Red or Green?
Thinking Outside the Takeout Box
Deming's China Restaurant is not your typical Chinese eatery.
by Peggy Platonos
Deming's China Restaurant is refreshingly different from most of the Chinese restaurants you find these days in this country. Chef William Chu, who owns the restaurant and does the cooking, is committed to offering what he calls the "fresh and authentic flavors of Chinese food."
China Restaurant owner and chef, William Chu, working wok magic in the restaurant kitchen. (Photos by Peggy Platonos)
A native of northern China, Chef Chu is unabashedly proud of the culinary heritage of both his family and his country. High-quality cuisine is a tradition he carries on as a third-generation chef, and his menu offers few compromises and many surprises. The adventurous will want to return again and again to sample such intriguing items as Strawberry Chicken ($8.95), Honey Walnut Shrimp ($11.95), Asian Curry Shrimp ($11.95), Basil Chicken or Beef ($8.95), Seafood Wonton Soup ($5.95) and Orange Tofu ($8.50).
No doubt some of these less-familiar dishes were picked up by Chef Chu in his travels around China after having received formal training in traditional Chinese cooking. His on-the-job experience working in a variety of restaurants as he traveled from one region to another in China introduced him to various dishes unique to particular areas. As a result of his travels and training, he has developed a personal style of cooking that combines both traditional and contemporary Chinese techniques and flavors. He has also included on the China Restaurant menu a couple of dishes that show some unmistakably Southwestern influence — Fresh Jalapeño Chicken or Beef (both $8.95).
Of course, many of the old Chinese food favorites here in America are on the China Restaurant menu, too — things like Egg Flower Soup, Hot & Sour Soup, Wonton Soup (these soups ranging in price from $1.50 to $3 per quart); Sweet & Sour Pork ($6.95) or Chicken ($8.50); Broccoli Beef ($8.50) or Chicken ($7.95) or Shrimp ($8.95). And you'll find an assortment of fried rice and lo mein dishes to choose from, ranging in price from $4.95 to $7.95.
The prices, incidentally, give no hint as to the size of the portions, which are more than generous. It's very difficult to imagine a person with a large enough appetite or stomach capacity to finish off a single portion without quite a bit of help.
What you won't find on the China Restaurant menu may surprise you. There are no chow mein dishes on the menu — none at all. No Chop Suey. No barbecued spareribs. No Moo Goo Gai Pan. No Pork Almond Ding.
Shocking… for about 10 seconds. Then you get lost in contemplation of all the delights that are offered.
There are some other things you won't find at China Restaurant that may actually please you — no MSG, no artificial flavors, no preservatives and less salt.
China Restaurant is located at 110 E. Pine St. in Deming. It is open Tuesday through Sunday — closed on Mondays. The hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
There are lunch specials available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday only — not on Saturdays or Sundays. Lunch specials range in price from $4.95 for Mixed Vegetables to $7.50 for Honey Walnut Shrimp. All the lunch specials include an egg roll, soup (for dine-in only) and steamed rice.
It should be mentioned that rice does not automatically come with meals off the rest of the menu. It must be ordered separately. If you just want steamed rice, this is not an expensive addition — only $1 for a side portion. If you want fried rice, you have to order it from the menu, with prices ranging from $4.95 for simple Egg Fried Rice to $7.95 for Shrimp Fried Rice or House Special Fried Rice. Vegetable or Roast Pork Fried Rice costs $5.95, and Chicken or Beef Fried Rice costs $6.95. All of these are large enough portions for three or even four people to share.
Takeout orders can be placed online at deming.chinesemenu.com or by calling (575) 546-4146.