Review: Hao’s Garden provides authentic Chinese food despite bland atmosphere


Allegra H.

Hao’s Garden is located on the corner of 5th and Broadway Street in downtown Wahoo and is open Tuesday-Sunday. Despite its unexciting exterior, Hao’s Garden creates some of the greatest authentic Chinese food around David City.

Allegra H.

When it comes to eating ethnic food, Chinese is often hard to beat. While some may run to Panda Express or the Columbus Hy-Vee to get their Chinese food fix, nothing quite compares to the authentic Chinese one can get at Hao’s Garden in Wahoo.

Located on the corner of 5th and Broadway Street across from Dollar General in the heart of downtown Wahoo, Hao’s Garden’s modest exterior hardly does justice for the fantastic flavors beyond the beat-up brick. Granted, when you initially walk into their establishment, your first impression may not be any different.

The atmosphere of Hao’s Garden does leave something to be desired. With standard white walls, basic plastic silverware, and a regular who brings a radio to listen to polka music, you may think you would be better off making the same 30-minute trip to Seward’s Dragon Palace. However, if you can look beyond the small, sterile surroundings, you’re in for some of the best Chinese food around.

After placing your order from their extensive menu at the front counter, you can seat yourself at one of the surrounding tables. Even though your choice of seating is limited, finding a table to enjoy your meal normally isn’t a problem because many customers order their food to-go.

While the restaurant’s workers aren’t the most outgoing, that is more than made up for in the restaurant’s efficiency. Within five to ten minutes of ordering, your steaming platter of fresh food will be brought to your table.

Hao’s Garden offers an assortment of Chinese dishes, ranging from szechuan chicken to wonton soup. However, the best way to start your meal is with their crab rangoons. With their mouth-watering blend of cream cheese, crab, and vegetables in a wonton wrapper, these crispy, cooked-to-perfection crab rangoons put other Chinese eateries to shame.

When it comes to a main course, their orange chicken offers a texture and spicy, sweet flavor that will never disappoint. As opposed to other Chinese restaurants where soggy chicken and an abundance of vegetables are the norm, the crunchy orange chicken from Hao’s Garden is predominantly all meat with a few pieces of broccoli on the side.

Hao’s Garden overall provides larger portion sizes, fresher foods, and better food textures than other nearby Chinese restaurants. With their wide selection of authentic Chinese dishes, Hao’s Garden will always be calling you back for more.

When it comes to cost, Hao’s Garden is comparable to Seward’s Dragon Palace. An eight piece crab rangoon is $5 and orange chicken is $8. It’s a little more expensive than the Chinese you can get at Hy-Vee or Panda Express, but the hearty portions and taste of Hao’s Garden come at a reasonable price.

All in all, Hao’s Garden creates authentic, crave-inducing Chinese food that makes you forget the basic atmosphere. So the next time you’re hankering for Chinese, make the drive to Wahoo. You won’t regret it.