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Li's Hunan Village

Cuisine: Chinese, Lunch, American

Li's Hunan Village is a Chinese, Lunch, and American restaurant where most Menuism users came for a meal on the go, paid between $10 and $25, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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ChefMares

 Germantown, MD
 

A Chef's Review of Li's Hunan Village

Just a note…. This review is being written by a professional Chef and thoughful (picky) consumer (me)….

If not for others’ lack of patience for deliveries during peak hours (this is a small place, in a slightly older small strip shopping center with a small and very dedicated family staff)…

i will have to simply say people writing bad things (ive seen mixed reviews) about this place are being bitchy to bitch, or maybe just need to understand better how to get more of what they want, just like all the rest of us….

Good food and Good service. Simple. The folks at Hunan Village do it well, especially when treated with the same respect, that i think they would like to share in their foods, with all of us..

I have been going to Hunan Village for about 7 years now. Having tried most Chinese restaurants pretty much anywhere in the area, i have to say – as both a Chef and consumer, i will always default to them for what i want and how i want it, if i am anywhere nearby their place, and craving good Chinese/Indonesian foods.

Only once or twice did i ever have a longer than 30 minutes wait for delivery (and only then during peak lunch or dinner hours when they were already insanely busy), and have never yet had a long wait for carry out…

As far as the food goes…. consistently good. for years.

If asked, they will prepare anything on the menu in any way i might wish. including less sugar, no sugar, less salt, – ASK them…

I tend to think that most commercial Chinese food is over- Americanized, and in the worst of ways with many dishes… too much sugar, too high salts, or fried fats in everything….

….and all i have to do is order a dish, and ask them to use less sugar, or make it LOTS more spicy, or be careful its drained better (shrimp toasts), or add more vegetables, or add more shrimp, and they will always gladly do it, if they can.

Be specific and don’t expect half a dozen fat shrimp in say – The Triple Delight that i see someone bitched about in another review site… yes – its called “triple delight” because it has three meat proteins in it, and of course, the seafood (3 or 4 nice large shrimp) being the most expensive -

…just ask them for some more in it, they may even charge an extra buck or two, but if that’s what matters to you – then ask for it, up front, and pay the extra for it gladly, if the dish is good.

I have NEVER gotten a dish from them that wasn’t piping hot and obviously VERY fresh, in a nicely clean & properly sealed container – in 7 years, not once do i have such complaint..

I would put their egg drop soup on par with the best i have had anyplace. It is always a perfect golden yellow color, thick enough to perfectly suspend the eggs in what is a truly heavenly broth that is clearly well prepared and always totally consistent from one day or week to the next….

Their Shrimp egg rolls are truly always one of my favorites as well. This is not just a tough and tasteless mass of shredded cabbage and pork or tiny little canned shrimps in a tough, thick, hard to chew wrapper…

every single time i order their shrimp rolls, they are VERY sizzling hot, nice crispy thin outside wrappers, and on the inside the vegetables are still green, crunchy, flavorful, and its usually filled with at east 2 or 3 good sized baby shrimp with excellent flavor…

and… omg the sesame wings, wow…A bit too sweet for my tastes, but if you truly LOVE a good messy barbequed chinese style wing, then you’ll like this one for sure…

also, the steamed dishes i have had always make up for in pure healthy freshness what they lack in fatty crunchiness of the fried or sauteed foods… fantastic but extremely simple steamed menu.

The Shrimp toasts are aways a bit heavy for me, and my only issue is sometimes they are a bit dark, (especially at the end of the day when the oils have been cooked in a lot) and sometimes not drained as well as i would personally prefer, but that’s just me being picky in my own way… the dipping sauce is a very standard reddish orange glazy sweet and sour, but always a perfect accent.

There is more, but for now, this should be enough.

This is a small family place, in a slightly older building, and is mainly only carry out or delivery, for total lack of a dining room…

with but a couple of sparse unlaid tables that are sometimes used by customers and their staff…More like a downtown chinese restaurant style where you just order and wait, or have a seat and be comfortable…

but it is always kept clean, well lighted, most of the kitchen is easily visible from the cash counter, and the staff are always upbeat, warm, and open to me as long as i have been going there.

They are my first choice locally, almost every time. i have sampled at least a dozen and a half dishes from their entrees over the years, and tried most of the appetizers.

Recently i even tried a special native Indonesian curry chicken dish (not on the regular menu) that the Chef offered me to sample one day. It was THE best subtle, smooth-sauced, perfect mouth feel, and not too spicy, and non-pungent chicken curry i have ever tasted, anyplace.

Ask for it, and they will very likely be happy to make it for you, if they have the stuff on hand that day.

Hunan Village gets my vote for certain. They totally rock from this Chef’s point of view. :)

Shrimp in Hot Garlic Sauce

FRESH. Screaming hot and fresh in both carryout and delivery. It was not too sweet not too savory. The garlic was not overwhelming, and the dish was filled with large, tender, perfectly cooked shrimp and perfectly cooked vegetables in a nice fragrantly seasoned brown sauce. Will make it as spicy, more sweet, or less sweet, or as mild as i wish if i ask them.

Egg Drop Soup

Always served at a nice wonderfully boiling HOT temperature :) …..but be careful even in delivery, and totally consistent.

One of the best thick broths in every way… It is always a Bright, glowing, golden yellow color, truly excellent, and an excellent rich chickeny but not "eggy’ flavor of overcooked sulphur i have had other places far too many times……

Never thin or watery. Perfect suspension of the nicely mixed, and clearly fresh eggs in the soup, always.

My first choice for this simple soup anywhere in the area. I keep trying to find one as good to my own tastes, but so far i have not. Great value for the cheap price.

Shrimp Egg Roll

Always excellent. Thin spring roll wrappers used for this one.

Usually always perfectly crisped and golden, but never blackened or burnt. Ask them to drain them well after cooking, and they will.

Excellent value for the cheap price… 2 ALWAYS steaming hot shrimp rolls, full of at least 2 or 3 larger than expected & very yummy shrimp. Perfectly cooked. i mean perfectly.

The veggies are not the typical mass of brownish & hard to chew cabbage…

…instead, they are a nice bright green and orange vegetable color inside (freshly cut cabbage, carrots), flavorful, crunchy, and fragrantly yummy… No overwhelming spices, except just plain GOOD. Slice a fresh one in half and you’ll see… :)

Note on fried foods – Later evening near closing hours in many
fast-serve or carry-out that serve deep-fried foods, the oils are often darker because they have been cooked in for many hours between changes or filtering at that point in the day.

Dont be pissed off for example, if the shrimp toast or egg roll is darker at 945 at night before they close, than at noon for lunch. This is not a sit down haute cuisine place at the moment.

It is an established, quick service, good carryout place, as simple and basic as it gets. :)

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Li's Hunan Village is located near the cities of Montgomery County and Boyds.
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