8075 161st Ave NE
Redmond WA 98052
In Three Words: Good, Cheap and Plentiful
By: Steve G
With a large sign of a family of panda bears embracing each other, I was a little apprehensive about going to Grand Peking. As some people know, we go by the rule: If it has the word "magic", dragon, panda, or anything else close to that nature in the name or sign, its going to be bad." I was expecting the stereotypical decor of huge dragon columns and dark red walls and lackluster food that makes you wish you picked somewhere to go to lunch. To my own credit, I was pretty on par with everything, but I was really surprised on the quality of food and service. Grand Peking offers some good deals on lunch specials as well as generous portions for dinner without costing an arm and a leg.
On the menu, you'll find many of the dishes you'll find at other Chinese restaurants. Lunch specials with BBQ Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, and a side of Egg Flower or Hot and Sour soup. There's over 60 odd dishes to choose from and you're sure to find at least one thing that piques your interest.
Bryan ordered the Dry Roast Chicken ($6.95) with BBQ fried rice and a cup of hot and sour soup. Grant went with the Honey Walnut Shrimp ($8.95), while I opted for the Kung Pao Chicken ($6.95).
The Kung Pao chicken came served with tender chunks of boneless chicken in a thorough mix of vegetables. In terms of proportions, vegetables outnumbered the chicken 3 to 1, but the most telling part of the meal was the absence of any real spice to the dish. I was expecting some real overpowering heat, but kung pao chicken didn't deliver. The portions are the best thing going for it, as it left me with a sizable take-home box that ended up being my dinner as well.
Bryan comes to you with a warning that dry roast really means deep fried oily goodness. The chicken quality is on par with the kung pao dish, but the special hot sauce tasted suspiciously reminiscent of the hot and sour soup. With it's spicy and vinegar flavor, it provided a nice mix of flavors that doesn't become too repetitive.
Taken aback by the quality, the honey walnut shrimp impressed Grant as it isn't that much of a far cry from the quality at other well-known Chinese restaurants we've been too. Walnuts came in short supply with this dish as we wondered why there were so few in the dish. The batter is a bit more sugary and thicker than he liked, but the shrimp was decent quality with a generous amount to eat.
Normally, I tend to scoff at Chinese restaurants that have kitschy signs and stereotypical decor, but Grand Peking does a decent job of serving up some reasonable food with fast service. Those looking for a great deal with lunch specials and large portions should definitely give Grand Peking a try.