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Oct 17, 2008 10:45 PM

Bando (formerly Hunan House) in Middletown

At the former Hunan House site, the new place is open. It's called Bando. I have not been there yet. Taiwanese and Shanghai cooking.
655 State Highway No 35, Middletown
(732) 671-5588

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  1. Just stopped in to pick up a take-out menu. Nice decor inside. Menu has most of the standard items, but a few extras. There are some curry (Thai) dishes and some Kim Chee. (And maybe some other Korean things; I'm not too familiar with that cuisine.) It has a section for noodle dishes, and one for sauce over rice. Plus it has lobster and Dungeness crab. Prices are typical. I'm looking forward to trying it.

    1. Val Ann C, I am so glad that you mentioned this place! I would never have known about this place until I saw this yesterday! Since we don't live in that neck of the woods, I rely on you letting us know. :). My family and I went to this place immediately after reading this.

      The restaurant looks really nice. It was 1:30 and there were about 20 people sitting in there. Mostly Asians, which is a good sign. This place has been opened since Wednesday.

      The menu has an extensive authentic Taiwanese cuisine and they still carried many of the favorite local Chinese takeout fare. (ie. General Tso's).

      We ordered shrimp rice cake, leek dumpling (which is vegetarian dumpling that consists of leeks, green bean vermicelli and eggs), a cold platter of drunken chicken and smoked fish. We also ordered an eels with yellow chives noodle soup and scrambled eggs with vegetables. It is an omelet with preserved turnips. Yes, we're Asian.

      The shrimp rice cake was pretty good. The leek dumpling was especially good after we dipped it in hot chili paste. The waiter was highly recommending the drunken chicken which is a Taiwanese staple. It taste like it sounds. It's cold poached chicken in Hsiao Sing Wine. My husband loved the smoked fish. The carp has been smoked with a teriyaki like marinade.

      We loved the eel noodle soup and wolfed it down. My daughter, who is a true blue American was able to eat the scrambled eggs without a problem. She got a separate wonton soup which she was able to eat with no problem.

      The service was great and attentive. The waiters speak English perfectly and were able to interpret any of the items from the menu.

      We think that this restaurant is better than Shanghai Bun and it's a nice alternative to Crown Palace. They have a much bigger menu than Shanghai Bun. It's definitely worth a try! I will definitely be going back.

      1. I felt like going out to eat tonight but was too lazy to drive to my usual spots so we tried Bando which is nearby.

        plate of 3 cold apps
        sliced roast beef- very good
        beef tendon- I have had this dish very spicy and not so spicy and like both. At Bando it is not so spicy and sliced a little thickly so it's extra chewy. I still liked it
        wine chicken- I don't like the taste of wine so didn't like it but it's my own fault for ordering it.

        taiwanese pork chop over rice- lightly breaded and fried pork cutlet served over rice with sauce and pickled veg, a red cooked egg. and cooked cabbage. I enjoyed this homestyle dish and for 7.95, it is a bargain. They serve dishes like this at Shanghai Bun but I agree with wench31 that Bando is more enjoyable.

        They had a whole flounder special for $28 that I was too cheap to order so instead we got pan fried flounder filet in a light ginger scallion sauce for $18. It was delicious.

        I found Bando to be good but not amazing. Since it's close by I will definitely go back. They have plenty of interesting things to try involving pigs blood, kidneys and duck tongues- if I ever get up the nerve.

        1. Dined at Bando for Sunday lunch. We were very pleased. We ordered 3 apps, 3 mains, a vegetable, and dessert. Portions were the right size for our group of four. Our server, Tony, was very patient explaining the Taiwanese dishes. Tony is the owners' son and he works the front desk as well.
          All the food was good. I may like this place as much as West Lake.
          - Radish cake (from specials list) -- a salty, savory paste with shredded radish, baked in flaky pastry, crusted with toasted sesame seeds. I loved this and could have eaten a whole one by myself.
          - Spicy pig ears -- Served cold, thinly sliced, seasoned with a bit of heat. Chewy and tasty and, to me, unusual.
          - Pan-fried pork dumplings -- good
          - Casserole with minced pork meatballs, cabbage, mushroom, cellophane noodles. Very tasty. I will want this again when the weather is cold. A nearby table got the fish-head casserole and that looked good too.
          - Oyster pancake. Mr C loved this. I didn't try it.
          - Whole flounder, deep fried, with scallions and ginger. I loved this. Fresh, simple, well-prepared.
          - Sauteed snow pea shoots and leaves. Delicious. Simple and well-prepared.

          Dessert was a sweet red bean soup. Nice, but not exciting. It was a soothing end to the meal.

          The room is pleasant and attractive. At first I felt the tables were a bit crowded together, but once the food arrived, my senses were focused on the meal and the good company.

          The bill was about $78 before tip. A good value. We look forward to going back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: val ann c

            Val - A great report about our lunch. I agree completely about your assessment. Every dish (save for the Oyster Pancake which turned me off a bit due to its consistency) was excellent. Service was very friendly and accommodating even in light of the multitude of questions asked. I wish all authentic Chinese restaurants were so welcoming. I will definitely return and recommend others do as well.
            Val - Thanks again for orchestrating the meal.

          2. Based on your report I went there Sunday night with the wife and a friend. What great food! As good as anything in NYC Chinatown. An excellent addition to the Jersey shore area. It will be hard now to go back to our usual go to place for Chinese food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JerzeyShore

              Went there Saturday night. This place is excellent.
              Great authentic Chinese food, very good price.
              Dishes we orderd and liked:
              -Steamed pork bun was great
              -Taiwanese style fried chicken leg over rice
              -Taiwanese fried vermicelli
              -Lion Head casserole (giant meatballs in soup)

              My wife and I are born and raised in Hong Kong so we are picky with Chinese food in general. Most of the Chinese food in NJ are not worth spending the money for. We only good out when we have craving for Dim Sum. When it comes to dinner, there is really not much that would entice us to go out. 1-9 Seafood was good for a little while until the price mysteriously goes up and portion and quality go down. Wonder Seafood in Edison is solid but the location and interior is not good for us now that we have a 2-yrs old boy. Shanghai Park is another one we enjoyed and serve similar food as Bando.

              Don't know why I went into a rant, I guess my point is Bando is great and we will tvisit it frequently. :-)