Reno >Food & Dining > Cai E's Oriental Cafe
Expensive, ok food.
While the food was a solid three stars if not just four, the prices were a bit on the high side.
Take note this after a new menu that states that the prices have been lowered....
Me and my guest partaked in CaiE's all you can eat dim sum. I wanted to try a large selection to give the restaurant the widest possible allowance in case one particular item was not to my liking. To start off the four sauces provided have a mixed review. By far the hot mustard was the best. In fact the hot mustard here was the best thing that I can mention, so if you eat here you do need to have hot mustard on one of your appetizers. As for the other three they were not so great. The sweet and sour was plain and lifeless. I have had better out of a fast food packet. There was a soy based sauce that was very different. The hot chili oil was of poor quality and was not too timid for my liking.
Unfortunately I was unable to try the Chicken potstickers as they were not available the evening when I had dinner at CaiE's. The pork poststickers were a bit greasy, but the filling was very good, tender, moist without being soggy. The selection of sui mai, shrimp, chicken, pork, and pork/shrimp were a bit bland. The consistency was good, but I got the distinct impression of just eating something for the nutrition, not because it is pleasurable.
There were three different orders of buns. And each one the fluffy white exterior had a different consistency. The first ordered was chicken, and I must say it was outstanding, but when the second order came in the exterior was not half as fluffy, something like an undercooked cake. In each case the interior chicken concoction was very good, hinting with spices that did not seem Chinese, odd but pleasurable. The egg custard buns also had an exterior that seemed undercooked, but the filling was agin very good.
The crab rangoon has top quality ingredients, but here again the consistency between different batches proved its downfall. Here I believe cooking times or the temperature of the oil was at fault. But in any case the first batch was ok, the second was better, and the third was just ok.
The spring rolls simply have too much wrapper. The innards were chopped by hand and very consistent in size. Again they were a bit oily, which I suspect that the oil was just past its time to be replaced. Lack of consistency between orders of the several orders was CaiE's downfall.
As for the iced tea, it was again lifeless, and I was served two different batches, each lacking any real flavor. I am giving CaiE's a three star instead of a two, because I see quality in preparation, but failure in some in the execution, at least when I visited.
I may have been there on an off night, but I believe I am giving plenty of consideration for this. I doubt I will eat here again, but this is not for certain.
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