Tang's China House has been a Sarnia culinary institution since the 1970's, when Garry and Diana Tang first opened its doors.
Fast forward to today, the restaurant is not only standing strong but has undergone a remarkable transformation under the skilled hands of their daughter, Lillian Tang-Smith.
From the intricate details of gold faucets in the bathroom to the mesmerizing dragon sculpture with light-up eyes, every aspect of Tang's reflects Lillian's commitment to preserving tradition while infusing a fresh touch of elegance.
During our visit, Lillian gracefully worked the room and it became evident that she is not merely managing a restaurant but she's in it to win it. So let’s delve into the heart of the Tang’s experience — the food.
Spring Rolls & Egg Rolls
The spring and egg rolls were each nothing short of perfection. Every bite offered a delightful crunch and revealed a harmonious blend of bean sprouts and fresh vegetables. The attention to meticulous preparation is obvious — don’t skip on a handful of these before your mains.
Won Ton Soup
The Won Ton soup at Tang's was simply culinary brilliance. Full of melt-in-your-mouth wontons, the soup had a delicious rich, salty, savoury taste, creating a cozy feeling of comfort. This soup along with a spring roll or two would be the PERFECT lunch on a chilly February day.
Hot & Sour Soup
For lovers of hot and sour flavours, Tang's take on classic Hot and Sour soup was a revelation. It was brimming with an array of fresh, unique mushrooms and the broth danced in the bowl with a delightful kick. This soup was a testament to the kitchen's commitment to using only the freshest and most authentic Chinese ingredients.
Almond Soo Guy
Among the standout dishes was the Almond Soo Guy—a must-try for anyone seeking a tasty adventure. The rich sauce enveloped a perfectly cooked, crispy chicken to create an absolutely perfect plate. Their Almond Soo Guy is proof of Tang's dedication to fusing tradition and innovation. The sauce was very clearly made from scratch, and it showed.
Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls
Anything but ordinary, Tang's Sweet & Sour chicken balls redefined my expectations. Far from the overly sweet and gloopy versions found in many North American Chinese joints, these spheres of perfection struck an impeccable balance of salty and sweet. Light, crispy, savoury, and sweet. What more could you want?
Szechuan Shrimp with Peanuts
The Szechuan shrimp was marvellous. The tender, juicy, succulent shrimp, were enrobed in a light, intensely flavourful sauce. Another testament to Tang's ability to elevate traditional Chinese flavours with a modern twist.
Tang's Fried Rice
Tang's Fried Rice was a beautiful array of chicken, pork, shrimp, and vegetables all in one bowl! We couldn’t believe a simple rice dish could be so good on its own. In fact, we didn’t even reach for the soy sauce on the table once—nothing needed a boost, it was THAT good.
What set Tang's China House apart was not just the exceptional cuisine but also the absence of that heavy, greasy feeling which can be associated with indulgent meals. Lillian's commitment to quality ingredients and expert culinary techniques shone through, leaving patrons satisfied but not weighed down.
In addition to the outstanding culinary experience, the atmosphere at Tang's was, simply put, awesome. From the attentive staff to the enchanting dragon sculpture on the wall, every detail contributed to the overall ambiance.
As a delightful surprise, the staff even serenaded various customers "Happy Birthday" not once, but three times during our visit—an unexpected touch that had the whole restaurant clapping and singing together. It was fun.
Tang's China House, under Lillian Tang-Smith, exceeded our expectations. Tang's is a downtown must-visit. Don't miss the opportunity to savour the new flavours while experiencing the magic that has made Tang's a success for over 50 years.
By Sarnia Nibbles
Sarnia Nibbles is a long-time downtown resident of Sarnia, with an insatiable love for food. They came to life on Instagram as a delicious extension of a personal love affair with food, drink, and the vibrant local community. The creator aims to capture the essence of Sarnia’s food scene, showcasing hidden gems, time-honoured favourites, and stories behind the dishes that make this city a gastronomic treasure trove. Sarnia Nibbles prides themselves on honesty, including the good, the bad, the delicious, and the disgusting in their reviews.
For more, follow Sarnia Nibbles on Instagram.