If your family, like mine, includes both vegetarians and enthusiastic meat-eaters, the is a good place to know about. Unlike many restaurants, where the family vegetarian has to cobble together a meal from the side-dish menu, ("Um ... I'll have a side salad. And a side of fries. And a side of those droopy green beans, please."), the menu at Hunan Chinese includes a long list of vegetarian entrees that were created as vegetarian entrees.
On a recent evening, my husband and I ordered from both extremes of the menu. He chose the Triple Crown Delight, which included three different meats, which, to me, seemed like complete overkill. Literally. And I'm not even the family vegetarian.
The Triple Crown was described on the menu as "a delightful blend of prawns, chicken and roast pork sautéed with mushrooms and snow peas in a brown sauce." The price was $9.50. My husband pronounced it "really good" and "just right." A man of few words.
I chose the Vegetarian Pan Fried Noodles, described on the menu as, "pan-fried spinach noodles, crispy on the outside and soft and tender inside, served with a topping of spinach, fresh mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, carrots and bean curd in a spicy black bean sauce." It was priced at $15.95.
I would recommend this dish, but caution that you order the black bean sauce either "light" or "on the side." I didn't and the noodles were swimming in it.
The vegetables were, as is the norm at Hunan Chinese, nice and fresh. The slivers of carrot still had a bit of crunch, as did the broccoli, and the zucchini was firm and had a hint of smoky flavor, as if it had been grilled. The service was pleasant and helpful, as we've found it to be on other visits.
Hunan Chinese Room, which opened in 1982, is located at 255 Speedwell Ave. in Morris Plains. A former diner, the building has been converted into an unusual, contemporary space, with a bar serving beer, wine and mixed drinks.