|Address:||9600 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031, USA|
|Working:||11AM–10PM 11AM–10PM 11AM–10PM 11AM–10PM 11AM–10:30PM 11AM–10:30PM 11AM–10PM|
When this place first opened in 2002, it was my favorite Chinese restaurant in Fairfax. If you read any of my reviews for Sichuan restaurants, youll know that I love Sichuan food and can tolerate spiciness like none other. China Star fulfilled my Sichuan food quota for the majority of my high school days. The original chef was spectacular and knew how to handle the wok and didnt skimp on any of the spices. Only later did I find out that that fantastic chef was none known than Chef Peter Chang, who came to China Star after working as a chef at the Chinese Embassy and cooked here until 2005. After that realization, it was no wonder that the food was so good. However, as Peter Chang does, he disappeared elsewhere. I usually ordered the braised fish which was so good. Its a hefty portion too. I never finished the whole dish and would always take it home as leftovers. They also had a chicken with chilies (辣子鸡) dish that consists of marinated, deep-fried chicken thats stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. This was a good dish although they gave more chili peppers than pieces of chicken. Another great dish they used to make was twice cooked pork (回锅肉), which involves simmering pork belly steaks in water with ginger, cloves, star anise, jujubes and salt. The pork is shallow fried in oil, usually along with some vegetables like napa cabbage or bell peppers. When China Star changed chefs, thats when the quality went down for me. While the food wasnt bad, things were different (and not for the better). Seasoning changed, some spices gone, and some dishes nixed. I used to frequent this China Star so much in the early 2000s, but when I went last year, I was shocked/saddened at how drastically different the food tasted. Theyre skimping on the amount of fish and lessening the heat in the braised fish dish. You can also taste the MSG more than ever. Its a bit disheartening to see how much has changed here over the years. While I wouldnt disown it, Id think twice before eating here, especially if I have a Sichuan food craving.
A Private User
Chinese restaurants are dime-a-dozen in the N.VA area. Most cater to the American appetite serving the usual, boring, and bland Americanized Chinese food. China Star is a refreshing surprise - one that you will want to visit over and over again. Don’t be fooled by its appearances. Not the kind of place you want to celebrate your graduation day or 50th birthday party - the furniture is adequate, the walls are nothing to write home about, ambiance - very not special. The food however - will knock your socks off!! They specialize in Sichuan cuisine - which means, SPICY HOT food. Mind you, flavor is not lost in all this spiciness. They must have over a 100 dishes and I will admit that some of them I will probably never try. Our favorite dish is the Broiled Fish followed by, Emperor Duck and Beef Shank. Every one of their spicy appetizers is a must have. The names really don’t tell you much about the dish itself BTW. You have to taste the dishes to experience them. Their menu has a Chinese section - where most of dishes are in Chinese so you need the wait staff to translate them for you - they are a helpful bunch. The latter pages on the menu cater to the American pallet with the usual beef&brocoli etc. When I see people ordering from those pages I itch to tell them to be bold and try something from the Chinese section. Over all a must visit restaurant if you are into spicy food. Some of the reviews here have given it an average rating - these people have definitely not ordered from the Chinese section of the menu. If they did they would rave about the place. Its a little eatery BIG on Delicious Sichuan Chinese food. Update: Management changed a few years ago. The awesome dishes are gone. I dont you there any more.
A Private User
A Private User
After reading the reviews of the past 9 months and then eating there myself, I felt compelled to speak up for this place. I can only surmise that the posts from the last 9 months were not following the advice of the earlier reviewers and ate only from the Americanized side of the menu. I ate from the Szechuan side (as advised by the earlier reviews) and found all the food to be extremely tasty/spicy/flavorful and fresh. Both the rice and the service were also very good; the service was attentive but not too pushy and the rice was well-cooked and sticky. We had the five spiced beef, the beef stir-fried with wild pepper, and the diced fish with pine nuts. The fish was particularly impressive - well-cooked with a good combination of flavor from the fish and the seasonings that it was cooked with; I would definitely get it again - and the beef stir-fried with wild pepper was pretty spicy but not lose-all-feeling-in-your-tongue spicy. Maybe when I go back I will be adventurous and try something off the Americanized menu to see if the rumors are true. But, even if they are, it wont make a difference to me because I will be going for the Szechuan first.
I ordered 2 dinners and a soup for delivery. 30 minutes after my order is placed, I receive a call that they were out of sweet and sour pork (Its only 6:30pm on a weekday). The staff asked if I would mind changing it to sweet and sour chicken. I told them that I wouldnt mind, however they didnt offer anything (no free egg roll or coupon). another 45 minutes later, my food still hasnt shown up so I call again, inquiring about my order. The employee puts me on hold, but I can hear her speaking with another customer. She returns to the phone to inform me that the driver just left with my food and he will be at my house shortly. 20 minutes later the driver finally shows (they are less than a mile away from my house). The food was not spectacular; very little flavor, just a bit of heat. They offered nothing for the exorbitant amount of time I waited. They didnt even get the order completely right, as I asked for fried rice with one meal and I received white rice with both. I will never order from them again as their customer service and food was quite less than satisfactory.
BLAND! They did not greet us, just asked how many, they dont tell you but the only served cold unsweetened tea and expect you to sweeten it with sugar as if it will dissolve quickly. I then asked for a Coke, received a can of Coke that was just sat on the table. Offered no refills... not even the glass of water my daughter drank. The fork on the table was bent, which is the only utensil you will receive on top of one paper napkin. My son had to get salt, pepper and soy from another table. The sauce on the General Twos chicken was very thick and had this funny "old dish water" taste to it. The rice was tasteless. Didnt have the nerve to try the broccoli. The egg roll was very good. I was served a packet of duck sauce with it smh. But was good. No kids items or portions served there. These people did not even say goodnight!
The food was delicious as usual and when I say usual I mean once a week sometimes twice since this restaurant opened. tonight will be the last time they will recieve a dollar from me or my family though. we ordered a random assortment of food like we usually do but when it arrived it was missing the drinks and when I called back they said we never ordered the drinks which is a lie. I was sitting right next to my father when he did. And usually when they forget the drinks they offer to bring them next time and we say thats fine. But this time it wasnt fine and we wanted our sodas so they should have brought them the .5 miles down the road from the restaurant. So all over 2 sodas your going to lose a very frequent customer. I dont know about everyone else but to me thats just plain stupid.