Lucky China, Aurora

Lucky China
2000 S. Havana Blvd.
Aurora, CO 80014

What led me to Lucky China was their ad in the local Chinese paper. It was a fairly generic Chinese newspaper restaurant ad, except for one thing: their sample menu had both seemingly Northern and Cantonese style dishes. Explicitly, the ad stated there were “Southern Northern Small Plates”, which seemed a bit odd. Of course, that just piqued my curiosity and emboldened me to try it out so I could taste what regional variety of Chinese food they are aiming to serve.

I walked into the restaurant and was warmly greeted. I was prompted seated at one of their beautiful dark wooden tables and immediately was handed the Chinese menu (which actually had a Korean menu on the back, given the large number of Korean residents in the area). They do also have a typical Chinese-American cuisine menu as well, which you can see on their website. Their menu didn’t quite clarify the confusion, and the fact that when the owner switched to Cantonese from Mandarin to speak to me didn’t help me discern what kind of regional cuisine they specialize in either.

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I decided to order two dishes: their red oil cooked pork and their pork with preserved vegetables noodle soup. Both dishes came out beautifully. The pork was well braised and very tender, with the pork fat tasting quite succulent. The bok choy was fresh and well cooked too. The sauce was great as well, but not spicy so I knew off the bat that it wasn’t Sichuan style. The noodle soup was good too, and my mother would approve having a fondness for the dish. However, the noodles were more Northern style hand pulled noodles than the rice noodles you would find if the noodle soup was served in a Hong Kong style establishment.

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All in all, the food was good and my initial inclinations are that it’s Cantonese style food with a Shanghainese flair. Perhaps the owner and/or chef is from a Shanghai family that immigrated to Hong Kong after the Communist Revolution, so it is kind of a fusion of regional cuisines. As a friend said to me when I reported my findings: “Maybe it’s just homestyle cooking, authenticity be damned.” Either way, the food was delicious, if a bit pricey (my bill came out to about $20).

As an aside, I did note an interesting trend that happened when I was eating there. The three other occupied tables when I was dining there were taken up by three couples, each with one Chinese female and one Caucasian male. They were all eating out of the Chinese menu, and one of the Caucasian guys seemed to speak Mandarin than I did! Perhaps this bodes well for a future date night.

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2 thoughts on “Lucky China, Aurora

  1. Ana says:

    Query – do you know if the Korean menu contained the same items? I’d be curious if they actually had different food on that menu. It’d almost be like the In-N-Out secret menu before it stopped being anything like a secret.

    Further query – What the heck is “red oil” anyway? I’ve never known, because my parents were mostly of the “just eat it and don’t ask questions” school of philosophy in feeding their children.

    Suggestion – I think readers might get a little more out of your expertise in Chinese/Chinese-American food if you also regularly covered other aspects of the restaurants you visit, like ambiance/lighting, English-friendliness of staff, whether or not you can get servers to explain what a particular dish is or contains, cleanliness, quality of serving ware, etc.

    • sinoinsocal says:

      I was quickly brushed back to the Chinese menu after trying to examine the Korean part of the menu. I do not exactly know if it contained the same items, but I believe I did see “bulgogi” so I am thinking they wanted to also placate the tastes of the Korean population in the area. I also don’t exactly know what “red oil” is as well. For me, it tastes good so I just run with it without asking. Perhaps I should next time.

      Also, thanks for the tip! I will try to next time, especially when I eat with friends.

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