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Hunan Garden Chinese Restaurant
9218 N. Council Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK
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(also at NW 63rd & May)
Tea: Oolong (bags)
Home Style Bean Curd:
Reviews: AOL City Guide
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Several Hunan Garden locations in Oklahoma City all seem to be connected with the same menus, and
all offering buffets as their main feature. The one with which I am familiar used to be located at the
northwest corner of Northwest Expressway and Council Road, and has now moved to the southeast
corner of the intersection next to the Wal-Mart Super Center.
I may have tried the buffet once or twice at the old location, but I never remember being as impressed with the food as I was at Hunan Wok, another restaurant nearby with a similar name but operated by different people.
Over the years my main interest went to tofu dishes and other non-meat items. Again, I thought Hunan Wok and many other restaurants did a better job of preparing these menu (non-buffet) items.
Recently, however, I have thought that Hunan Garden has improved the food. The Home Style Bean Curd I ordered was notable because of the red colored sauce that was unlike the standard soy sauce versions that come at other restaurants. Hunan Garden does not make it spicy unless you request it, but the flavor is such that it does not really need to be served that way. I do not care much that the tofu is raw (white and soft) inside, but this is really the proper Chinese way for the bean curd to be cooked. The fault is really that the tofu is cut into too large chunks rather than that it is not cooked enough.
While my tastes have changed over the years, it does seem that the food is now better at Hunan Garden than in the past, at least for the tofu dishes at which I am experienced.
The buffet contains MSG, and I could not even order a lunch special without running into items that would have MSG (such as the hot and sour soup). It will be very difficult for me to compare other items on the menu that have pre-made sauces, although I do have a vague memory of trying them in years past.
It did not seem that I would have much luck trying to get some of the more traditional Chinese dishes at Hunan Garden such as noodle soup, pan fried noodles, etc., although I did not really try on my last visit.
Those eating from the buffet are probably getting pretty high doses of MSG, a substance that really has no nutritional value and possibly causes headaches as it does in me, but at least the food should be pretty good. The menu is not expensive, though, and I think offers some decent choices.
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