Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rainbow Chinese Restaurant

Rainbow Chinese Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant that just opened in mid-September 2011. It is located where the old Full House restaurant was: on State Street in downtown Salem, Oregon.

Part of the lunch menu (as of September 2011)
I was looking at their menu outside when one of the employees greeted me, handing me a take-out menu. I figured, why not, let's try this place. Upon entering the establishment, I saw several 4-top tables and a few booths. The interior was bright and felt very spacious.

I had a craving for something spicy, so I ordered their chicken curry lunch ($4.95): a generous portion of chicken curry with fried rice, two crab puffs, and choice of soup. I asked for their Hot and Sour soup, and also requested the curry extra spicy.

Hot and sour soup
Chicken curry with fried rice and crab puffs
The soup was good, a slight tang that delivered for me. I would have liked just a bit more spice in there. The presentation was sloppy, more noticeable on the non-photographed side of the plate (I turned the dish around to take the photo).

Then it was on to the curry. I savored every bite of the juicy chicken. The vegetables were cooked to my liking: still a bit of crunch in them, similar to a stir fry. The curry flavor made its presence felt, although I was disappointed in the spice. I wanted more heat here, because that was by no means extra spicy food. On the menu, the curry had one of those chili pepper icons next to it. That means it should be spicy, right? Perhaps they didn't want a lawsuit on their hands or something? Bring the heat.

The fried rice was pretty good, to me, the run-of-the-mill, dry-grained (not sticky) rice with the carrots and peas and a little flavor.

The crab puffs were fried very nicely, a beautiful golden brown. However, I felt the filling had too much cream cheese, the texture of the crab getting lost in the shuffle. I couldn't tell if it was imitation or real, but I'd bet money that it was the former to save on costs.

The meal came with a side of red sauce, probably a sweet-sour variety. There was a dollop of Chinese mustard on one half of the red sauce for a bit of wasabi-like heat if I so chose.

I had some difficulty communicating with the staff. It's clear English is not their first language, but that can be a good thing because then the customer knows they are getting something authentic. While I had my concerns, it was still a nice first experience. A great portion for less than $5. 7.5/10

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