Once we crossed the Mason-Dixon line a few nights ago I felt it was going to be well near impossible to find a Chinese restaurant, much less a good one. Of course, there are take-out Chinese restaurants probably in every town in the United States. But, we found a lovely sit down Chinese restaurant about a mile away… unfortunately it was on the other side of Smith Mountain Lake, and the shortest distance between one and their pot of gold is often not a straight line when one skirts the lake. So, in a roundabout 20 minute drive we chanced upon Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant.
The restaurant wasn’t crowded for a Friday night as most the town folk around the lake are seasonal residents. And this isn’t their season. But good Chinese food is ALWAYS in season. And we were surprised to find such an authentic looking Chinese restaurant. They spent a lot of time and money in decorating this restaurant that opened about 19 years ago… though it looks like it could have opened just a few months ago! Kudos on the cleanliness and hospitality. But, if one is in the South, can one expect anything less that proper Southern Hospitality? Next time y’all are down this way we highly suggest dining at Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant.
Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant is located at:
16440 Booker T Washington Highway
Moneta, VA 24121
Our hostess Jenny came to the United States almost 30 years ago, and with her husband and a partner opened Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant. They are raising three girls, and though I didn’t ask, I feel confident that they created all those Origami creations in the left picture above. Truly a work of art (as you’ll see also demonstrated in the presentation of their food). Though in the States for 30 years she still speaks with mostly a Chinese accent, accentuated with some Southern expressions, “Are y’all enjoying your dinner?”
jenny was excited that we asked for her to recommend their most authentic Chinese dish. It took her a while to realize that we didn’t just want the standard Americanized Chinese dishes. She made three suggestions and we ordered Crispy Beef along with our personally selected Scallops and Beef Sizzling.
As you can see from the center picture above, they plated the Scallops and Beef Sizzling tableside on an extremely hot serving plate and made the dish truly sizzle and filled our nostrils with an incredible aroma.
We brought along a Steamed Dumpling expert, and while he enjoyed his steamed dumpling’s, I must say we truly enjoyed our Mai Tai’s. I LOVED the glasses!
The steamed dumplings weren’t a huge hit, but we have to consider that our young taster was still recovering from a stomach virus and is still searching for his taste buts. The adults however can vouch for the Mai Tai’s. If I didn’t have to drive, I would have had another.
As for the entrees themselves, the dish we selected ourselves, the Scallops and Beef Sizzling was so-so. The beef could have been slightly more tender and had a bit more flavor. The scallops however, were excellent. We should have left all the ordering up to Jenny as the Crispy Beef was out of this world, and could easily have been served in Flushing and no one would have batted an eyelash saying it wasn’t cooked there.
The Bottom Line:
If you find yourself in the middle of Virginia, in the middle of nowhere, you can be sure to get a very good Chinese meal at Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant in Moneta, VA.
Our Fortune Cookies:
“Love or Money, or neither?”
“You accumulate property – use it wisely.”
“Oops… Wrong cookie”.
Ok, perhaps they don’t write the best Fortunes down here, but they sure now how to fix up a good meal!
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)