Pan-fried noodles complete Lum's experience
Downtown Chinese eatery impresses with signature styles, prompt service
Although the chicken at Lum's Chop Suey could use some more seasoning and flavor, the restaurant provides a great quantity of crispy pan-fried noodles, topped with crunchy brocoli.
In search of a restaurant that would satisfy my desire for authentic Chinese cuisine and with the help of a friend, Lum's Chop Suey came to mind. The restaurant may look a little rundown on the outside, but it is a one of a kind restaurant when it comes traditional Chinese food.
Though it was not my first time that visiting the restaurant, I expected the usual service and small talk with the waiter.
Because Lum's Chop Suey is a small venue with a limited space, I never enjoy the fact of being tightly squeezed into a booth amongst others. The decor in the small-sized room was nothing special but the conversations and a loud environment kept me from noticing.
While I waited for the waitress to come back and take my entree order, I had placed an order for the traditional Chinese chicken salad as an appetizer. The salad was a customary mix which consisted of wanton crackers, crisply fried chicken and fresh iceberg lettuce with a thick and cold sesame dressing to pour on the salad.
Although I always order the same entree of teriyaki chicken, I decided to spice things up and ask for chicken broccoli chow mein. The only real reason why I ordered the chicken broccoli chow mein was not just because of the vegetables or poultry, but because Lum's serves authentic crispy pan-fried noodles, which are my absolute favorite.
Like always, Lum's had exceptionally fast service; I have never grown frustrated while waiting for a meal. As I glanced at the kitchen's ready-to-serve rack, I saw my plate, piled high like a mountain of chow mein filled with broccoli and delectable chicken cubes. When the waitress set the dish in front of me, my nostrils were filled with the smell of steamed broccoli, chicken and golden brown pan-fried noodles.
"Like always, Lums had exceptionally fast service; I have never grown frustrated while waiting for a meal. As I glanced at the kitchen's ready-to-serve rack, I saw my plate, piled high like a mountain of chow mein filled with broccoli and delectable chicken cubes." --Stephan Melendez, '13
Because I am Mexican, I love to eat my food with chili or something hot, so I asked the waitress for their hottest hot oil to drizzle over my food. The broccoli was steamed to perfection -- not too soft and not too hard, but perfectly crunchy.
I wish there was more time put into seasoning the chicken because the flavor was bland. It could have been doctored up with some more spices and herbs. Like I said, I really just came for the noodles. Drizzling the red transparent hot oil over my noodles with a splash of soy sauce allowed to to eat past my fill.
The pan-fried noodles were the highlight of the entree. While indulging in this Chinese version of pasta, I noticed that the texture of the noodles were different every time. For example, some of the noodles were over-cooked and a little hard and other parts of the dish had golden crispy noodles that were cooked to perfection.
Despite the restaurant's low-key outward appearance, they serve some of the best Chinese food in downton Fresno, according to junior Stephan Melendez. Its small size does not prevent quick, attentive service.
Lum's Chop Suey has exceeded my expectations. After doing some research online and talking to the owner (who wishes to remain anonymous), I found out that this eatery has managed to stay open with regular cliental for over 15 years.
Lum's Chop Suey offers great great amount of food for a low price of $7.90 per plate. The price of the entree is unbeatable and relatively unheard of. Because Lum's Chop Suey cooks with no MSG and does not cook in unhealthy oils, my family and I will be eating here more often.
This hole-in-the-wall eatery is one of the best places in downtown Fresno to eat Chinese food, but be sure not to be scared away because of the location or the outward appearance of the restaurant. For those who choose not to dine in at Lum's Chop Suey, take-out is available, which never requires a wait of over five minutes.
Lum's Chop Suey is located on 609 Divisadero St. The restaurant can be reached at 559.268.7919.
For more food reviews, read the Jan. 30 article, Sal's lives up to claims of authenticity.