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(Justin B. Phillips/American Press)

(Justin B. Phillips/American Press)

A taste of the East

Last Modified: Friday, August 15, 2014 3:20 PM

By Justin B. Phillips / American Press

“Days of Our Lives” played on the television in the dining area of Yank Sing Chinese Restaurant. The words spoken by late cast member Macdonald Carey to start the episode, the whole “sands through the hourglass” bit, echoed though the room. At the tail end of a Tuesday afternoon lunch rush, the place was relatively empty. Oddly enough, that’s kind of the way it is for Yank Sing. The restaurant has been open for over a decade and still, somehow, remains relatively unknown. Their anonymity is a surprise considering what the restaurant offers. Yank Sing has a diverse menu, which includes both a lunch and dinner buffet. They even deliver. Their rules state they only deliver within three miles of the restaurant, but their drivers have been known to break this habit every now and then.

Tuesday, Scene Editor Alex Onken and I decided to find out more about this mysterious place with the lengthy local history. Yank Sing has a surprising number of regulars, evident in the people placing to-go orders without looking over the menu. One of the waiters told us the college crowd makes up a huge part of their customer base. Most of the students call in and use the delivery service, he said.

In the middle of the dining area is a buffet station. Present are the normal restaurant favorites including noodles, fried rice, egg rolls and various chicken-based dishes. We passed on the buffet and ordered from the menu. Just like a place accustomed to the facilitating a quick business-lunch, the Yank Sing kitchen works fast. It only took a few minutes for us to get our meals.

I ordered a personal favorite, the Kung Po, or Pao if you prefer, chicken. If you want to truly test the skill set of a kitchen specializing in Asian cuisine, this is the dish to order.

The flavor has to full bodied and fierce since it’s a dish filled with spices, vegetables and a unique marinade. I prefer to have an assortment of vegetables in my Kung Po because they add to the flavor. Yank Sing delivered on this. There were pieces of zucchini, roasted peanuts and even a few peas along with the regular onions, peppers and carrots. The chicken was tender and flavorful. The fired rice was light and blended well with the overall bold flavors of the Kung Po.

Alex ordered the chicken and broccoli dish with noodles. As far as proportions, Alex said everything was in balance. He said the crisp broccoli was perfectly offset by the tenderness of the chicken. Since Alex readily admits his affinity to garlic, he said it ended up being the flavor that tied the dish together. As for the noodles, Alex said he prefers his lo mein not to have the thick udon noodles. He doesn’t want angel hair pasta either, but more of a middle ground between the two. Yank Sing delivered in this regard, he said.

We both ordered egg rolls. They were crisp and fresh. The wrappers were thin enough to be crispy and were fried in a way that kept them from being hard and brittle.

Ordering from the lunch menu, our meals together were less than $20, a good deal when it comes to the large lunch portions Yank Sing dishes out. As we ate and stared at some lunchtime soap operas, I realized it’s easy to take for granted the number of great restaurants in Lake Charles.

Yank Sing is a perfect example. It’s another place in the city serving great Asian cuisine at great prices and it flies under the radar.

Well, probably not for much longer.

Posted By: Lindsey Leggett On: 8/16/2014

Title: Yank Sing

Yank Sing has been around for a little more than 10 years, 12 actually. Yank Sing means Goat City, for those of you wondering. I helped open it. I love the food and the fact that they deliver. If you haven't tried it, you absolutely must. Call 477-9004 for to-go and delivery!

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