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Entries in Chef Sun (1)


Chinese Restaurant Review

A regular reader dropped me a line, “How about reviews of the Chinese restaurants in the area. Are they interchangeable?  Is there a reason to drive past one to go to another?  Someone has to figure that out.”

Ahh. A challenge, always a good thing. “Do you have any faves?”

“No. Not at all. What happens to me — I leave work… a bit late, so Chinese is the default choice. I don’t really love any of them. If I’m on my own, I probably go home and get a bowl of cereal. “

How to go about a review of all the Chinese restaurants in Westborough….

Being from Cleveland, I grew up with the notion of Chinese food being out of a La Choy box. After all, “La Choy makes Chinese food swing American.”


Having spent time in Beijing and Hong Kong, I realized Americanized Chinese food often isn’t as good as the real deal. You can get some respectable Chinese food at Chinatown in Boston, although that’s not going to be of much help to our late night worker.

Thinking reinforcements would be helpful, Paggy was pressed into duty. Paggy is a local whose family has owned Japanese and Chinese restaurants. With reinforcements, we struck out to go to ALL the Chinese restaurants in Westborough in one night. Not since the immortal breakfast drive-thru review has so much been accomplished in one night. We used Yahoo to tell us where the Chinese restaurants are in Westborough, although one new restaurant wasn’t on Yahoo yet.

We rated each restaurant on five attributes, food quality, ambiance, cost, hours and service. Suffice to say none of the local restaurants had any service we’d characterize as special. While the wait staff tended to us acceptably, and we would encourage local Chinese restaurateurs to take basic service up a notch.

When the dust settled, we ranked the restaurants in order of preference. Here are our choices:

Three Gorges III

Three Gorges Restaurant
17 West Main Street
Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 616-0888
Fax: (508) 366-8688



Tuesday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am-10pm
Sunday: 11:30am-10pm
Closed Mondays

Hidden behind a tree on West Main Street is Three Gorges III. Nothing special to look at from the outside, this 24 seat restaurant was even less appealing on the inside.

It doesn’t matter. You can pick up at the restaurant, and they deliver.

And deliver they do, achieving the only perfect score of 10 on the food attribute. We had a combination shrimp and veggie plate, with pork fried rice and chicken fingers. My notes say, “fresh, fresh, fresh.”  The veggies were cooked to perfection, with a crisp snap indicating freshness as we ate them.

To our reader requesting a late night spot to pick up Chinese, the clear winner is Three Gorges III, with a GREEN LIGHT on the RAG scale.




157 Turnpike Road
Westborough MA 01581
508.366.7489 voice
508.366.7481 fax



Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-10pm
Friday: 11:30am-10pm
Saturday: 11:30am-11AM

The venerable ChengDu looked closed as we arrived at 9:23PM. For a place open until 10, it wasn’t very inviting.

Entering the restaurant past the koi pond, one can see they are doing some internal renovations and the place had a construction site feel to it. Obviously renovating Chinese restaurants, a trend started by the Mandarin, is catching on.

We were quickly ushered into the bar area, which was “normal.”  The menu highlights a number of new offerings we were surprised to see on the menu, like Mini Cumin Lamb Kabobs, and Foie Gras. Kudos for branching out, ChengDu!

We ordered the tender orange chicken. I was concerned as a late entry into the restaurant our food might suffer, but my worries were quickly dismissed. The food was excellent (an 8 on our scale.)

ChengDu gets a GREEN on the RAG scale.


Mandarin Westboro

132 Turnpike Road
Westborough MA




Sunday – Thursday 11:30AM to 9:45PM
Friday- Saturday 11:30AM to 10:45PM

The Mandarin was always my go to Chinese takeout place at their former East Main St location. While the food was good, the open air restaurant failed to excite.

By far, the new location (in the former Rotisserie Grill/Boston Market) location is the nicest Chinese restaurant in Westborough in terms of ambiance. The Asian feel is throughout.

They clearly pulled out all the stops on the remodel and it shows in the place. Tastefully decorated, with comfortably sized “rooms” completely erases any memories of the old place.

The food was disappointing on our visit. We had beef with peppers and onions. The beef was tough, and a disappointment for a place with such high expectations. The peppers and onions were good, yet lacked the freshness factor of Three Gorges III.

We’d still give the Mandarin a GREEN LIGHT on the RAG scale.


Chef Sun

Chef Sun
30 Lyman Street
Westboro, MA, 01581

Tel: (508)-366-8899
Fax: (508)-870-0897



Mon-Thur: 11:30AM-9:30PM
Fri-Sat: 11:30AM-10:30PM
Sun: 4:00PM-9:30PM

Across the parking lot from the Mandarin was the Chef Sun.

From the moment we pulled up, we felt this place was barely hanging on. The front light wasn’t completely working, and the restaurant was empty.

We ordered General Gau’s chicken on the premise every Chinese food restaurant has to do this well for their American clientele. We were presented with an overly breaded piece of tasteless chicken, the rice had an odd (and not tasty) taste to it, and the vegetable roll, while made with crisp vegetables, was over-prepared.

We know people who swear by Chef Sun, and this wasn’t one of their shining times. They may do well in the shadow of the Mandarin if the Mandarin is oversold; standalone they may remain empty.

We’ve generously given Chef Sun an AMBER light on the RAG scale.



Tenka Asian Bistro
153 Turnpike Road(Rt 9W)
Westborough MA 01581

508 366 7799


Monday- Thursday 11AM to 10PM
Friday & Saturday 11AM – 11PM
Sunday Noon – 10PM

Tenka is a new restaurant located in behind Harry’s Restaurant and beneath Boston Interiors (think Canyon Café or Harrys Two.)

Tenka was the location not on Yahoo’s list. While new, we openly began pondering whether the Yahoo people were trying to send us a message.

Unlike Canyon Café, who generally kept the Harry’s Two layout intact, Tenka has moved the bar (with extensive drink menu) and made the space generally more workable.

The restaurant failed miserably for us in our visit.

We had “Appetizer B”, Crab Rangoons, Chicken Fingers, Beef Skewers, and an egg roll.

At this point a note on how we ordered through the night. Paggy did the ordering at each of the locations. For me, it prevented me from eating a wide range of fried foods or meats which I tend to lean towards.

So I wasn’t paying attention until the food was delivered. While I recognized the Crab Rangoons, I honestly didn’t know what I was eating when sampling the chicken fingers. Paggy commented the beef skewers were “kinda awful” like beef jerky, and I think beef jerky would be offended by the comparison.

Tenka has potential, and a nice feel to it. They have the right pieces for success. Alas, a very weak kitchen garners Tenka a RED on the RAG scale.


My thanks to Paggy for participating in the craziness of 5 restaurants in one evening.

For those keeping score, the ranking was:

Green Light

  1.  Three Gorges III
  2. ChengDu and Madarin Westborough statistically tied


Amber Light

  1. Chef Sun



Red Light

  1. Tenka



About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money