Why: For 15 years, Green Tea Kitchen has been serving Chinese, Cantonese and a sprinkling of American dishes. Items are prepared without animal fat, and there are plenty of options for those who opt for a vegetarian diet. Menu items are made-to-order for pickup or delivery. Although it’s not the snazziest place in town, it will likely satisfy a hankering for hot, fresh Chinese food.
Atmosphere: The emphasis is on delivery and drive-through, which might explain the unattractive warehouse-style building. It has two drive-up windows for picking up orders — one of which requires the ability to maneuver a 90-degree turn to exit without backing up. Customers also may walk in through a side door. Inside, functionality above frills dictates the use of the space, which only provides a couple of booths that feel a bit out of place in the order-to-go atmosphere.
What I tried: My selections included Pork Chow Mein, Sweet & Sour Halibut, Beef Broccoli & Cauliflower and Orange Chicken, as well as No Meat Egg Rolls and the House Appetizers. It took approximately 25 minutes for my sizable order to be ready for pickup. It was enough to feed six people with a few leftovers.
The Orange Chicken was a favorite. The chicken was pleasantly void of any chewy pieces and covered with a golden batter that was deep-fried and coated with a thick, sweet orange sauce that satisfied.
Instead of large pieces of pork in the Pork Chow Mein, there were plenty of small morsels that ensured pork in just about every bite. This selection also came with dry noodles that were thicker than the typical dry noodle chow mein accompaniment.
The Beef Broccoli & Cauliflower had a generous amount of tender beef pieces mixed with the vegetables. All were lightly covered in a flavorful sauce that brought out the best in all the ingredients.
The most unusual of the selections was the Sweet & Sour Halibut. Instead of small chunks of fish mixed with pineapple, carrots and such, the dish consisted of two components -- fish, which came in large, lightly battered pieces; and sauce, which did not include any other ingredients that are usually part of a sweet and sour dish. Although it was very different than expected, it made a good impression and I would order it again.
Green Tea Kitchen’s egg rolls are bigger than average and appeared to be wrapped twice. The wrap used resists the temptation to absorb excessive oil, which complements the filling, but I would prefer a once-wrapped version because the dough slightly overwhelmed the filling.
The least impressive offering was the Wor Tip portion of the House Appetizers. These tip pieces from the BBQ pork roast were very dry and chewy, and lacked flavor.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Most menu categories contain a lot of variety — some classics and some uncommon dishes, such as the Chicken Tomato Pepper Chow Yuk, Beef Green Bean Black Bean Sauce, and Prawn Black Mushroom.
Luncheon specials are served between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
Other observations: The menu far exceeds the typical number of selections. Rice is included with selections. Plenty of extra sauces, fortune cookies and chopsticks are provided with orders.
Cost: Combination plates start at $6.90 and top out at $10.20. Family dinners are offered at $8.95 to $12.45 per person. Meat dishes range from $8.15 to $22.15, seafood from $7.95 to $14.85. Tofu selections cost between $7.55 and $10.15. Vegetables, Chop Suey, rice, noodle Lo Mein, Chow Mein, and soup choices range from $4.10 to $10.65. Cantonese-style dishes are $7.70 to $11.85. American items are $2.60 to $8.20.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Where: 602 S.E. 157th Ave.
Health score: Green Tea Kitchen received a score of 0 on Feb. 10. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.