China Blossom, North Andover, MA

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | January 19th, 2012 | Restaurant Reviews

This past Sunday I was invited to dine at China Blossom with a guest.  Thus, I asked my husband to join me for an evening of what I hoped would be good dining.

We arrived shortly before our reservation time of 7:00.  The restaurant was busy, with most of the tables full.  We were able to be seated early and were given a booth.  We had the option of ordering off the menu or partaking in the buffet, and we chose the menu.  Within moments, we were greeted by our waiter who provided water and took our drink order.

When our waiter returned with our drinks, he asked if we had made any decisions on appetizers or if we needed any suggestions.  I told him that we wanted to start with sushi, and he recommended the Spicy Salmon Maki.  We also chose the Eel & Cucumber Maki.  Putting the menu down, as I thought the first round of ordering was done, the waiter asked what appetizer we would want, as sushi was just part of the first course.  Again, I asked what he would recommend.  I appreciated his honesty when he told us that most people ask for the boneless spare ribs or the chicken fingers but that he suggested the Thai Style Spare Ribs.

The first part of the appetizer round, the sushi, arrived within a few minutes.  Both maki were well prepared with a generous portion of the star ingredients: salmon, eel, cucumber.  The rice used as the packaging for the sushi was perfectly sticky and in a proper proportion that didn’t overwhelm the filling.

We were about halfway through our sushi when the spare ribs arrived.  Served atop a bed of lettuce and delivered with extra napkins, I was ready to give them a try.  Typically I don’t order spare ribs when dining at a restaurant; the stickiness and mess tend not to be worth it.  However, these ribs were fabulous.  If there had been no more courses to the meal, I would have claimed the entire plate as mine.  With a sweet sauce that had a hint of spice and meat that was ridiculously tender, these ribs were my favorite part of the meal.

Finished with our appetizers, our waiter arrived to take our entrée order.  As he had done a fabulous job in advising us on our appetizer round, I decided to put the rest of my evening in his control.  After he understood our preferences, he suggested China Blossom Steak, Mixed Vegetables, and Young Chow (House) Fried Rice.

The China Blossom Steak was presented sliced with black mushroom and assorted vegetables.  Served in a hot dish, the sauce was sizzling when the dish was presented to us.  The steak was cooked medium, as we requested, and being tender had a nice contrast to the crunch of the vegetables.  The rice was delicious and filled with shrimp, pork, and ham.  This rice was pale tan in color, instead of the dark brown that one normally envisions.  The lightness in color equated to a lightness in flavor that allowed the taste of the rice and its ingredients to shine.  Our final dish on the second round, Mixed Vegetables, was quite pleasing.  Again the vegetables were crisp-tender and piping hot.  An assortment of bok choy, broccoli, peppers, pea pods, and mushrooms, it was a nice light dish.

Although we were quite full, our waiter offered dessert.  As we were guests, it felt impolite to say no.  We told the waiter that any dessert that he wanted to bring, except something chocolate, would be perfect.  He arrived with two dishes of ice cream, each containing a scoop of maple walnut, pistachio, and black raspberry.  While the ice cream was creamy and flavorful, it did seem to be an odd ending to the meal.  I am not quite certain what I was anticipating, but it wasn’t these three flavors.  Regardless, the ice cream was enjoyable.

Throughout the meal we received excellent service.  Our water glasses were kept full, we were provided extra napkins as needed, and empty dishes and plates were cleared appropriately.  Not only did we, as invited guests, receive this service, but I noted that all of the tables within my view received the same service.

Chinese food is not something I usually request when making plans for dinner.  However, I do believe I will be returning to China Blossom in the future.  When I do, I will be ordering the Thai Style Spare Ribs as my entrée.

Editor’s note:  Our evening of dining was provided at no cost to my husband and myself.  That being said, this review accurately reflects the quality of our experience at China Blossom.

  1. […] month I had an enjoyable dinner at China Blossom, which I wrote about here.  After the tasty multi-course meal, I was interested to learn more about this restaurant that has […]

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