Recently, I went into the Chinese restaurant on Park Ave in Mansfield, Ohio called Lee’s Ancient Wok. It’s in a shopping center that has a awkward parking lot set up. From the outside of the restaurant, it doesn’t look like much. When entering the building, it jumps out that it doesn’t look like your typical Chinese restaurant. My first impression was that it was not going to taste that good, but I decided to give it a chance.
I walked up to the register, the cashier was the typical older Chinese lady. As I placed my order, she spoke it into a microphone which came over the loud speaker. This made no sense at all, considering the cook was about 10 ft away from her. Unlike other Chinese express restaurants, you can see the entire cooking line from where you order. There was a few faded pictures of Chinese dishes on the menu on the wall, typical of a Chinese restaurant. It’s like there’s some place that sells the same picture no matter where you go. I’ve never gotten food that looked like the picture. There was a handwritten sign on the register that stated they only accepted cash. My thoughts at this point was that the food was going to taste really gross. The speaker was tacky, but not accepting cash? That just screamed out 20th century! Get with it, it’s the 21st century, everyone accepts credit cards. I also noticed you did not get free refills with your fountain drinks, rather they charged 50 cents for a refill. Very unusual for a Chinese restaurant. I made sure to try and consume my drink in moderation, trying not to be disappointed. As much as places charge for fountain drinks, you should get at least one free refill. After all, half the glass is filled with ice!
To my surprise, my food was finished rather quickly. Prepared for the worst from my initial expectations just from looks, I was pleasantly surprised. I ordered Beef with Broccoli. The food was cooked perfectly, which doesn’t happen very often. The broccoli was just the right taste, not too crunchy, not too soft. The sauce wasn’t overwhelming, the rice was very flavorful. As a picky Chinese food eater, I expected the worst and got the complete opposite. This would definitely rank as one of the best Chinese restaurants I’ve eaten at in the United States. I’ve been to Chinese restaurants in 15 states. This is definitely one I would be returning. Lee’s Ancient Wok on Park Ave in Mansfield is truly the best Chinese place in town, and I’ve eaten at several.
Till next time, peace out!