215 N Stadium Blvd
Columbia, MO 65203
A first glance at the menu of Columbia’s newest Chinese restaurant, He Cheng, isn’t going to wow anybody. Lots of standard, Americanized Chinese dishes to satisfy the masses. But they will offer you an “authentic Chinese” menu if they catch you poring over some of the slightly more adventurous items. This menu is the one you want, with ten or so dishes that’ll stretch your palate a bit.
Off the standard menu the pork dumplings, egg drop soup and Fujian-style wonton soup check off the boxes but little more. Then, Chicken with Chilies shows up and steals the show. Fiery, crispy and gorgeous, it belonged to one particular diner but disappeared under a flurry of four sets of chopsticks. Riotously fun and addictive. The other dishes – twice-cooked pork, chicken lo mean and cumin beef – don’t quite reach the same lofty heights but each show promise (the lo mein for keeping picky kids/adults happy, the cumin beef for resembling Chinese fajitas and the pork for satisfying seekers of an authentically Chinese use of of the less-glamorous cuts of meat). Each had its hits and misses, nothing surprising for a new operation.