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China King Chinese Restaurant

Posted by MNT 15 Jun 2009 12 Comments

We have been hoping for a good, cheap Chinese restaurant on the Northgate Roxboro Road strip area. There are a number fitting the ‘cheap’ description, but none that we’d both been enthusiastic about.  With its super cheap prices, bland name and location in a half-abandoned East Durham strip mall, 1418 Avondale Drive (near ‘Beauty World’), we weren’t too hopeful, but we thought we’d give China King a try.  We were pleasantly surprised!

China King is owned and run by a friendly family from China’s Fu Jian province.  English can make conversation a bit challenging, but is fine for ordering.  Despite the strip mall location, inside the restaurant is clean and new, with a small yet attractive eating area.  Tables had both Sriracha and Texas Pete hot sauce, a good sign.  The menu is long and mostly typical of inexpensive Chinese restaurants, with a number of vegetarian options. Most dishes are available in small or large quantities (pint or quart). While they do have fancier and slightly more expensive options, we stuck with the basics this time.

Our order arrived in record time.  Everything was freshly made from the moment we ordered. Our takeout was packed with amazing care.  All our orders were small size, but they packed the containers full and each had about enough to feed the two of us.

Shrimp Roll ($1.20) – Ingredients were about average, with only one tiny shrimp, although the roll was freshly fried, at the right temperature, in good oil and served hot.

Crab Rangoon ($3.25/8 pieces) – OK, it’s not really Chinese, but…  As with the shrimp roll, average ingredients, correctly fried.

‘Broccoli with Hunan Style’ ($3.95) – Our favorite dish was the Broccoli Hunan Style, with its perfectly cooked texture and slightly spicy brown sauce, spiked here and there with tasty sour fermented black beans. Very savory and satisfying without having the sauce overwhelm the single veggie ingredient.

'Broccoli with Hunan Style'

'Broccoli with Hunan Style'

Shrimp Curry with Onions ($5.25) – This was good, with its large, fresh-tasting, butterflied and perfectly cooked shrimp, surprising for such an inexpensive shrimp dish, although we had to hunt through masses of onions to get to them. The sauce was good, but heavier on the chili than the curry flavor, and the taste was a bit thin.

Roast Pork Lo Mein ($4.50) – A decent Lo Mein, if a bit bland.  One of us thought it was too oily, the other that it could have used some more fatty pork. Noodles were fresh and not overcooked.

Shrimp Curry with Onions & Roast Pork Lo Mein

Shrimp Curry with Onions & Roast Pork Lo Mein

Sweet Donut ($3.25/10) – While Chinese donuts start out pretty much the same wherever you go, they have a very short shelf life, and many places will give them to you less than fresh.  These were fresh out of the oil and delicious.

Overall, while this may not be the most amazing Chinese you’ve ever had, it’s pretty hard to beat the quality for this price or in this part of town. They have on the lunch menu a “Diet Food Chef Special” in which the ingredients are steamed, and come with either a brown or garlic sauce on the side, free of sugar, salt, and corn starch, which means folks with dietary restrictions might benefit.   If you live in the Northgate/Duke Park/Old North Durham area and are hankering for Chinese, check this one out.

China King Chinese Restaurant

(919) 688-0102
Monday – Thursday: 11am-11 pm
Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 11:30 pm
Sunday: noon – 10:30 pm


  • judas_escargot said:

    From what I understand, a lot of the people you see running these strip mall Chinese restaurants (and I don’t mean that pejoratively) come from Fujian province. There’s actually an entire industry that exists to bring them over so they can set up/work in these restaurants here stateside–some illegally and many straddled with debt they spend years working off as the price.


    MNT replies on June 18th, 2009 at 9:23 am:

    That is interesting! We should have included that the owner said he’s been in the US for 18 years.


  • Nancy said:

    I also have to recommend Golden China, in the North Pointe Shopping center (by the Dollar Store). They’ve been around for about 7 years, and their food is very fresh, affordable and delicious!! Give a try!


  • Emoticons said:

    Great place to eat highly recommended 10xx


  • Eataway said:

    If ever you in the uk check out eataway in leicester Emoticons


  • Flynn Ashby said:

    A great recommendation is the OTHER China King.

    Those folks have been there for years operating a great, clean restaurant with all fresh veggies.

    This new China King (I assume) simply innocently took the name of an existing restaurant.

    The two are not owned by the same folks and while both are good, they shouldn’t be confused as the same.

    Just trying to help,



    Flynn Ashby replies on July 11th, 2009 at 6:24 pm:

    Oh, sorry, that OTHER China King is in Loehmann’s Plaza on Hillandale and I-85.


    sarah (ghost world) replies on August 29th, 2009 at 6:21 pm:

    LOVE and MISS the china king you are referring to (now living in chapel hill). their sesame shrimp is to die for!


  • casey said:

    been a fan of china king for awhile now. tried to go last night and it was closed… from the looks of it, for good. bummer.


    casey replies on September 12th, 2009 at 12:23 pm:

    whoops. i meant the other china king way up on roxboro.


    jared replies on December 26th, 2009 at 5:45 pm:

    GO to this place best chicken wings ever!!!!!!!!!!! Also has unique dishes for the little kids!


  • jared said:

    you should really go to this place im the bosses friend and he is very experiences he opened a bunch of resturants.( 5 to be exact not includung this 1) there all called china king and china queen. theres also one in missori when he started to build the chain of resturants


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