733 South Main Street
Blanding, Utah, 84511
Phone: (435) 678-3388
Fax: (435) 378-3488
A new, and much needed, restaurant has recently opened in Blanding, Utah; Wonderful Gourmet. The owners of Ocean Pearl and Hong Kong Chinese restaurants, of Cortez, Colorado, pooled their resources together, and introduced San Juan County to Chinese and Thai cuisines. The restaurant is housed in the former Fattboyz/Olde Tymer building located on Route 191; while the exterior had a face lift, the interior is relatively the same. The booths are still in place while the salad bar is no longer around; the bar with western themed mural is the prep station for the wait staff.
Unfortunately, the wait staff are very unfamiliar with these cuisines, so cannot answer questions immediately, and have a tendency to forget ordered dishes. Definitely more training is necessary in this regard, however, they do maintain a friendly attitude and can be easily forgiven. Remember, the restaurant only opened in February 2015, and the wait staff are not used to the foods of these cultures.
Onto the foods; Egg Rolls (3) are crispy, packed full of shredded vegetables, served with a sweet and sour sauce; very tasty indeed. The Fried Dumplings (6) are meat filled, served with a soy based sauce; and also a nice treat to begin the meal with.
Our first main dish was Mongolian Beef; thinly sliced beef, onions, green onions in a mildly spiced brown sauce. The chili peppers used gave a nice heat to the dish and allowed the flavors of the beef and onions to come through. It might look heavy, but it was surprisingly light.
The second dish ordered was the Sweet and Sour Triple Delight; chicken (all white meat), pork and shrimp in a light, crisp batter and not, thankfully, drenched in sweet and sour sauce. Vegetables were slices of onion and green bell pepper; usually pineapple chunks come with this dish, and they were definitely missed.
The Fried Rice was a huge disappointment; simply white rice that has been doused with soy sauce. No evidence of stir frying, no vegetables, no diced, fried egg, and no diced roasted pork which are standards in any Chinese restaurant. While it was a much better choice than plain white rice, still, it was overall disappointing in quality.
Now comes the big question, would we eat there again? While there, we noticed a steady influx of diners who all seemed to enjoy their meals; we also noticed the owner continuously carrying take-out orders to the front counter. Obviously, Wonderful Gourmet is developing a following in the town of Blanding; and I believe that we are going to be jumping onto that band wagon. While our first experience gets a rating of C+, we see a great potential for this new business; and hope to see it be successful in San Juan County. Here's the biggest news yet, Wonderful Gourmet is open on Sundays which is wonderful news to the residents of the area, and visitors coming through the area.