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Midvale • Chinese food in Utah is often Americanized with a lot of sweet, MSG-loaded sauces, but not at Red Corner China Diner. This Midvale restaurant strikes a harmonious balance between American and Szechuan tastes all with a focus on fresh ingredients.
Despite the name, you won't actually find Red Corner China Diner on the corner. Instead, it's tucked in the middle of a strip mall anchored by Shane Co. on 7200 South and State and visually overshadowed by the 7-Eleven on the other end.
The décor is understated and welcoming, with warm paint colors and dark tables. Framed Chinese apparel and artwork line the walls.
For starters, try a steaming bowl of wonton soup ($2.99 cup/$6.99 bowl). It has a rich broth, perfectly parboiled vegetables and fresh wonton wrappers encasing moist protein. I could eat this soul-warming soup for lunch on a regular basis. The restaurant also serves a passable egg drop and a well-flavored hot and sour soup.
The Monday through Friday lunch value meal served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. comes with an entrée, egg roll and either ham fried or steamed rice for $5.99. Shrimp entrées are $2 more. Here is where I sampled the generously portioned Kung Pao chicken ($8.99 dinner) with large chunks of fresh zucchini and red peppers, crunchy cashews and moist, spice-intense chicken pieces.
Less impressive was the garlic dragon shrimp ($7.99 lunch meal, $11.99 dinner). It was loaded with so many dime-size chunks of nearly raw onion that I could barely taste the plump shrimp. Even the crunchy carrots and green bell peppers couldn't overcome the sauce, which while interesting, was presented more as a yellow curry instead of garlic, leaving me disappointed from the first bite.
At dinner, our group began with the Red Corner Platter, an appetizer plate ($8.99) with two standouts the juicy pot stickers and the fried sesame-seed balls, filled with an earthy red bean paste. An egg roll, fried shrimp, cream cheese rangoons and unimpressive spring rolls containing a very mushy cabbage center, completed the platter.
Dinner entrées are presented family-style with plenty of white rice. Those who want vegetarian dishes have many options, from tofu-based main dishes to vegetable-heavy and noodle entrées.
Red Corner owner Sam Su and his kitchen staff are judicious with sauce, providing an ideal amount of sticky sweet to the honey walnut shrimp ($11.99) without drowning the delicate flavors of the crustacean or nuts.
Sizzling Beef Tender ($13.99) is served tableside on a sizzling hot plate. Fresh mushrooms, onions and bell peppers mingle with tender slices of beef.
I ordered the salt and pepper fish ($11.99), and was initially brought salt and pepper shrimp ($11.99) which is prepared and served with legs and shell on. Shrimp shells are an acquired taste so I was pleased when the correct order of flaky white fish carefully enveloped in light and airy salt and pepper batter was quickly delivered.
Red Corner adds no MSG to any of its food and the oil used to fry appetizers and entrees was exceptionally clean, light and odor freeallowing the flavors of the food to shine. Two reasons that make Red Corner worth seeking out for quality, well-priced Chinese.
Red Corner China Diner
Food • HH
Mood • Hhj
Service • HH
Noise • bb
A clean and friendly midvalley Chinese restaurant offering fresh Szechuan-style cuisine in Midvale.
Location • 46 W. 7200 South, Midvale; 801-601-8331
Online • redcornerutah.com
Hours • Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday
Children's menu • Yes
Prices • $ lunch; $$ dinner
Liquor • beer only
Reservations • not available
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • yes
Outdoor dining • no
On-site parking • yes
Credit cards • no American Express