I am not a fan of chains as I think most hounds aren't. Since moving out here a few years ago, we managed to sniff out good eats and have our list of goto and take out places. Can't seem to find any good Chinese. We tried Sultan Wok a few times. Mediocre at best and I am very put off by the fact they serve Sushi. Chinese and Sushi don't mix. Do one or the other and do it well, not both at a sub-par level. We tried Mom's Kitchen on 516, another mediocre establishment. I've noticed Hunan on 9 South in Manalapan. It looks like a nice Chinese place, but I've never had it so can't really comment and looks can deceive. Can't speak for Sunny Palace for Chinese take out fare but I can give them high marks for there Cart Service Dim Sum on the weekends. As a result we never order Chinese. Chinese take out has been replaced with Thai Thai on 516, not Chinese but great Thai as I have said many times on these boards. My wife went as far as taking a Chinese cooking class to make some dishes at home.
Which brings me to PF Chang's in Freehold. We ordered take out the other day and it was fantastic. I can't believe a chain can actually execute great dishes. We ordered for app's some type of braised rib. Awesome, meat falling off the bone. They were a tad dry but my sense was this was because we did take out and they sat in a bag for 20 minutes. Not dry enough to ruin the dish, they were still great. We had crispy sting beans with a weird but good dipping sauce. Good but this did not travel well, my sense is it would have been great if we dined in. I had the Dali chicken which was chicken and potatoes on a spicy sauce with chili's. Fantastic. Kids had pork low mein. So flavorful and knocks the socks off of any take out palace in the area My wife had shrimp in lobster sauce. People always rave about this in my circles but to me it was never anything great.........until the other night. This was hands down the best I've ever had. I never saw what was so great about this dish in the past. It was really good. The only thing PF Chang's lacks is the traditional style egg roll
To sum it up. To me, Good Local Chinese take out does not exist. The only good local Chinese far I've found is Sunny Palaces dim sum. PF Chang will be our goto for Chinese take out. Never ever did I think I would rave about a chain.