China Gate. Ahh, an Ann Arbor Chinese restaurant that evokes so many memories of my years as an undergrad at UMich.
Located on S. University, pretty much right on the U-M Central Campus, this restaurant is a staple for hangry college students. The windows are decorated with signs showcasing Chef Jan’s culinary awards, and the inside is filled with vinyl booths along both walls, tacky-yet-charming crystal chandeliers, and one or two attentive servers who never fail to refill your water glass. The food is always served PIPING hot, straight from the wok. Don’t burn your mouth. If you need to use the restroom, you’ll just let one of the servers know, who’ll shout “CUSTOMER!” back into the kitchen before you take a walk through the tiny space filled with flaming woks to reach the stairs that take you to the basement.
I first wrote about China Gate back in 2010. Recently I was inspired to visit again – it had been way too long since my last visit! I also think it’s time for a fresh and updated China Gate post, with some improved photographs that properly showcase the delicious American-Chinese cuisine that I so enjoy.
When the huz and I visit, we love ordering the Dinner for Two special, which first comes with a pair of appetizers – crab rangoon and egg rolls. The crab rangoon feature the crunchiest wontons I’ve ever tried. And they are completely stuffed with tons of cheesy filling – that is a good thing!
Next up, a big vat of sizzling rice soup. You may choose from from a clear broth or a tomato-based broth, and I prefer the deliciously savory, rich clear broth. Sprinkle the crispy rice on top and it will loudly SIZZLE – fun!
Fried rice. Best fried rice ever. ‘Nuff said.
Kung Pao Beef. Tons of whole and halved peanuts, in a mildly hot sauce, with lots of fresh veggies, and tender bites of beef.
General Tso’s Chicken. No explanation required. Tastes as good as it looks.
I hope you enjoyed this fresh look at China Gate. I know I enjoyed eating it.
Fun story – we went to China Gate prior to attending a Shakespeare in the Arb performance. Knowing we’d have Chinese leftovers, and not wanting to waste them, we actually brought a cooler full of ice with us, in which we placed our leftovers while we went to see Shakespeare. (Obviously we put the food in the fridge when we got home later that night). And yep, the leftovers were fantastic the next day. #dedication