I just had the pleasure of trying this one out t'day. It's at 2604 Guadalupe St. almost next to 711. Laid back atmosphere with friendly staff. A walk up counter where you order, pay and they brought the food out promptly. No alcohol but they allow you to BYOB. I had the hot & sour soup. Very hearty and full of flavor. Followed that with the shrimpw/lobster sauce. It had some interesting red pepper that added a distinct flavor as well as zucchini. Served w/white rice I couldn't tell if it had heat to it as I was eating it rather fast. The only other chinese food I've had in Austin is Asia Cafe which is excellent. From what I'm told Ming's specializes in Cantonese recipes that go back through the family. There's also one in Houston. I can't wait to go back and try their curry.
Well I made it back yesterday and had the same meal. Met the owner who was very nice and has a real passion for good food. I noticed an old smoker out back that they were using. The meal was just as good as the last time and I noticed the rice was more of the sticky kind and complimented the sauce. I asked if he did cantonese lobster and he said just to call in a day early. This one's a winner.
Everytime I go to Ming's the waitstaff and the owner have been great. I absolutely LOVE their egg drop soup - it has this smokey flavor that I can't get enough of. The dumplings are handmade and also quite excellent. The ginger soy sauce is strong - but I loved it on the veggie dumplings (and also drizzled on my rice)!
I asked the owner why they were serving on styro plates - and he said there is some drama with the instillation of the dish washing machine. He has the machine, but in order to vent it, they have to go through (drill holes/make a mess) the businesses that are upstairs - and finding a solution that works for everyone in the building is proving more difficult than first imagined.
Having only dined there a few times over the past couple months, I'm also impressed that the owner remembers my name and says hello when he see's me ordering.
I like Ming's, but I got pretty mad at them about a month ago. I called in an order from home, planning to pick up the food on my way to a meeting on campus. The girl who took my order said it would be ready in 10 minutes. When I got there 15 minutes later, I asked for my order and the counter guy told the kitchen to put my order together. When I asked why it wasn't ready, he said that they hold off on putting the takeout orders together because their food is really saucy and they don't want it to get all soggy. I think that's total BS -- I suspect they do it because they're so close to a student population that they don't want to waste food on phony call-in orders. Has anyone else experienced this very strange method of handling take-out orders?
At any rate, I was already late for my meeting and couldn't wait for them to cook the order I'd called in ahead of time, so I cancelled the order on the spot and haven't been back. I guess as soon as I'm feeling less irritated about this incident, I'll go back when I have the time to order in and eat there because they have a pork and eggplant dish I've been very very curious about.
Yes, I have had that same "call in order" experience at Ming's. I work nearby to Ming's. I frequently call in orders for lunch at various area restaurants for our entire office. Time and again, I gave Ming's a chance and time and again went to pick up the order that I had called in only to have to wait in line behind the walk in customers, then finally make it to the register to order, only to find my order had not even begun to be put together. Time and again, my order took LONGER than people who had just arrived!. Like I said, I gave them another chance over and over, hoping for better results. One time these three guys who had arrived on motorcycles were in line right in front of me, and the owner chatted with them about their order at length, taking all this extra time, and then when I have my turn in line, I say that I have called in my order, I am practically ignored and wound up waiting that time 30 minutes for them to prepare my order, and the "special" sweet and sour chicken is totally not freshly prepared chicken, it was very dry and tough... Its really unfortunate that I had these experiences because some of their dishes I tried were really good, but who wants to put up with such a hassle just to pick up an order?