My family recently had a hankering for Chinese food, so we visited an old standby — Orient Cafe in Missouri City. While this isn’t the most authentic Chinese food around, it’s a satisfying meal that appeals to my kids’ less adventurous tastes.
Orient Cafe is located in the Township Square shopping center on FM 1092 in Missouri City. It is decorated in a distinctly un-Chinese style, with art featuring Marilyn Monroe and James Dean adorning the walls. There is a fireplace (I think it’s electric) near one wall, with a flat-screen TV above it. While this certainly doesn’t make for the most intimate atmosphere, we seem to always visit here when there’s a sporting event on TV that we want to watch, so that doesn’t bother us. But if it’s quiet and romantic you’re looking for, this isn’t the place.
The menu at Orient Cafe is pretty much what you would expect at a Chinese-American restaurant. Familiar dishes like General Tso’s Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Moo Shu Pork are there, along with some steamed dishes for those who are watching their calories. For those whose palates prefer more heat, there are a number of spicy dishes on the menu.
My husband and kids love, love, love the pan fried pork dumplings here. Kid #1 typically gets an order of dumplings for his meal. The dough is nicely crispy, not too thick, and surrounds a nice chunk of tasty pork.
Our kids like sweet and sour chicken, so we always get a plate of that for them, with the sauce on the side. We also ordered Chicken Hunan Style, Bean Curd Hunan Style, and Beef Lo Mein to share.
The Chicken Hunan Style is hubby’s choice because it is on the spicy side. It is not breaded and is stir-fried with broccoli and baby corn. The sauce is spicy but not too thick.
The Bean Curd Hunan Style is in a similar sauce. The tofu is soft without being too mushy. If you like tofu and spicy, you will like this dish. It is my go-to dish at Orient Cafe.
The Beef Lo Mein is decent, though perhaps a bit on the greasy side. The noodles are firm, but I would prefer a few more veggies in the dish.
Orient Cafe is a pretty typical Americanized version of Chinese food. It is good, not great; but if you have a craving for Chinese “comfort food,” then this is a serviceable option. The service is friendly and prompt. Orient Cafe also delivers ($15 minimum order) to nearby subdivisions, such as Lake Olympia, Quail Valley, and First Colony.