Eastern Lights… I’ve been coming here since freshman year (I believe it was my first Chinese restaurant in Durham), and now it’s time to give it a proper review.
We ordered mostly from the Chef’s Specialties menu, which features more authentic Chinese dishes:
– This has always been my favorite dish, probably because it’s the lightest dish of the five, and the flavoring is done pretty well.
– The eggplant itself was good, but it did not have the yu-hsiang flavor at all. It was basically eggplants soaked in yu-hsiang sauce.
– Whatever this was, it was not mapo tofu… please do not order this dish here and think that this is real mapo tofu. It was not spicy, the flavoring wasn’t right, and the tofu had a strangely sour taste (not because it was going bad, but just not the right kind of tofu).
– The beef was very tender, but the sauce was so heavy for this dish that I couldn’t enjoy more than a few pieces of it…
– Another dish that we’ve always ordered since freshman year. Again, it was delicious, but the flavoring is so strong that you just can’t take too much of it.
Overall, Eastern Lights’ flavor is just very heavy and oily – you’ll leave feeling full and probably collapse in a food coma pretty soon. For Chinese food, there are definitely better choices out there in the RTP – we probably won’t be back here anytime soon…
Restaurant: Eastern Lights (燕京)
Price Range: Around $15