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Apr 10, 2009 05:56 AM

Forbidden City/Middletown CT

What is the problem with this city? Every time I think I've had the worst meal (First and Last Tavern, the old Alfredo's) I go to a new spot that sinks even lower.
Went to this place last of those "upscale" Asian places and should have been tipped off by the nearly empty dining room. Had that desperate air of a restaurant that has already given up. Had short ribs with some convoluted asian spices that didn't taste right. Just two square hunks of beef swimming in a tasleless brown sauce with three little bok choy pieces drowning in the same juice and a handful of old thick stuck together noodles. It was really really dismal. And not cheap. Finished less than half of it and got the hell out of there. I'm sure this place will be boarded up the next time I come to Middletown.

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  1. Thats too bad. This place has been on my radar as a place to try. Guess I might need to wait a little longer. Thanks for the update as I have in the past heard mostly praise for this establishment.

    7 Replies
    1. re: askeenan

      askeenan: I wouldn't give up on Forbidden. Maybe give it a try at lunch when the prices are lower. It IS pricey and it is not my Asian restaurant of choice in the area, but I did recently enjoy a meal there and don't think it deserves the scathing criticism outlined above. Sounds like they had an off night. If you check this board, you'll see plenty of positive reviews (including mine) over the past several months. I wouldn't let one person's opinion sway you.

      For reference, my current area Asian favorites are:
      1. Lao Sze Chuan - Milford (nowhere near my home)
      2. Samurai - Old Saybrook (30 minute drive for me)
      3. Thai Angel - South Glastonbury/Nayaug
      4. Char Koon - South Glastonbury/Nayaug (3 & 4 are across the street from one another)

      1. re: kattyeyes

        kattyeyes, i live right near Thai angel and Char Koon. I like thai Angel but have since discovered Bangkok cafe or something like that which is next to Whole Foods and I love it almost as much or even more than East West grille which used to be my fave. The appetizers are not so great so as tempting as they may seem I would suggest the soups and the entrees are amazingly fresh. let me know if oyu get a chance to get over there and report back as to what you think. I love going for lunch as the portions are big and prices reasonable.

        1. re: askeenan

          AHA! I'm glad to be chatting with you then. Do you know why the place next to WF (Bangkok Spice) is so good? That's Anong's place. :) She and her husband Andy used to run Thai Gardens in Middletown years ago. I saw her new place as it was being built and have been wanting to try it. I will definitely go and report back. Thanks!

          Edit: Speaking of good Asian cuisine, if you haven't already, try Pho Mai in Middletown's North End. It's a little mom & pop hole in the wall, but they have great pho, spring rolls, and my favorite #39 (chicken with lemongrass, peppers and onions). You can BYOB, too.

          1. re: kattyeyes

            I have created many FANS of this place . I love it so much and always try to bring someone new to introduce them. I can tell word is starting to spread as they have been getting increasingly more busy at lunch time.

            1. re: askeenan

              Actually, I stand to correct myself. There are good places in Middletown and Pho Mai is one of them. Been there a number of times and have always been delighted. Also, I really like that new Taco Place, Iguana Ranas (sp) on the North End of Main St. But I'm afraid Forbidden City was derserving of my harshest review.
              Where should I go for Jamaican the next time I am in town?

              1. re: Big Fat Moe

                BFM, give Jerkfish a try. I liked the food, but give youself some time, service is slow. The Jamaican friend in our party for lunch said "it's an island thing", but I had to get back to work! We even had to wait in line with people ordering food just to pay our tab.
                Anyway, the food was good, and not every place has ackee and saltfish all the time.

                1. re: jkuhlen

                  I second this! I want to go here!

    2. I remember that meal only because it was so bad! You have a nose for bad restaurants, so why did we still go there? I must have been begging you for Chinese food. Hall of fame BAD meals!