In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at Fantastic China.
Comfort food comes in all shapes and sizes. I generally prefer some good home cooking from my mama, but my mama doesn’t make Chinese food, so sometimes I have to go out. On a long stretch of cold days, you can only have hot chili so many times before you need a bit of a change. Let me suggest Fantastic China in The Heights and let their fantastic soups or perfectly fried rice heat you up.
Since 1995, Fantastic China has become the go-to place for Little Rock diners who seek great food, a relaxed setting and impeccable service.
My dad and I consider ourselves to be regulars, whether they know it or not, and we are ushered to our regular table. He loves the hot tea and it’s a perfect way to take the chill off. Neither of us needs a menu and we order our regular, moo goo gai pan for Dad with fried rice, an egg roll and hot and sour soup. I get the sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, an egg roll and wonton soup.
The soup comes out first and each of us slurp the warm soup, taking short breaks for conversation or to sprinkle some more crispy fried wonton chips into our bowls. The soup may be my favorite part of the meal, with its savory broth and hand-folded wontons. Just as we are finishing the soup, our entrees are brought. I have always noticed how the white china on the white tablecloth makes dining a notch nicer. Both plates are a bounty of food and always garnished with a delicious orange slice. Always eat the orange slice, especially in cold and flu season.
Chinese food may not be the first thing you contemplate when considering comfort food, but think about it; it’s familiar, hot, delicious, and everyone can find something they like. Beat back the cold and head to Fantastic China this week.