Evaluating Chinese food in Novato can be controversial due to the arguments over the best Chinese restaurant. Therefore, I have decided to seek the truth. For my review, I visited China Express, Panda Express, China Palace, and Jennie Low’s, and graded on a 10 star scale. At every restaurant, I ordered the same thing to prevent any complications with the review. This included chow mein, orange chicken (if available), and broccoli beef.
The first restaurant I went to was China Express, a take-out place located in the shopping center near Novato High. When walking in, I noticed the atmosphere was subpar due to the size of the establishment and slight messiness. The food wasn’t great. The orange chicken was brown, the broccoli beef was soggy and fatty with very little flavor, and the chow mein was very average. I will give China Express 5 stars out of 10.
Next up was Panda Express. The orange chicken was the best part of my meal here. It had great flavor and was extremely tender. The broccoli beef was also top notch, but they gave way too much broccoli and not nearly enough beef, throwing off the proper ratio. The chow mein and fried rice were solid but nothing spectacular, and there was way too much celery in the chow mein. I am gonna give this a 7.5 out of 10 stars.
Third on my Chinese food quest was China Palace. China Palace is known for its quality chinese food. The chow mein here was fancy and beautifully made. The broccoli beef was also very tasty. They did not have orange chicken so I ordered the princess chicken, which is very similar to orange chicken. The chicken was good but it was not orange chicken. Not having orange chicken is honestly kinda ridiculous. I will give this place 8 out of 10 stars.
Last place I visited was Jennie Low’s in Vintage Oaks, a longtime local establishment. The chow mein here was perfect. The sauce was delicious and the noodles were cooked well, not too dry. The broccoli beef was also very tasty but nothing amazing. The princess chicken was also solid but once again, not better than the classic, orange chicken which was not offered. I would give this an 8 out of 10 stars.
Chinese food in Novato is not amazing. In the end, if you’re looking for a quick Chinese meal, I would go to Panda Express. However, if you have time to sit down, Jennie Low’s is the spot, although China Palace is by no means a bad option either.