Where: New Hunan, 2345 FM 1092 (Murphy Road), Missouri City, 281-499-3061
What $7 gets you: An assortment of mainstream Chinese dishes with more than half offered in the spicy hot Szechuan style. We had one dish that stepped over into the under-$13 range, but it wasn't any better than the lunch specials.
This strip center restaurant (Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 .am. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.) has a less than terrific location, but seems to be hanging on. The "New" tacked onto its name may be an attempt at rejuvenation.
Recommended? Yes, if you don't mind not judging a book by its cover. Despite the almost unnoticeable location on the edge of Stafford and Missouri City, and a truly Spartan interior, the food this place dishes up tastes pretty good and offers substantial portions.
We were the only sit-down customers on a recent weekend but the sounds in the room were dominated by Friends (on a too-loud TV) and a constantly ringing telephone for pickup orders. Service was good and our waitress was friendly.
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The PuPu platter was nothing spectacular ($8.20) - skip it -- and the fried chow mein noodles were a little on the greasy side. But the main courses were surprisingly flavorful and the steamed rice was moister and fluffier than you sometimes get with Chinese rice.
The three dishes we had were the combo Happy Family ($6), a beef with mushrooms in a brown sauce ($5.75) and beef and shrimp with mixed vegetables in a brown sauce ($9.70). For diners who like their Chinese dishes with distinct flavors, but not too spicy, these were good bets. The brown sauce seemed to vary from dish to dish, although it may have been how it reacted to the different foods in each dish; it was much sweeter in the beef/shrimp/mixed vegetables than it was with the beef mushroom dish.
The New Hunan has been named one of the "top 100 Chinese delivery restaurants in the U.S.A." by Chinese Restaurant News and is pushing its delivery business in the area. Curiously enough, there were no fortune cookies at the end of the meal.
Lucky for you: The hot green tea they offer is delicious and they keep it coming.