It's no secret that we're a fan of on Morris Avenue. With a close second, Hunan Spring is our favorite Chinese restaurant in town. On our last visit, we raved about one of the healthier options on the lunch menu: . This week, with the season for comfort food fading fast, we chose some heavier fare.
The interior of Hunan Spring was redecorated a few months ago. Gone are the light greens and whites, replaced by new black booths and dark wooden tables with a shiny finish. I still miss the white tablecloths, but the dining area looks a little classier now.
As usual, within 30 seconds of sitting down at lunchtime, a metal pot of tea was placed before me. Not just any black tea, but a fragrant jasmine tea, with dried leaves and petals steeping in the pot.
We have been . Today, we go a decidedly different route, with three courses of meat. I skipped over the usual $7-$8 lunch specials and instead opted for a combination: roast pork with Chinese vegetables for $9.50. Like the lunch specials, the combinations come with a choice of soup. Unlike the lunch specials, they also come with an egg roll, and there is no choice of rice, as all of the combinations come with pork fried rice.
The hot and sour soup was a mix of pork, tofu and slices of fresh scallions in a thick, spicy broth. It was served with a plate of fried wontons and two sauces – a sweet duck sauce and a hot mustard.
The egg roll was served next, with a steak needed knife. Crispy on the outside, piping hot on the inside, this was filled with shredded cabbage, diced pork and shrimp. The sweet duck sauce complemented it well.
The main dish consisted of several thin slices of lean, roast pork in a thick sauce, accented with string beans, sugar snap peas and broccoli. The bright green vegetables were neither outnumbered nor overshadowed by the pork, but they were a refreshing change from the heavy food I had been eating up until this point.
Speaking of heavy food, I couldn't help myself from nearly finishing the pork fried rice, with tiny bits of pork and egg. Every time I told myself I was full and finished eating, I took one more bite.
Others must enjoy this as much as I do. On a Monday afternoon, the restaurant saw a steady stream of customers.
I left with a heavy feeling in my stomach. Full, but not as satisfied as I usually am. Hunan Spring does lighter meals so well—such as anything with spicy garlic sauce and brown rice—that it is not necessary to order heavier dishes as I did.
Lastly, I did not know what to make of my fortune: "It tastes sweet."
Perhaps someone was telling me that next time I should eat lighter and save some room for dessert?