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Bryant's Taste of D'Light may have an odd name, but when it comes to whopping serving sizes and pleasant service, it's one you should remember.
We showed up close to the end of the evening on a recent Tuesday with an appetite and a measure of curiosity. Though the restaurant was closing in less than a half hour later, we were welcomed and seated. The hefty menu almost defied choice — but we were given plenty of time to decide while our drinks were fetched.
After placing our orders, we had a few minutes to take in surroundings that seemed rather lush for the prices offered on the menu — dazzling multi-rowed chandeliers, fine upholstered seating and the enormous three-section aquarium that dominated the entrance.
But we didn't have all that long to wait. We had ordered our entrees with the $2.30 meal upgrade, and received our soups very hot with a bowl of crispy house-fried wonton skins. Our egg drop soup surprised us with its crunchy slivers of water chestnut, dried ginger and mushrooms. Our companion's wonton soup was full of pork slivers, wontons and fresh scallions.
Before we could finish, our appetizer and side items arrived. The pineapple shrimp ($4.50) on first bite struck us as meat candy; the savory shrimp matched well with the not-too-sweet pineapple sauce and the slightly sour pineapple chunks. Side items that came with the meal upgrade were presented on a single plate. The chicken wings and egg rolls were typical, but the beef sticks were nicely done and caramelized without that usual jerky-like chew. The wontons were the best surprise — 4-inch house made triangles puffed impossibly full with creamy filling full of cream cheese, onion bits and crab. They threatened to fill us up too early.
Our waitress came with fresh warm plates and a large pile of gently fried rice before returning with the two overwhelming platters to follow. Our companion chose the Szechuan shrimp and scallops ($9.95), a feast of seafood and vegetables in brown sauce with a side of steamed broccoli. We kid you not — this entree was served on an 18-inch platter. The buttery quarter-sized scallops and meaty 16-20 count shrimp were graced with carrots, onions and soft straw mushrooms in a savory soy-based sauce.
The platter our house chicken ($8.50) came upon was not nearly as large — only about 14 inches in length — but the crispy pieces of tempura-battered chicken were stacked high and in sweet sauce. Not nearly as sweet or as spicy as General Gau's sauce, it came dribbled over the pile of chicken, sauteed red bell peppers, green onions and snow peas.
These entrees easily defeated us, way too much food for the price or the diner. We could have simply shared one and skipped the appetizer and been happy. Yet we had ordered the meal upgrade, and it wasn't long before our waitress (armed with THREE clamshell boxes) came out and offered us our dessert, the house special Strawberry Shortcake. The rich pound cake and sugar-drenched strawberries under a little whipped cream came in blessedly small portions, just enough to be impossible to refuse. It was a simple, delightful and strangely perfect ending to the meal.
Our vast repast came to $34.30 before the tip — and we waded home with what seemed like five pounds of leftovers. We were never rushed, even though we finished well after closing time.
The menu does offer all those old Chinese restaurant favorites, from sesame chicken to Peking duck (half a duck is $8.50, if you're curious), and there's a kid's menu too. All in all, we were pleased and will be visiting again, when we're in Saline County.
Taste of D'Light
3200 N. Reynolds Road Bryant (a block off Highway 5)
Taste of D'Light does table service all the time, but on Sundays it also offers an extensive buffet for $8.60 ($9.60 with soda or tea). The restaurant does not charge for shared plates – which is good, because the entrées are large enough to share with two or three people. And take-out is indeed an option.
Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, dinner 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Credit cards accepted. No alcohol.