’t enough, the portions are more than enough to share or save and eat over several days. This plate brings enough food and taste to make the whole family happy.

Taste of China Xpress is at 2949 College St. For more information or to place an order, call (409) 838-1688.