Hours: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Atmosphere: A dressy dragon look.
Price range: From $4.25 for chop suey to $12.75 for steaks. Peking duck available by special order for $29.50. Credit cards: All major.
Special facilities: Complete American and Chinese menu; booster seats and highchairs; accessible entrance; parking in rear; home deliver.
The dining room at the Moon Palace is devoted to an eternal red and golden look with Chinese artifacts everywhere.Considering its size, the restaurant's location in a neighborhood commercial area is almost out of place.
There is no doubt that the Moon Palace is determined to please. For those unwilling to sample Chinese food, a large portion of the menu is devoted to Standard American dishes. It goes way beyond a token gesture.
In an effort to show the best of many worlds, the large menu is supplemented by special inserts. There is a page devoted to specialities of the house and another to daily suggestions. If decision-making is a problem, you might be in real trouble.
We began with soups and egg rolls and concentrated our entree ordering on the page of specialities. There is no shortage of Cantonese influence on the menu. There are enough chow mein, chop suey and egg foo yong items to confuse even the least daring dinner.
The children began with chicken egg drop soup ($1) and chicken wonton soup $1.50). The waiter brought two extra bowls for the soup, thinking three young children could not master such adult portions. Wrong group. The children did very will and the soups were excellent.
There are a large number of soups, but many of the exotic offerings cost well over $4. One almost has to know in advance whether the roast duck with mustard greens or the crabmeat and birds nest will really be accepted.
The egg rolls ($1.90) were just adequate. Nothing exceptional, although they did not suffer from overfrying or dripping grease.
The waiter was very cheerful all evening and warned us that specialities of the house take an additional 20 minutes. We figured that would be no particular problem, but appreciated the information. If only he had warned us at this time that getting the check would take longest, we would have placed the order and begun the ceremony of paying the bill in advance.
We wanted to order the har kew with fish puffs ($9.25) but they were unavailable. We settled on ginger-scallion scallops ($9.50) and were very pleased with them. The children did not agree, but were doing well with the other entrees.
The scallops were bite-sized and quickly stir-fried. They were served with a light sauce that allowed the ginger an opportunity to breathe.
The fluffy chicken with lemon glaze ($7) won the highest praise from the children. I saw little fluff and lots of glaze and felt that the lemon influence far outweighted any delicate seasoning or chicken taste.
From the regular menu, we chose beef with green peppers and tomatoes ($5.95).We were pleased with the quick, light treatment of the vegetables but went in search of the beef strips. The bland brown covering for the dish made me feel that one should step away from the familiar items and be more adventurous.
The beauty of family dining at Chinese restaurants is the opportunity to sample a number a dishes and often be happy with having fewer entrees than people. We were at least one entree short, but because of small portion size we perhaps needed on entree each.
The prices are sufficient in most instances to increase the size of the portions. One deterrent, though, is the overly large menu, which limits scaled-down purchasing of products.
The cost of our outing for two adults and three children was $40.74, including tax and tip.
Perhaps one of the best features of the Moon Palace is that you don't have to go out to eat. The restaurant is one of the few that still offers home delivery.