China Max Wok on 681 Niagara Falls Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14226 looks just like so many other Chinese Take-Out restaurants. There’s nothing to really set it apart from any other Chinese place; it even includes the menu lit up behind the counter with 2 rows of faded pictures of Moo Goo Gai Pan, Shrimp in Lobster Sauce, and Cashew Chicken. However, behind it’s outer appearance there is something that sets this little place apart: they have Vegetarian food.
Not just any Vegetarian dishes that every old Chinese place carries such as veggies with steam rice, China Max actually serves up Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Chicken, Vegetarian Broccoli Chicken, and my personal favorite: Vegetarian Sesame Chicken.
Dear reader, I cannot describe to you how happy I was to discover this little, wonderful place. My favorite dish as a meat eater was the Sesame Chicken, without a doubt. It was the one thing I miss desperately, yes, desperately I tell you. The crispy crunch of the fried chicken, the heat of the food, and the delicious sweetness of the sesame sauce. There is nothing like Sesame Chicken from Tasia in Springfield, Missouri. However, that desperation drove me to Google vegetarian Chinese Food Buffalo NY and this is how China Max found me.
Their Vegetarian Sesame Chicken has a thick sweet sauce, the fried rice it’s served with comes made with peas that pop under your teeth and small carrot cubes, and even the spring roll are meatless. The “chicken” itself is, in fact, not even close to animal product, however they could fool you. Made from the glutenous meat-substitute satay, the little medallions are deep fried until crispy and tossed in the sesame sauce. I’ve only had it as take-out, so the time it spends steaming in it’s to-go platter leaves the “chicken” with still a slight crunch, but soaked enough to absorb the sesame sauce. It’s nearly impossible to tear the satay with your teeth at this point, but the medallions are just small enough that you can eat it all in one large bite. Chew well, because it is delicious and…well, chewy.
I’ve read other reviews about vegetarians upset that they got real chicken when requesting the vegetarian dish. I have seen chicken at that restaurant, and it doesn’t have the same shape as the Vegetarian Chicken, but that goes to show how close they’ve made this vegetarian food resemble the real deal. On another note, I’ve read other reviews from omnivorous bloggers who have adamantly complained that too many vegetables, albeit fresh, are served in China Max’s dishes. Dear Lord.
I have had the Vegetarian Broccoli Chicken, which is served with perfectly cooked fresh bright green broccoli and carrot slices that have an excellent crunch to both with the satay medallions. The sauce was incredible, the vegetables delectable, but I could not get through the pan fried satay. The texture just didn’t settle with me. My husband, who for a time was fed satay while growing up, took one look at it and said “That looks like how I used to have it!” If that’s what other Vegetarians are expecting, then no wonder the deep fried Sesame “Chicken” sends them into a frenzy. So the Vegetarian Broccoli “Chicken” had excellent flavors and maybe it will sit better with other Vegetarians.
So if you’re Vegetarian looking for your long lost love of cheap Chinese Take-Out, look no further than China Max. The food has always been fresh, delicious, and plentiful. Check it out for your next close encounter for meat-craving, you’ll find your perfect go-to restaurant. Perhaps you’ll even run into me there!
See my China Max Wok Review on Yelp!