Ming’s Excellent Chinese Restaurant in Pleasant Hill

by foodhoe on February 4, 2010

2653 Pleasant Hill Road, Pleasant Hill, CA  94523 | 925.934.9393 | Tues-Sun 11:30 am – 9:30 pm

I’ve been prowling the various neighborhood Chinese restaurants in obscure strip malls strewn about Coco County and found this one that was highly recommended by yelp.com.  Yes, I am looking at social networking sites for food recommendations and welcome any good words and suggestions for the general Concord/Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area… help!  We thought this was pretty good – decent serving sizes and the food was well prepared, but this is not something you would just happen upon, unless you live in the neighborhood…

Mr. K loved the Hot and Sour Soup ($5.25), in fact I am drooling just thinking about it.  It was thick and full bodied with strands of delicate egg blossoms, tofu, shreds of carrot, bamboo shoots and crunchy black fungus, and liberally dosed with white pepper which makes your mouth numb and eyes tear up a little from the heat and the pungent sharp acidity of vinegar.  My description doesn’t really do it justice, but they serve a very fine bowl of hot and sour soup, trust me…

On our second visit, they brought out a plate of eggrolls on the house – hot from the fryer, crispy and full of cabbage, pork, minced mushroom and carrots.  They were served with the requisite bowl of unnaturally bright red sweet and sour sauce that I am accustomed to drizzling over and they were very good…

I always love ordering Mu Shu Vegetables ($7.75), make that any Mu Shu dish, because it’s so entertaining when the server comes over and individually wraps each serving.  I personally do not have that technique of using two spoons in one hand down.

They make a very respectable Mu Shu, full of smoky wok flavors, mixed in with a smear of savory hoisin sauce and crisp vegetables.

Mr. K asked for some chili sauce and got a nice bowl of chili garlic sauce, full of red chili fire.

We tried one of the chef’s specialties, Basil Tofu with Fresh Mushrooms ($8.50), tossed with fresh mushrooms and snow peas in spicy sauce

The tofu was fried and then braised, resulting in a chewy toothsome crust filled with a custardlike interior.  Very good.

I read such glowing reviews on yelp about Ming’s Crispy Ginger Chicken ($7.25), but found it to be a rather boring plate of battered and fried chunks of chicken breast tossed in a lemony sweet and sour sauce.  They were bland and squishy, kind of like chicken mcnuggets.  If you are a regular reader, you know I love just about anything that is battered and fried, but this was so bland that it didn’t even compare to Panda Express orange chicken….

Singapore Rice Noodle in Curry Sauce ($6.50) was a mound of angel’s hair vermicelli pasta stir fried with BBQ pork, shrimp vegetable and scrambled egg in curry sauce.  The texture was delicate and very satisfying.

Snow Pea Prawns ($9.95) were tender and succulent tossed in a light savory sauce with delicately crisp snow peas.

The Curry Prawns ($8.95) were stir fried with the trinity of onion, carrot and bell peppers, and tossed in a savory curry sauce that was on the thin side, but very flavorful.

String Beans with Tofu ($6.75) was a generous pile of triangles of firm tofu tossed with crispy green beans in a savory sauce laced with garlic and soy and chiles.

And last but not least, the fortune cookies are individually shrink wrapped, ensuring freshness.  They were crisp and fresh, exactly how you want them to taste, a hint of vanilla and toasty delicious.

But I’ve got to say, my fortune cracked me up… it’s nice to get one out from left field once in a while!

Ming's Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa February 5, 2010 at 2:30 am

Wonderful! I love that sentence ;-p…

Cheers,

Rosa

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grace February 5, 2010 at 8:05 am

wait, do elephants even have lips? :)
much of this grub looks quite tasty, but none appeals to me more than that chili sauce–yum!
.-= grace´s last blog ..steak a la switzerland? =-.

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hungry dog February 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

Sounds like a winner! The pictures are fab, as always–the eggrolls in particular had me drooling (and it’s only 7:30 am, what’s wrong with me?) Has anyone noticed how fortunes are no longer fortunes anymore? They are either statements, or directions. A fortune would be, “You will kiss an elephant on the lips today.” But I digress…
.-= hungry dog´s last blog ..Crazy mango bars =-.

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Kirk February 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

Some elephant must have been really disappointed on that day! ;o)

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Single Guy Ben February 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

My eyes were mesmerized by the Singapore rice noodles, mostly because I love that dish and order it all the time and Ming’s version looked especially fresh and hearty. And yeah, watch out for those elephants. But giraffes? Baby I’m all over that! :P
.-= Single Guy Ben´s last blog ..Who Dat? Super Bowl Gumbo =-.

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Juliana February 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Wow, everything looks yummie…love them all, just would like a small bite of each dish :-)

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Cookie February 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I LOVE Hot and Sour Soup! I’m totally craving it now especially on a cold rainy SF night. What a funny Fortune Cookie!
.-= Cookie´s last blog ..Superbowl Brownies…well, kinda… =-.

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mark February 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I live about 15 minutes from Mings, I must admit, I really like the ginger chicken. Maybe you got a bad batch.
.-= mark´s last blog ..bacon #2 =-.

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gaga February 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Haha, I love that fortune cookie. Where do they come up with this stuff? (the food looks good too, yum!)
.-= gaga´s last blog ..Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes =-.

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Livin Local February 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

I was so imagining a bowl of hot and sour soup, and a plate of the basil tofu in front of me, then burst out laughing with the elephant lips fortune.
.-= Livin Local´s last blog ..A Nice Little Roasted Veggie Sandwich =-.

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Phyllis (me HUNGRY!) February 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

That custardy fried tofu looks scrumptious!
.-= Phyllis (me HUNGRY!)´s last blog ..I ♥ VANCOUVER =-.

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