Modesto Chinese Restaurants Review
The Chinese Restaurants in Modesto that I have visited, an unofficial guide
Written by Calvin Lee (Modesto
General Surgeon), with opinions from
Tammy Wu (Modesto Plastic Surgeon)
I am Chinese, but that doesn't make me an expert on Chinese food.
I'm frequently asked about this topic: What's your favorite
Chinese restaurant. I figured I'm asked this question because it is a
popular food. I was born in New York City and haven't even been to China,
although I've been to Taiwan several times. My tastes won't be only for
authentic or "Americanized" Chinese food, as I grew up in America, but had
Chinese parents with Chinese relatives. Thus, my reviews are for what I
like. I'm adding comments from Tammy Wu (Modesto Plastic Surgeon), who is
also Chinese, but she grew up in Taiwan, where she grew up eating Chinese Food
from the best Chinese Restaurants. When I started writing this review,
I've been in Modesto
trying out the Chinese Food scene for about 4 years. Does this make me
qualified? Well, it at least gave me opinions.
We need more Modesto Chinese food options
First, I wish there were more Chinese Restaurants in Modesto. There
doesn't seem to be enough variety for me. My problem is that I don't cook
(at least not well), and I eat out most of the time. But believe it or
not, the Chinese food in Modesto varies tremendously from restaurant to
restaurant. However, I haven't purposely visited every Chinese Restaurant
in Modesto. I've just been to several and been to them repeatedly - enough
to be able to write reviews and have opinions. Please send me your
recommendations if you like: calvinleemd [at] surgerytoday.com
Chinese Restaurant Listings with Addresses (not complete)
Modesto Chinese Restuarant listing in Yahoo yellow pages
- Beijing Restaurant (209) 575-3528 3848 McHenry Ave #205, Modesto,
- Dynasty Restaurant 209-204-5888 3500 Coffee Rd. Suite S1, Modesto,
- Imperial Garden Restaurant (209) 521-1226 2045 W Briggsmore Ave
#A1, Modesto, CA
- Lee's Chinese Kitchen (209) 521-9030 3128 McHenry Ave., Modesto,
- New Hong Kong Restaurant (209) 526-5888 2312 McHenry Ave.,
- Panda Express (209) 572-4689 and (209) 577-0775, On Oakdale, Evergreen,
The Chinese Restaurant ratings explained
- Location: Discussions on the building itself
- The Chinese food: Most of this will be based on a x/10 rating
scale. 10 being the best and 1 being the worst.
- Communication: This is ethnic food, and there's going to be some
communication gaps. But this is important to me in the enjoyment of my
time eating out in Modesto.
- Service: Also mostly based on a 1-10 rating scale, and I may add
This was one of the first restaurants
I've ever been to in Modesto. This was the restaurant that the
McHenry Medical Group brought
me to, when they interviewed me for a position with their medical group as a
General Surgeon. We have since parted ways. They are located
at the northern
end of McHenry in the New WalMart parking lot. See additional info on this
Chinese restaurant below in the grey box (email from S.S.)
- Location: 7/10 Located on McHenry, on the Northern side of
the street. Ample parking. WalMart is now there.
- The Chinese food: 7/10. They do have very good garlic
chicken which is different from the ones in the other restaurants.
Their garlic chicken has tons of garlic! (good thing for me)
- Communication: 6/10.
- Service: 7/10.
- See email message below from J.D.
Brand new restaurant the opened in place of Blue Peacock. Article in
Modesto Bee about this restaurant by Lisa Millegan. Robert Wu used to
co-own Imperial Garden, but has now started a separate restaurant near the
Village One side of town. Dynasty is the first restaurant to offer Dim Sum
in Modesto. Dim Sum in Cantonese means "a little bit of everything."
There is also a separate Chinese menu with different items from the "English"
menu. You have to ask for it if you can read Chinese.
- Location: 6/10 Sylvan Square shopping center is a bit
cramped in it's parking, and it is hard to get out of the parking lot at
times - due to difficult left turns out of the shopping center. Nice
selection of indoor plants and the lighting isn't gloomy. The tables
are a bit too close together for my taste.
- The Chinese food: 8/10. The portions are good.
- Communication: 7/10. Not the greatest ease in communicating
but adequate with effort.
- Service: 7/10. Not always consistent. Robert Wu, the
owner is always very nice and accommodating.
- I haven't tried this yet.
Imperial Garden Restaurant
Located by Sisk and Briggsmore, this restaurant has been in Modesto for a
while. It's famous for it's green sign and white plantation shutters.
This is a hangout of many medical doctors in town. Dr. Wu and myself
included. There is a separate Chinese menu, written completely in Chinese,
which has more traditional fares which is cooked in a different style than the
rest of the menu written in English. This menu is available, you just have
to ask for it. But don't count of me to translate it. They also have
some delivery options.
- Location: 7/10 Located next to furniture stores and other
restaurants, a bit of a dark parking lot, but the inside is well lit and
clean. The tables are spaced nicely and I don't feel cramped in this
restaurant. I've rarely had trouble finding parking in this ample
space of a parking lot.
- The Chinese food: 9/10. The portions are good. We do
like this restaurant.
- Communication: 8/10.
- Service: 9/10. The waiters and waitresses are super.
Lee's Chinese Kitchen
- You would think with my last name, I'd be visiting this restaurant
frequently. However, I've only been here once - that's not enough to
get a good sense of this restaurant.
- See email below for more comments on this restaurant.
New Hong Kong Restaurant
This is the restaurant located next to what used to be Kenny's Bar on
McHenry. They recently re-renovated the area.
- Location: 5/10. Easy parking, but dark on the inside with
almost no real plants. Lack of plants in a restaurant bugs me, as does
darkness. I'm a firm believer that plants clean up the air we breath
and I don't want to breathe in stale air in a restuarant
- The Chinese food: 7/10. On the greasy side. The
portions are good.
- Communication: 6/10. A bit hard to get across what I wanted
to order. There is a bit of a language barrier here.
- Service: 7/10
I included this fast food chain on here, because I've been here enough times
and it is Chinese food. This is counter served food where you pick 2 items
or three items and get your drink at the end. Gets very croweded at lunch
times. I have only been to the two locations: Pelendale and
the one on the Southern end of Pelandale
- The Chinese food: 6/10. The food is fast
- Communication: No language barrier here.
- Service: It's pretty much self serve once you get out of the line
at the counter. For the most part I don't have many complaints.
Keep in mind, things change with time. There's a chance things will
deteriorate or improve. And the opinions above are just that - opinions.
I hope you enjoyed my reviews of Chinese Restaurants in Modesto - the one's I
have frequented over the last 4 years. Note, I eat out almost every day.
Email from readers adding to this page:
From J.D. (Posted with permission):
I just found your blog on the
web. Being a former Modesto resident (I lived there for thirty-eight years), I
often search for anything related to my hometown. Even though I live elsewhere,
I still have a great fondness for the town of my youth.
One thing that I noticed on your list of Chinese restaurants was how very
limited it is. You have only scratched the surface on this genre of eateries in
Modesto. There are so many more that you should check out. Some of them you may
not have considered because they often are considered to be other things than
Chinese restaurants. Chinese cuisine is probably my favorite and I have eaten in
probably every one that does or has existed in Modesto. I live in the land of
non-traditional Chinese fare (buffets or single plate only choices, no Cantonese
food and no traditional take-out). Whenever I get a chance to go back to Modesto
one of my first stops is Lee’s Chinese Kitchen, which was on your list.
It is by far my favorite, especially for their chow mein and beef on a stick.
When my brother came home from Iraq in 1992, at the end of Gulf War I, the first
thing he asked for when we picked him up from the airport was to stop at Lee’s
on our way back home from San Francisco. Go back there often and try many of
their dishes and I think that, even though they may not have the best décor or
atmosphere, their food never fails to please. (My wife and I got married on
Valentine’s Day. It was a very romantic day to have a wedding, but it is a
horrible day to try and celebrate an anniversary. You cannot get in anywhere.
After a few years we finally gave up. We made Lee’s our regular destination and
then would go out for the big night out the following weekend. The staff always
got a kick out of the fact that we chose them for our celebrations.)
One other good choice that many people miss because they dismiss it as a party
hangout, and on the weekends it is little more than that, is Minnie’s.
Try it on a mid-week night and you will have a much better experience. There are
also a few restaurants around town called China Gate. They are all owned
by different members of the same extended family. Each has their own spin on
several dishes, but one remains constant. If you love garlic, try their garlic
chicken. It is their grandfather’s recipe and they don’t change it at any of the
shops. Their used to be a little Chinese grocery and deli on Prescott in the
same shopping center as Big Lots. It is not really a restaurant, but they do
cook to order, not scoop out of steamer trays like the grocery store delis do. I
cannot remember its name but I used to shop there often for food items and would
often go their for lunch when I worked in the area.
I could go on and on, but I won’t . I am glad to see that you are giving some
tips to those who are just venturing in to this most rewarding cuisine. Keep up
the good work and keep adding more locations. I will check back often and see if
there are some new ones that I should try the next time I am in Modesto, that is
of course after I have gone to Lee’s first.
S.S. about Beijing 11-4-08:
I have never ever brought anyone there
(Beijing Restaurant) who was not amazed at the food and how NOT Greasy and how
wonderful the beautiful white meat chicken is sliced and not bits and parts and
deep fried in old grease. Oh and btw just this last Saturday The Modesto Bee put
out its annual Modestos Favorite Section and once again for many many years
running Bejing was listed as Modesto's Favorite Chinese ;)
Shameless advertising for a Modesto Plastic Surgeon:
(This webpage is hosted on her computer server, and she offered her
(c) Calvin Lee, MD Modesto General Surgeon and Tammy Wu, MD Modesto Plastic
Surgeon 2006-7. All rights reserved. Surgical Artistry has no
affiliation with Chinese Restaurants in Modesto. We just like eating
Chinese Food and we are blogging about it here on this webpage.
Surgery. We don't just write about food
in Modesto. Check out my "how
to perform a analgesic block on a finger" webpage (warning: instructions for
medical professionals only such as medical student and residents and ER docs)
and a Hernia frequently asked
questions webpage. And another web page that has the highlights of all
our clinical pages: AskDrWu