South Tsing Tsao offers fast food, no immediate illnesses


by Mark Pleiss

South Tsing Tsao offers fast food, no immediate illnesses

Smiling Buda entices visitors to restaurant, yet is overpoweredby bad decorations

There are some restaurants out there that serve lavish food witha hefty price tag, but the consumer still goes home happy. Thereare some restaurants that serve reasonable food at a feasible costthat many just prefer because the service is friendly.

Then there is that special restaurant we all keep deep in ourmemories for reasons we would rather not talk about. Such is SouthTsing Tsao.

I would describe my South Tsing Tsao experience in a simpleword: icky. South Tsing Tsao is the small restaurant on Fluer Drivethat hides behind a Subway and falls on the not-so-better half of astrip mall.

The restaurant is enslaved by an absolutely repugnant system ofwall colors entailing a pinkish-purple upper half with a dark, moredisgusting bottom half.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sporadic display of artworkthroughout the room. There are some pretty interesting paintings ofdragons and a worthwhile display of pottery in the back.

I also enjoyed the selection of Buda statues on sale at thecounter. Sadly, I’m not sure the Iowa State football calendarbehind the register adds to the Asian themes.

There is ample seating at South Tsing Tsao, and a good number ofbooths. A pretty good radio station played modern music at areasonable volume. And, the lighting was more than adequate for aroom of its size.

With these things in mind, one would think the staff would becheery. The man at the cash register cracked a smile, but I thinkthe only really happy person at South Tsing Tsao seemed to be thelife-size Buda statue, holding a delectable array of sugary treats.The overall environment of South Tsing Tsao was really justunpleasant.

I ordered my personal Chinese favorite, sesame seed chicken anda water. The price set me back $5.25, it was one of the more priceydishes.

South Tsing Tsao proudly boasts its $3.55 lunches and dinners. Ihad hardly seconds to write criticisms upon my observation napkinwhen the food arrived.

I would say South Tsing Tsao’s greatest attribute is its speed.My food was ready almost instantly after ordering.

My food was presented well. There were strips of chickensimmered in a sesame seed sauce that tasted very good. Small flavorbeads that I had trouble identifying added a certain tang to thedish that was pleasurable as well.

There was a small and insignificant egg roll on the side,however, I didn’t care for it much due to its lack of meat.

Next to it was a star-shaped crab ragoon that tasted excellent,though it could’ve used more crab, and probably more ragoon, thoughI’m not sure what that is exactly.

But it wasn’t the quality of the food I had trouble with as muchas it was the amount of food. As soon as I laid eyes upon the dishI knew I would have to make a $1 menu McDonalds run later thatevening. South Tsing Tsao simply doesn’t provide enough food for agrowing college boy.

All in all, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with South Tsing Tsao. Icertainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone I love.

But, it was fairly cheap, not bad tasting, very fast and Ididn’t get sick, so I would deem it a decent stop-in spot.

And yes, if all else fails, I’m sure you’ll love the life sizeBuda with its impeccable smile.