Austin >Food & Dining > First China Chinese Rstrnt
3005 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7870430.242372 -97.783808
Neighborhoods: South Lamar, South Lamar
Long time customer, sadly can no longer recommend – I've been happily ordering from First China for well over a year and have recommended them to many others. Those days are over. Aside from the growing volume of liquid in the dishes (I regularly pour at least half a cup of sauce off any given entree), the food is pretty decent and they get much better health scores than the super-frightening Wan Fu (especially Too!). But their questionable charges and total lack of regard for credit card security have turned me off for good.
The last two times I've ordered delivery from First China, I've been surprised that the total charge is much more than I'd estimated, and even more surprised when the restaurant called back both times to tell me they mistakenly charged me too LITTLE and would be charging my card an additional amount. When the first delivery arrived, the prices per dish were much higher on the hand written order the driver had than the prices on the menu I had, but I assumed the prices had changed and my menu was outdated. However, the identical menu, with identical prices, was IN THE BAG WITH THE ORDER. According to the driver's ticket, I was charged $12 for an $8.70 entree. Also, my FULL CREDIT CARD NUMBER, INCLUDING THE 3-DIGIT SECURITY CODE, was written on the slip in the driver's hand along with MY ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER. Very scary. I called the restaurant to inquire about the pricing and was told they're charging a (hidden) $3 or $5 (depending on who answers the phone) delivery charge, which is not mentioned anywhere on the menu or when I called in the order. That doesn't really explain the total difference in price, but whatever, note to self to order from Java Noodle instead.
A month or so later, I cave in and decide to give them a second chance. I was hungry and lazy and weak. What can I say? My $22 order (including tax) was inflated to $27+ according the the very nice girl on the phone. I fumed, but assumed it was that nasty delivery charge, and went on with my payment information because there really is no end to my stupidity. The very nice girl called back 5 minutes later to tell me she didn't charge me enough and my order was now $29+. for some reason, that last $2 (a 33% delivery charge?) was the final straw and, on principle, I had to cancel that order. Once again, the girl on the phone was very nice. You gotta give them that.
Bottom line: The food's not bad. The health scores are usually good. BUT OMG PAY CASH!!!
I love them! – The food is great, and the staff is VERY accommodating. They started making vegetarian egg rolls for my sister and I, and we were able to give them our special, biodegradable to-go boxes, which they use for our orders. The veggies are cooked just right and fresh. The food is GREAT, and they are happy to customize the dishes for us. We go there all the time and have never been disappointed yet! The servers are a lot of fun, and even though it may not be the quickest service in town, they more than make up for it in personality.
I highly recommend this restaurant. I give it five stars not because it's fine dining, but because they keep me smiling.
Overcooked Meat and Awful Customer Service! – This is the second time I've ordered delivery from this place. The first time I ordered a couple of starters and a chicken dish and the food was fresh and better than Wan Fu so I thought I'd try them again. This second time I ordered more of the same along with the pricey Crispy Roast Duck. The duck was beyond "crispy," it was way overcooked to the point where even most of the meaty pieces were dry. I know that crispy roast duck is supposed to have crispy skin and yet still have tender meat. I will have to throw out three fourths of this entree because it's beyond tough - it's inedible.
I called the restaurant to politely complain. I mentioned that the rest of the food was good but the duck was overcooked. I ended up speaking to a manager who said that it was cooked right and that it was my fault I didn't like it. Excuse me? I may not cook Chinese food (ahem, that's why I was ordering it) but I know what overcooked duck looks, chews, and tastes like. The manager wouldn't budge. The same person had *recommended* the duck when I was placing my order; perhaps they just wanted to get rid of it?
BUYER BEWARE. I expressed a fair complaint (it's too bad we can't upload pictures) and was met with disdain. If this is how new customers are treated, I will keep looking.
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