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Dining With Susan: China Pavilion

Dining With Susan: China Pavilion

I thought it was time to revisit another one of my favorite restaurants, the ever popular China Pavilion in Orange. This award winning family owned Chinese restaurant has been going strong since 1982. The key word here is “family” as Fred, Amy, and Khanh have owned China Pavilion since 1996. This is truly a special place where families can gather and enjoy a cocktail or two in China Pavilion’s full service bar and have fresh Chinese cuisine made to order. China Pavilion is one of a few award winning Chinese restaurants in Connecticut with a full bar.

I had an opportunity to reach out to Khanh to get his thoughts on their extremely successful restaurant. “We are a family owned and operated business. A large part of the workforce is directly related (aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins). We spend so much time together in this business; we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. This is our family, we work really hard to keep customers satisfied and we try to have as much fun as possible doing it so that our customers can feel good about bringing their family to our restaurant because we know how important it is to have the people you love all sitting down at a single table, eating, talking, most importantly…being a family. Food unites people and it’s a beautiful phenomenon. My mother-in-law (Amy), yes; she is the one with an impeccable memory and seems to know everyone’s name. It’s a pleasure doing business with people you feel comfortable with; what’s more comforting than walking into a place and having people recognize you by name…or maybe by your order? I was in the banking industry and learned a long time ago that knowing someone’s name is the ultimate form of respect and admiration. What makes our food different? “The Process” – We’ve endured while many have come and gone. The focus on what we are putting on the plate I think plays a large role in our restaurants success which is why we focus so much of our efforts in the process by which the food is prepared and the ingredients used in the process. What I mean by the process: It’s the traditional Taiwanese way of cooking. Making sure the woks are to temperature, that the ingredients are as fresh as can be, sauces are made when you order that dish (i.e., they don’t make a large batch of general tso’s sauce and then just fry chicken and add the premade sauce in). This process is a positive in that it gives our dishes a distinguishable flavor because vegetables and meats are seared at the proper temperature and sauces are made in small individually sized batches. The negative is that as with ANY process, it simply takes time.ˮ

*About the Chef: “My father-in-law (Ding Lin – Master Chef) simply doesn’t deviate from the formula that has endured all this time. He believes that the best dishes start with the freshest ingredients. This freshness not only tastes better but it’s simply better for you (nutritionally speaking, food loses nutrients as it ages past its prime). We also use prime cuts of beef (which is why our beef is always very tender, never fatty), white meat chicken is used in a majority of our dishes (yes, even general Tso’s chicken – which is commonly made with lower cost dark meat chicken because it can be hidden by the batter). We can alter most dishes to meet special dietary needs like gluten free or steamed options.ˮ

Challenges: “One of the biggest challenges we face in this industry is that for every full service, dine-in Chinese restaurant there are 40 “fast food” Chinese restaurants. Why is this a challenge? Its not that they are competition; its that they set an unrealistic expectation that ALL Chinese food can be prepared in 10-15 minutes…yes, even on a weekend we still have customers ask us if their order will be ready in 10-15 minutes? THIS is the problem I alluded to earlier. Remember “the Process”? The same one that we built our business on is also the same one that people complain about the most. We just wish people would understand that our food takes time, the process needs to take place or else what we serve you won’t be fitting of the multiple awards we’ve won, and it certainly wouldn’t be to our standards. So we won’t deviate from our process.

“Also, we are so thankful and fortunate for having the following and support of the towns and communities that we serve.”

Thank you so much Khanh for sharing your special insight with our readers!

You couldn’t ask for a more hardworking, dedicated family, always warmly greeting the customers, remembering everyone’s name (I don’t know how they do it). The restaurant is immaculately kept & the efficient wait staff are always smiling and tending to your every need. China Pavilion’s top-notch service & food at reasonable prices along with its “exotic island drinks” always make the dining experience a pleasure. The menu has so much to offer, it would take pages to list everything. Visit the website to view menu. Many regular customers say the China Pavilion cuisine is the closest to Chinatown you will ever get. I just know everything is scrumptious and definitely one of my all time favorite restaurants for lunch & dinner. They also offer lunch specials available 11am-3pm- 7 days a week. CHINA PAVILION IS OPEN 364 DAYS A YEAR INCLUDING ALL MAJOR HOLIDAYS, ONLY CLOSING ON THANKSGIVING!

China Pavilion – Hitchcock Plaza

185 Boston Post Road, Orange, Ct 06477

Phone- 203-795-3555 – 203-795-3556 –Fax-203-799-7752


Hours: Monday-Thursday – 11am-10pm – Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm -Sunday – 12pm-11pm

All major credit cards accepted-Reservations recommended-Handicapped accessible-Parking: Large lot in shopping center

Take out on all menu items – Available for private parties

Final notes: China Pavilion has won numerous awards including Connecticut Magazine Reader’s Choice-Best Chinese Restaurant-New Haven County-15 years in a row, along with the Zagat Survey Award of Distinction. In addition, they were one of the “Top 100 Chinese Restaurants” in the United States voted by the Chinese Restaurant News. Remember to support our local family owned businesses! Wishing all our loyal readers a very happy and healthy New Year! If you have a favorite restaurant e-mail at or

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