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Orient Express

Golden Star serves Silver City's Chinese food fans–fast.


If you sometimes long for the guilty pleasures of the Chinese food served at a mall food court–think Panda Express–or just want your wontons without waiting, there's good news. Golden Star Chinese Fast Food has fired up its wok in Silver City, at the intersection of Hudson St. (Hwy. 90) and Silver Heights Blvd (Hwy. 180).

That promising-looking location has turned out to be cursed for previous restaurant efforts on the site–most recently Ken's Old-Fashioned Pizza Pie and, before it, R&R Pizza–and indeed, Golden Star ran into permit problems last fall that threatened to derail it. But the open-at-last eatery shows no sign of such woes now: Service is brisk and efficient, the small eat-in area looks clean and brightly painted, and the parking lot is packed with cars, the line of customers often reaching out the door.

Most of those customers are coming for Golden Star's irresistibly priced "Special Combos," each of which contain fried rice and chow mein plus one ($3.95), two ($4.75) or three ($5.50) items from the steam table. Servings are generous enough that you'll want to put both hands under your partitioned foam box (and three entrees will hopelessly overwhelm the box's partitioned sections), lest the parking lot get your heaping helping of green pepper beef and cashew chicken. Other steam-table choices are teriyaki chicken, BBQ beef short ribs, BBQ chicken, sweet and sour chicken, broccoli chicken, kung pao chicken, orange chicken, spicy chicken, fresh mushroom chicken and mixed vegetable. The kung pao is just spicy enough–a concern, since there's no 1-10 scale of spiciness offered–and the orange chicken is particularly yummy, breaded and then swathed in a piquant sauce.

If you also want soup or appetizers–the crab rangoons ($3.95) are thickly cream-cheesy–you just have to ask, and they'll bring your order out of the kitchen well before the rest of your food gets cold. The same goes for any of the dozens of items on the rest of Golden Star's extensive menu, which includes 16 seafood entrees and all the Chinese-food standbys you'd expect: Mongolian beef, kung pao beef, plum chicken, General Tsao's chicken, sweet and sour pork and so forth. Most are priced at $7.50, with beef entrees at $7.95 and seafood at $8.50. You can call ahead to have a take-out order ready when you get there, just as in a standard Chinese restaurant.

Normal appetites will find the three-item combo tough to finish, so plan on leftovers whether you're eating in or taking out. All of it's plenty tasty, and you can enjoy it just like in the food court–but without worrying that "mall rats" will swipe your fortune cookies.

–David A. Fryxell


Golden Star Chinese Fast Food, 1602 Silver Heights Blvd., Silver City,
388-2323, is open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Major credit cards accepted.


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