Houston >Food & Dining > Hunan Downtown Restaurant
812 Capitol St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.759862 -95.364542
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central
R A C IS T Chinese Resturant – My husband, son and I made our first visit to Hunan after reading about it on CitySearch. When we first walked in and were seated and made our order the waiter just sat nearby our table sort of keeping an eye on us. No big deal we thought, we had gotten there early and no one else was dining there yet. Maybe the waiter had nothing else to do.
We ordered the appetizer for two, it was 2 spare ribs, 2 spring rolls and 2 potstickers. All was good. Everything was not to hot though, about room temp.
Our entrees arrived fairly quickly, consisting of, Phoenix chicken, pork fried rice and mongolian beef. My husband and I enjoyed everything very much except, the rice.
The pork fried rice was undercooked. Light in color, crunchy in texture, the vegetables hard as could be and ice cold in the center (frozen?). We informed our waiter (who was standing nearby the entire time we ate) that the rice was undercooked and cold. He looked at us puzzled and said everything was fresh. I told him no, no, the peas are hard and cold in the middle. We told him to maybe heat up the rice. He took it from us.
When he returned with the rice it was clear this had been microwaved. The rice was mushy on the inside hard on the outside and the peas were now slightly warmer but still hard as rocks. We informed him again. He said he would get the manager.
The manager came and we explained to him the problem. He looked at us and said, "well you ate half of it. I will charge you for half". I said no, I dont want half off. I would just like a fresh bowl of rice. I even asked him if he could make us the rice with out the peas and carrots. He said he would not make it with out the peas and carrots, that I wont be having "special" rice. The way I ordered it is how he will remake it. OK fine. He takes the bowl.
He returns no more than 5 minutes later with the SAME bowl of rice. MICROWAVED AGAIN!!! The rice was now mush smashed into the pork which was now unrecognizable. The peas STILL to hard to eat. I could not cut them with a knife or smash them with my fork even. They just bounced around the plate. We informed the waiter again and he set off to inform the manager.
About 10 minutes went by with no sign of the manager, however I did see him walk right past us 3 three times totally ignoring us. The waiter confirmed he had told the manager and for us to just wait. My husband needless to say could not wait any longer to speak to the manager so he got up from the table to go get the manager himself.
When he got to the manager, he ran away from my husband. Ignoring him completely. The waiter got mad at my husband when my husband said he just wanted a fresh bowl of rice. The waiter told my husband that he did not need a fresh bowl of rice. He then told my husband, "You people always do this when you come in". Uh, excuse me? You people? We always do this? Shocked my husband and I told the waiter this was our first time in their restaurant. What exactly did he mean by that?
Well we asked the waiter, what he meant. NO RESPONSE! I got up sought out the manager asked him what his name was. His reply was an eye roll, a sigh, and then finally, "Geraldo" quickly followed by "why"?I told him what had just happened. I told him I was done I want my check. He persisted with me that I just wanted "free food" and that "you people" always do this.
I told him this was my first time in his resturant and that I felt I was being discriminated against. He didn't even bat an eyelash.
At the end I just want to tell people who are not middle aged white business men to stay away from HUNAN. This is a R A C I S T establishment run by people who should know what feels it feels like to discriminated against. I mean these people were mexicans. Have a little respect people.
I will never return here again, even if the service was great the food is mediocre at best. Not worth the money.
Great phoenix chicken – This place has great phoenix chicken (their version of sesame chicken). Wife and I occasionally (around 1 a month) pick up an order for dinner along with their avocado rolls. During lunch this restaurant gets pretty hectic so getting there by 11:30 really helps. Each platter easily feeds 2 or 3 and each comes with the main dish and lots of sticky white rice. Most of their activity is during lunch time so if you want a very quiet meal in the evening this is the place to go.
BIG Disappointment – We met with several friends for dinner last night at Hunan Downtown. Since it was a group of 8, we order one of each appetizer on the menu. They forgot the ribs (on the bill), the lettuce wraps were OK, the veggie and pork dumplings were nice (room temperature), the fried egg rolls were very good (room temperature), the sauces were the best part of the appetizers. All were priced between $9 - $10; not a good value for the money.
The entrees were good, not great. We had 5 entrees, the best was the Peking Duck and Hunan Beef (different), the worst was the Seafood something another on rice cakes (Yuck!) As for the sides, the fried rice was very good, the green beans were OK. The desert was the highlight of the meal; banana and coffee ice cream cakes.
After intensely studying the wine list, I selected some moderately priced wines (not going to waste the good stuff on Chinese food; one red and one white. They had the white; they didn?t have my first selection of red. I selected a BV Cab priced at $37, the waiter brought out two alternate bottles to show me, one was a Charles Krug and the other I don?t recall. I remember the Krug from the list being priced at $39 a bottle and immediately selected it. When we got the bill the three bottles of red came in at $240!!! I rechecked the wine list and again saw $39. HOWEVER, the waiter brought out the ?Vintner?s Reserve? which had a small red banner with gold letters in the upper left corner with ?Vintner?s Reserve? written in it. The restaurant was much took dark to see the small dark labeling. The VR was $79.00 a bottle. I would never expect a waiter to suggest a bottle that cost twice as much as the selected wine with out make sure the customer was aware of the price. After my wife make a bit of stink about the incident, the manage offer to refund the difference. It was kind of the manager, but I?m sure if my wife hadn?t made a big deal out of it we would have been taken by the waiter for an extra $120.
Wonderful Hunan cuisine – I was very pleased to learn that Hunan is open in the evenings (many of the downtown restaurants are only open for lunch). The food is supberb and the service is excellent. It is one of my favorite dinner spots now, as it is usually packed at lunch time.
Savory Chinese – This is a good choice for satisfying a craving for Hunan or Cantonese favorites during the lunch hour. The crispy pan-fried noodles served with beef, chicken, and shrimp is delicious. They also have a good variety of standard Hunan favorites on the menu as well. Sit at the bar for faster service, during lunch.
Not at lunchtime – Service was terrible. Check was incorrect twice. Asked for manager and he was no help.
Hip, feng shui-friendly eatery serving Chinese fare downtown. – In Short
Hunan is dressed to impress with a black river-rock entryway, bamboo columns and glowing Buddha Bar in honeycomb onyx and leather bar stools. Lunchtime brings in professionals hungry for the specials; dinnertime whispers with pre-theater dates. Menu options include mu shu pork and Hunan prawns with ginger-tomato sauce. Three can share the immense signature fried whole trout. Noodle bowls are also on the classic Chinese menu; Singapore rice noodles with shrimp packs a curry punch.
Excellent lunch specials – Quick, inexpensive, filling, and high-quality. Tables fill up quickly at lunchtime --- arrive by 11:45 if you want a seat. My only complaint is that they apply hefty surcharges for any substitutions.
Definitely Try It... – Was very happy with the experience. 12 Happiness chicken was excellent and Sub Gum Lo Mein (w/o shrimp, sub beef) was just as good. Will be back.
I love this place – You have got to try this place. The food is delicious, especially the sauteed chicken and shrimp. Act for it spicy and you just have try a desert.
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