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Ming Dynasty: Fine dining without the fine dining price

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The new dining room at Ming Dynasty features hardwood floors and comfortable booths and tables.


Christina Ruotolo
Hot Dish

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

For the last 32 years, Ming Dynasty has provided guests authentic, artfully crafted food in a fine dining atmosphere without the fine dining price. The restaurant is located in the Rivergate Shopping Center right beside Ollie’s and close to East Carolina University.

Ming Dynasty specializes in Mandarin, Schezwan and Cantonese dishes, as well as providing gluten free, low-fat, peanut-free and vegetarian options. Owner, Mary Yuen provides unparalleled customer service, and Chef de Cuisine Steven Zhou prepares artfully designed and presented dishes affording a multitude of flavor combinations as well as healthy meals for lunch and dinner service.

Just a few months ago, Ming remodeled its interior dining rooms. The facelift results are incredible. They still have comfortable and cozy booths and tables. The updates include all new hardwood floors, updated bathrooms, new plush chairs, framed Chinese wall decor and the coolest new ceiling lightening. Mood lighting features sky panels with LED displays in a variety colors that impart a comfortable feel and calming, super cool effect. Similar lights can be seen in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace.

The updated feel is hip and fresh and makes for a unique and relaxing lunch or dinner experience. I have talked about how much I enjoy the food and atmosphere at Ming. Let’s start with the sweet ice tea that is always garnished with an orange slice versus lemon, which makes for a refreshing start to any meal. I also love that they provide linen napkins for lunch and dinner service, which goes back to the fancy feel without the fancy price.

I love enjoying a three-course meal when I eat here. You can come in for a bowl of warming egg-drop soup, sweet-and-spicy hot-and-sour soup, or savory and filling Wonton soup. Then choose your favorite appetizer to share. My favorites are crispy crab Rangoon filled with creamy cream cheese and crab. I also enjoy sticky, sweet basted riblets or sweet Teriyaki chicken wings.

For entrees, they have an array of meals to feed every inch of your taste buds. Maybe you’re craving tangy, so you choose the Mandarin combination, featuring a trifecta of sliced chicken, beef and jumbo shrimp served with fresh vegetables in a savory brown sauce. Or maybe you want a sweet and citrus infused meal by selecting the Orange flavored beef made with marinated slices of tender beef glazed with a special orange infused sauce. Maybe you want to be a bit more mellow, so you select a healthy option with the steamed shrimp with noodles and vegetables.

And since Christmas is coming up, you may want to recreate the iconic and funny holiday dinner scene from the movie “A Christmas Story” by choosing the Pe-King Duck, which is a marinated duck served with pancakes, plum sauce, scallion and rice. I promise you won’t poke your eye out, but be careful operating your chop sticks.

For my food tasting, I decided to try a healthy seafood combination. I enjoyed the Singapore noodles with sautéed shrimp. Start with glossy, thin, wispy Mein Fun rice noodles mixed with sliced celery, carrots, green onions, white onions and Napa cabbage topped with sautéed shrimp. This health-conscious meal was light and airy, but filling at the same time. It had a clean and lightly sauced flavor but I found out the sauce is actually created when the veggies get sautéed and offer up their natural juices. So the glorious sauce reflects vegetable flavors of soft, yet tangy cabbage mixed with sweet onion and carrot. The shrimp was springy and light as well.

The entire dish fills you up, but you don’t feel overfull afterward. You just feel satisfied. You can alter this dish by changing out the protein or noodles and add in or delete veggies to your liking. They offer so many other healthy, vegan, peanut-free, gluten-free and low-fat options, so you can eat until your heart’s content this holiday season and not gain an extra weight.

Ming Dynasty offers so many meat, vegetables, noodle, and sauce combinations that you will have no problem finding flavor combinations that you will enjoy all year long. Check out their menu so you can drool over all of the combinations and entrees they offer and then head over and enjoy the funky new mood and decor, and incredible food. Ming Dynasty also offers an affordable weekly lunch buffet Monday-Saturday for $11.95 (includes beverage) from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with an array of mouth-watering dishes that are vibrant and fresh.

The holidays are fast approaching so keep in mind that Ming has enough room to host a holiday lunch or dinner for the office, you can use them to cater your next dinner event or maybe a dim sum luncheon, or you can rent out the entire restaurant for your next wedding rehearsal, or private Christmas party or event.


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