Tallahassee’s Chinese/Asian restaurants (especially take out) get a bad rap. I used to love Ming Tree, but after moving to the Northside and their eventual decline, I have been without a go-to for Chinese fare.

I have been hearing great things about Tan’s Asian Cafe, and had been trying to get there for a while. Well, last night I convinced my daughters that they REALLY wanted Chinese food, and (after taking pictures of rainbows in the backyard during a sudden storm) we were off!

So, like the diligent researcher I am, I examined Urbanspoon reviews to see what the best dishes are and we submitted our order. Our waitress was an adorable little lady who charmed the girls, and promptly brought our drink orders. I got Mongolian Beef and Egg Drop/Wonton Soup, DH got Chicken Curry, and the girls got a Ninja Sushi Roll and Sweet & Sour Chicken.

My soup came out within minutes and my Mongolian Beef very close after. The soup had a rich flavor, and great texture – not too thin as is the usual experience.

Food Porn Alert! Do not attempt to lick your screen…

The Mongolian Beef was spectacular. The tender beef was gorgeously glazed and the flavor was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. (Even the picky daughter loved it.)

The Sweet and Sour Shrimp arrived hot and crispy with a nice light sweet sauce. The 9 pc. Ninja Roll was a sizable roll with tempura crisps in the middle and BBQ Eel on the outside. It drizzled with eel sauce and a spicy mayo, and was accompanied by two fried panko shrimp – very good. The hubs’ Chicken Curry was also solid. The light and flavorful curry had chicken, mushrooms, carrots, bamboo shoots, baby corn pieces and water chesnuts. It had a little spicy afterburn, but the 9-year-old said that it wasn’t too spicy.

And just to make sure that we stuffed ourselves silly – we ordered Chinese Doughnuts. Who can say no to fried dough covered in sugar? Not us. (Very good, by the way. And also good the next day for breakfast…)

I have to admit that I didn’t want to have too high of expectations, but the food was really impressive. The service was quick and friendly, the restaurant was very clean. I wanted to try their Indonesian dishes, but I figured I would start out with the more traditional Chinese entrees. (Beef Tendon Noodle Soup or Baba Rica – You’re Next!)

Note: We brought home boxes from all of the entrees. The dinner portions are large, sharing is definitely a solid option.

Tan's Asian Cafe on Urbanspoon