Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Jul 14, 2013 10:22 AM

Freehold area chinese restaurant battles

OK, so I am starting a new business and have little time to cook. I find myself getting Chinese take out more often than not and I wanted to take a few minutes today to start what may be a series of "battles" where I get the same dish at two places and compare head to head.

Crown Palace vs Kai Ge with Ginger Scallion Lo Mein

I am sort of in the middle of both places - Crown Palace in on the corner of Rt 79 and School Rd and Kai Ge is in Poet's Square. I called both places 15 minutes before I left my house as it takes me only 5-8 minutes to get to both.

Atmosphere - No contest. Not that it matters for take out, but Crown Palace is beautiful inside and out and Kai Ge is clean, but tiny and boxy with no niceties except for the view of the little pond in the Square.
Winner - Crown Palace

Promptness - Crown Palace told me when I arrived that my food was not ready and would be another 15 minutes. It ended up taking over 20 minutes longer for my lone dish and since I had plenty of time I noticed they were not even close to full, nor were the phones ringing off the hook. Kai Ge had my order ready to go when I arrived although they were doing a brisk mostly take out business.
Winner - Kai Ge

Service - Crown Palace did not even apologize for the delay, and did not even acknowledge me until the order was ready. If the situations were reversed I would have served me tea or even said something. Kai Ge did not even have ginger scallion lo mein on their menu, but quickly told me they would make it for me anyway, and for about the same price as Crown Palace, Kai Ge also included my choice of meat. When I paid, the owner shook my hand and greeted me by name though I had only been in once before for take out.
Winner - Kai ge

Taste - Crown Palace had a lot of noodles and huge pieces of scallion but very little ginger pieces or flavor. Kai Ge had thinly chopped pieces of both ginger and scallion matching the thickness of the noodles and a decent amount of flavorful sauce. I must admit that I liked the addition of the beef in the dish and thought it added some flavor as well, but I did try a few bites first without the beef to make a fair comparison.
Winner - Kai Ge

Overall - Not even close. Kai Ge made me feel important by their personal and prompt service and gave me more value with the inclusion of the beef at the same price and the food was just better.
Winner - Kai Ge

Next time winner Kai Ge goes up against Sichuan Cottage

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. YES!!!! Thank you Seal! A new Chinese restaurant to try AND it is a winner!!! Much thanks! Shanghai Bun has been our go to place...we think they are going to just put our name on OUR booth from now on! Even better this new restaurant would be take out for us too! Will try Kai ge soon! Good luck in your new business and may the food battle rage on!

    1. So glad you had a good experience! I recently started filling in at the Poet Square office on Monday mornings and was curious as to the quality of the food there. I will definitely give them a try & let you know how it is!

      1. For anyone interested:

        I know I am.. never heard of the place until Seal mentioned it!

        P.S. Took a quick look at the menu.. for Thai food, I find the prices to be extremely reasonable.. especially compared to the competition!

        1 Reply
        1. re: MarlboroMan

          Since I have only tried two dishes at Kai Ge, I am curious about other local hounds' thoughts on it too. I didn't get any Thai food there either, but with more and more places going "pan Asian" I am not as leary about a combo joint as I used to be. But they won my little challenge fair and square and I really like their attitude and, so far their food.

          Anyone try that newish place in the Colts Neck Plaza next to the dry cleaners? I may have to go there this week.

        2. Eat in or Take out, Crown Palace sucks. Their lack of service makes thing even worse.

          1. We tried Kai Ge also seems to be known as Dragon House in Poet's Square. Thanks for the website MM. We had mixed results, but will definitely try it again. We had take out of Sauted Mixed Green Vegetables and Shrimp under healthy selections. There might have been a communication problem here as the dish was not what I expected. It was spicy and the veggies were in a soupy sauce. Not good at all., The shrimp however were cooked perfectly! Fried dumplings were good, not great but certainly would order them again as great ones are rare. Cold sesame noodles were not to my taste. They were spicy and not peanut sauce. Hubby thought it was Thai style. Over all will order again, shrimp and dumplings were quite good. Looking forward to trying other dishes with thanks to Seal for a new place!