I recently found myself in downtown Orrville on a Sunday night with an hour to kill before choir rehearsal was scheduled to begin. Finding my options limited to mostly fast food restaurants, I parked my car and began to walk around to see what was open. Fortunately on the corner of Market Street and Route 57, a single restaurant had it's marquee lit, Ming Hing. Knowing that I was unlikely to find a restaurant in the same league as Wonton Gourmet in Cleveland, I settled into the notion of having a more Americanized Chinese food experience.
Ming Hing was located at 100 East Market Street, Orrville, OH 44667 and can be reached at 330-682-8808. Unsurprisingly, there was currently no website attached to this restaurant.
As I approached the front of the restaurant, it occurred to me that due to the size of the storefront, this might be a take-out only kind of place. Here was a shot of the exterior of the store:
Once inside the front doors, I immediately realized how wrong I had been. Not only were there tables at which to sit, but there were multiple rooms of tables. Like many other Chinese restaurants with tables, I made a second assumption that there probably was not tableside service. At least I was correct in that assumption. I walked up to the front counter, looked over the menu and placed and paid for my order. I then sat at a table just off the main entrance and took a snapshot of the lunch buffet hot line that had been advertised in one of the windows visible from the street:
Looking over the menu, I had decided to go with one of their combination platters, the garlic chicken. I asked for it to be prepared extra spicy and when I heard my order taker utter "ma la" to the cooks in the kitchen, I nodded vigorously and said, "Yes! Very 'ma la'!" I counted on the fact that it probably wouldn't be too "ma", which is the numbing sensation you get when you consume actual Szechuan peppercorns, but if were remotely "la", meaning spicy, I figured it would be fine.
After about ten minutes or so, my food arrived at the table:
Here was a shot of the garlic chicken, extra spicy:
Composed of tender chicken slices, green bell peppers, broccoli florets, mushrooms, pea pods, and bamboo strips, the dish was clearly an American version. While the spice level on this dish was somewhere around medium for me, the amount of sauce used and the sweetness of it were tell-tale signs that this dish had been created or modified to fit American tastes. From an Americanized Chinese point of view, however, this was a tasty version of garlic chicken.
Along with my garlic chicken, the plate overflowed with pork fried rice:
The rice by itself was a bit bland and one-note. The chunks of roasted pork were nice, but there weren't enough of them to really make a difference in the overall flavor of the rice. Once I finished most of the garlic chicken, there was plenty of sauce left over to combine with the fried rice. While the combination didn't elevate the fried rice to a new plateau, at least it made the rice easier to eat with chopsticks and the flavor was better than no sauce at all.
The third and final component on my plate was the fried egg roll with pork and cabbage:
Of all the components on my plate, the egg roll was probably the best executed. Crispy without being greasy, hot and juicy on the inside without the filling being too moist, this egg roll was very tasty. I longed for a little hot mustard to dip my egg roll into, but by this point of the meal, I was nearly done and didn't have the desire to walk back up to the front counter just for a little bit of the spicy condiment.
On the whole, Ming Hing did a decent job of Americanized Chinese food. While the fried rice was a bit on the dull side, the food was hot and tasty and the egg roll was nicely done. I will be the first to admit that Ming Hing is not a destination restaurant and in fact, if it weren't a Sunday and other restaurants were open, I'd probably recommend other establishments over this one. But, if you are driving through Orrville on a Sunday or have a serious craving for Americanized Chinese food, you won't do too badly at Ming Hing.