1779 Wells Branch Pkwy Ste 102, Austin, TX 78728
Let me just say, wow! First.
This place has had several renters/owners... all oriental food places. I enjoyed it when it was Wokaholic, though it wasn't as good as it could have been, the portions were excellent.
When Wokaholic went out of business, Mai Lien Bistro came in. This place was alright, though it was kind of pretentious in my opinion. The Pho wasn't as good as our favorite Vietnamese restaurant's, Hoemi. Mai Lien probably failed because of the mediocre food.
Then, enter Hunan Cafe. The last reviewer made up my mind to go and try them out. I found that it was very deserving of the five star rating that was given. I will proceed to break down what I had there and finally, our experience.
We ordered the pan fried dumplings. These dumplings were firm, not mushy and the filling and size of them was quite generous! The filling had a touch more vegetables than meat. If you don't mind that, it's very good. The dumpling sauce more than makes up for this. It's extremely good, with plenty of onions and a good balance of flavor and even a touch of heat. I was very satisfied with the dumplings.
Next we ordered the wonton soup. It's a beef stock based broth. Generally I don't like wonton soup with beef stock as a base, however, I will make a major exception for this wonton soup. It has a wonderfully light beef and onion flavor with a hint of ginger that is just plain excellent. It reminds me of the Tokyo Onion soup that I'm so fond of at Tokyo Steakhouse. The wontons are generous in size as well and firm, not mushy. The filling was a little on the spare side but very good quality. I was very satisfied with this as well..
Next came the main course. We ordered their chicken fried rice (we have a standing policy that a oriental restaurant can be judged based on how good their fried rice or lo mein is) and black bean chicken, which I rarely enjoy at most of the places I've had it. The chicken fried rice was amazing. Since I've come to Austin, I haven't had chicken fried rice that nearly matched my favorite style of chicken fried rice as well as Hunan Cafe's. The chinese food place I loved most back then was a place called Panda Kitchen. Their fried rice was my absolute favorite and this place's chicken fried rice is comparable in quality and flavor. It has peas, carrots, bean sprouts, green onions, egg, and chicken. The seasoning is light and excellent. I was extremely satisfied with it.
The black bean chicken's sauce was suprisingly savory. I was pleasantly shocked at first bite, as was my fiance. It had spicy jalapenos, black bean sauce, chicken, bellpepper, onion, and probably garlic. I loved it!
The good news doesn't end there either. This place delivers to homes in a 5 mile radius. The minimum for delivery is 15.00, and 30.00 (I think) for delivery without fee. The prices are a touch higher than other places in the area, but the quality makes it very worthwhile in my opinion. I highly recommend you try the food here, and if you like it, please support them. It would be a shame to lose this place .