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Jan 6, 2009 07:02 AM

Chinese Take Out - Rt 9, Manalapan

Just moved to Manalapan a few months ago and still not too familiar with the area.
Is there a good Chinese take out place off Route 9 between Union Hill Rd and Route 33?

I saw a few on the strip malls but am wondering which one's are good.


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  1. Hunan Gourmet is probably the best off route 9.

    Peking Pavillion, which is off on Route 33, a couple of miles from 9, is surpisingly satisfying and inventive, though a tad too pricy, especially for just takeout.

    1. There is a good place that has authentic Chinese food and they do take out. It's called Empire Szechuan at 184 US Hwy 9 in Englishtown. They also have a Chinese menu there too. It's in the same mall as Brioso Italian Restaurant. They also have sushi! We like this place. I just keep forgetting about going there!

      7 Replies
      1. re: wench31

        Thanks for this info, wench. I will give it a try next time I'm in the area.

        1. re: wench31

          Empire Szechuan gets our vote, too! We had takeout from there on Tuesday night. Eggplant in spicy sauce, veggie lo mein (with no vegetables.. my wife's request), egg roll, spring roll (one of the best I've ever had), broccoli in brown sauce, brown rice on the side. We satisfied the $20 minimum and got a free order of Cold Sesame noodles (my lunch today). They said 40 minutes to deliver.. it took 30. Everything was delicious. The sushi is okay... sometimes I order a spicy tuna roll. Prices are very reasonable, I think.

          They handle special requests with no problem (no veggies in the lo mein, broccoli well done). We've gotten large orders from them as well (over $100). Nice place to eat in, as well. There's an older gentleman there who serves as waiter.. he's hilarious.

          Our other choice is Hunan Gourmet. Never got takeout from there. Usually we go for the hibachi.. my wife has flippy food, and I order sushi... but the Chinese food is very good as well.

          All the other places around here are little take out joints, and to me they're just meh. Never been to Peking Pavilion, though it's on my list.

          There's a small place on Union Hill Road, Bamboo China II, they have a small Thai menu, but I've never tried it.

          1. re: MarlboroMan

            MarlboroMan- between Empire Szechuan and Hunan Gourmet, which would you recommend for dining out? Is Empire Szechuan BYO? I understand Hunan Gourmet has a liquor liscense....

            1. re: njchowgal

              Hunan Gourmet has a little nicer atmosphere, if you're into that sort of thing.. (I'm not.. I'd rather have good food with low prices) but the prices are higher as well. Empire Szechuan does not have a liquor license. You might want to call them first to make sure they're BYO.

              Both have sushi, Hunan Gourmet has teppanyaki.

              We ordered delivery from Empire the other night. Now I realize how much oil is in "broccoli with brown sauce" because it leaked from my plate onto the arm of the couch, and now there's a big grease stain there. Oh wait.. it's mostly faded now. Anyway, I LOVE their eggplant in garlic sauce, spring rolls, broccoli in brown sauce.

              Unrelated note, had a project at church today, we got takeout from "Golden Seas" which is in Marlboro Rt. 79 & 537, I think. Best hot and sour soup! Peppery, not overly sour, no big chunks of meat (in fact, no meat at all). Also had General Tso's Tofu, which was interesting. My wife loved her shrimp and broccoli. They also have seating, but atmosphere wise, it's a step below Empire Szechuan. They used to have sushi, not sure if they still do (they haven't advertised it recently), but the pieces were REALLY small (think micro-sushi) so I never tried that again.

              Back to Hunan Gourmet.. we are tentatively heading there Sunday night.. my MIL got a new job (which is a miracle in itself considering the economy, her age, and other factors), so we are taking them to dinner. It's either going to be Hunan Gourmet, or Mondello's (End of Union Hill Rd) (or possibly Dusal's on Union Hill Rd).

              My wife loves the hibachi noodles at Hunan Gourmet, so we might head there. She also adores Italian food. Italian food pretty much bores me. I don't like pasta that much, which rules out a lot of dishes. My favorite Italian place.. don't laugh (ok, fine, laugh if you want) is Carrabba's.. I can get a good bowl of minestrone there and a nice salad and totally avoid the pasta dilemma.

              My, I'm chatty tonight. Anyway, to answer the original question, personally, I'd choose Empire Szechuan.

          2. re: wench31

            Thank you for this recommendation. Tried Empire Szechuen last night and ordered off the Chinese menu. It was great... this is definitely the go to place for me now.

            1. re: yCf

              Although we've never orderd from the Chinese menu (we don't read Chinese), Empire Szechuan is the only Chinese restaurant in this area that I ever consider going to because the Chinese-American dishes are quite decent.

              1. re: yCf

                You're welcome! Plus, they deliver! (At least to us, we're on the opposite side of Rt. 9). Another nice thing is.. they always have coupons on the front of their take-out menu (with no expiration dates!)

                We've tried a slew of other Chinese take-out places in the area, but Empire Szechuan is the one we keep coming back to!

            2. Thanks for the replies. So far I have tried the one near the Foodtown on Gordon Corners and Jade Palace in Raintree in Freehold. We like Jade Palace but something off Route 9 will be more convenient.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yCf

                How is Jade Palace? Always been wanting to try but never got a chance to. What did you have over there?

                1. re: wench31

                  Beef chow fun, chicken with string bean, kung po chicken, and beef with broccoli. For a take-out, we thought they were decent.

              2. Our favorite is Kings, Pond Road Plaza, Freehold...a short ride down Route 9, but in our opinion the best food in town. The ribs are absolutely excellent and each dish actually has its own flavor rather than all dishes tasting the same in the same brown sauce used universally. We like Shrimp with scallions and ginger, beef in black bean sauce. All selections have never disappointed us.

                2 Replies
                1. re: charmel

                  I second Hunan Gourmet. Good food and reasonable prices. Nice bar area too, small but quaint.

                  1. re: charmel

                    We tried Kings Chinese for take out last week before the owners left for vacation, this place was PACKED, Crazy busy on a random Weekday evening.

                    Wonton Soup - OK - Although some would argue wontons are not traditional, and one should only have hot and sour soup, personally compare all wontons to the Pagoda Tea House Rt 70 Lakewood - those are the best I have tried in NJ to date.
                    Chicken and Broccoli - Good
                    Lo Mein - Very Good - some of the best I have had in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties!
                    They offer Pint Size meals which is great and cost effective.
                    Thank you for posting.

                  2. Ordered from Sultan Wok on Sunday via it's website. Food showed up at the door about 35minutes after placing order online.

                    Food wasn't great but can't beat the convenience :-)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yCf

                      The sushi's not bad, in fact, it's pretty good. Decent sashimi, too.

                      The first time I called (the one in Englishtown), I ordered the Bento Box "C", and I thoughtlessly said "C as in Charlie". Now EVERY time I call, I always get the same lady, who very distinctly says "C as in Charlie." Maybe I should order something else, but Bento Box C is an excellent value.