Charlie Chiang’s Modern Asian Kitchen & Sushi Lounge

Stick-to-your-ribs Chinese classics at this outlet of the national chain

Charlie Chang’s, by Tara for TKGO

As if the name could be any longer. The menu also takes an hour to read—but not in a bad way. (At least when it says “Beef Szechuan” you don’t have to read the description.) And the photos on the web site make it look like a Las Vegas club, but I assure you it is appropriate for family dining, and you will not hear any trance music.

Entrees at my most recent visit. Counter-clockwise, from bottom left: Cantonese Chow Fun with beef, Charlie Chiang’s Salad with red pepper dressing, Vietnamese Summer Rolls appetizer, Crispy Shredded Beef, Buddha’s Belly, by Tara for TKGO

The Chinese family-style plates don’t claim to be anything but what they are: oily, fried and delicious. The Cantonese Chow Fun (wide rice noodles sauteed with bean sprouts, green onions and your choice of meat, $14) is one of my favorites, as is the Peking Duck (for $39) that the waiter will haul out whole and slice tableside. For a healthier (vegan/veggie) option, Buddha’s Belly (a sauteed mess of vegetables over rice) packs a considerable punch. But if there ever was one must-order at Charlie Chiang’s, it’s the hot and sour soup, a thick broth loaded with cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu and egg (you can add meat if you want). The seasoning manages to balance the right quantity of salt with spicy Chinese hot sauce.

Unfortunately, the sushi is boring. It’s made of the softest rice and high quality melt-in-your-mouth fish. The menu represents all the classics: two types of dragon rolls (red and green), spider maki, california roll, rainbow roll, spicy tuna, etc. But that’s it. There’s no special roll or any particularly great flavor added to anything. Sure, if you dunk it in puddles of soy sauce of course it’ll taste good, but you’d be better off on sushi elsewhere. If you must have it, the Spider roll and some of the other specialty rolls (slathered in spicy mayo and Japanese BBQ sauce) are your best bet. Because the fish is great quality, sashimi is good here, too, and an appetizer sampler is available for about $14.

Tara for TKGO City Guides

12200 Tamiami Trail, attached to the Doubletree (but few tourists come), Naples. (239) 593-6688. Other locations are in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. Odd assortment of states, if you ask me.
Official site >
Official Naples location site >
Google Maps >

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