November 21, 2013 by LJK
I’ve been hearing about this place for some time, and only last night was able to check it out. The menu, which was significantly smaller than the typical Chinese restaurant tome, was encouraging, promising several basic Korean dishes—bulgogi, kalbi, and so on—as well as a back page of interesting Chinese dishes with alternative proteins. Alas, hopes dashed: The Korean cook was not in yesterday (no word on what days he’s working), so no Korean for us. They were also out of “preserved vegetables” (likely sour mustard cabbage) and shredded pork, so that option and anything like it was out. The waitress suggested plain stir-fried Chinese water spinach as a substitute for the preserved vegetables and pork, which I thought was a bit odd—I guess they had some greens to use up, and were low on meat? The mild, hollow-stemmed water spinach (aka water morning glory) was fine, and at least had a few bits of fresh green chile buried in the mound of chopped greens. Which was good because I also ordered, sort of at random, the spicy-asterisked “chicken in hot garlic sauce”; do I have to tell you that it wasn’t spicy at all, and I couldn’t find any evidence of chile flakes or anything besides cornstarch, soy sauce, and probably reconstituted bouillon powder in the sauce? My daughter had steamed pork dumplings; they looked, frankly, terrible, but she said they were fine.
China Inn is at 2662 Cornhusker Highway, in the Super Saver shopping center on the northwest corner of Cornhusker and 27th Street. If you go, maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll be a day when the one guy who knows how to cook the Korean dishes on the menu is there. Maybe you won’t. In any case, I’d love to hear about your experiences at China Inn and whether you think it’s worth trying again. I probably won’t go back, especially since Mr. Hui’s is just a few blocks away and light years better, but I could be convinced otherwise. I’d also be interested in hearing from you if you have any leads on good Korean anywhere else in Lincoln. Did someone mention Korean barbecue in a parking lot or alley behind the taco place at 27th and O, or did I dream that?