The potential was there for sure, boisterous crowd, lots of energy, yelling, jockeying for position in line to place orders....and a very interesting menu. The place looked like it should be great, and then reality set in. The crowd started to thin out just as we placed our order. The four of us let our stomachs do the talking, ordering way to many dishes. Egg rolls and Zhong dumplings for starters, two types of shrimp, green beans, whole spicy fish with tofu, some noodle dish and a beef dish....way way to much as it turned out. The program requires you to go to the counter at the back of the restaurant, place your order then wait to try to figure out if the asian gentleman calling out the numbers is saying 22 or god knows what. Our turn came soon enough and the disappointment set in with bite one. The food was swimming in oil or grease or both. Every dish except the egg rolls and Zhong dumplings were drowned in oily greasy yuck. The egg rolls and dipping sauce and the dumplings were fine, nothing to write China about, but servicable, and then it was downhill. The salt and pepper shrimp were lousy, no two ways around it. Nothing like the fare at T&S seafood, and nothing like flavorful, rather bland, shrimpy flavor and lousy. The green beans were tasteless, except for the greasy taste. The beef dish full of vegetables and promise was so full of MSG used to tenderize the meat that it had a slimy taste. The fact that it was the only dish with any taste really didn't help. The whole fish was horrible, the tofu had a consistency of congealed snot, but didn't taste as good. The pan fried sesame shrimp were missing in action, they forgot to give them to us, and for that we were gratefu. We left lots more than we ate. I really did like the joint except for the food, so that gives them one star. I went back to the boards and reread the reviews and noticed (to late I'm afraid) that most of the good reviews dated back to 2007. Come to think about it, that probably was when they bought the oil they used to douse everything in, guess this is a place whose time has past.
8650 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759