There is a surefire way to add a little flash to a meal at the China Cottage — order the Pao Pao combination platter for two.
The platter provides a festive way to sample five of the restaurant’s most tantalizing appetizers.
“It has a little bit of everything in it,” China Cottage owner Tiger Wang told me.
The combination costs $12.95 and comes with two servings of the following:
Spring rolls — shredded cabbage, carrots, scallions, clear bean noodles and shredded eggs in a Shanghai style egg roll skins.
Crab Rangoon — crab meat, cream cheese, chives and garlic wrapped in wonton skins and deep-fried.
Seaweed Chicken Rolls — minced chicken breast wrapped in thin spring roll skin and a band of seaweed and deep-fried.
Marinated Beef Sticks — sliced flank marinated in oriental sauce served on skewers.
B.B.Q. Boneless Pork —sliced pork marinated in a teriyaki sauce cooked.
The small charcoal grill in the center of the round platter should be used to keep the beef warm, Wang said.
He says the Pao Pao platter has been on the menu since the first China Cottage opened in Kettering 25 years ago. There are now locations in Centerville, Trotwood and Springboro (find addresses and numbers below).
Wang said Pao Pao combination platters were very trendy at Chinese restaurants back in 1987.
The platter “is not as popular as it use to be, but it is still a known dish to a lot of people,” Wang said.
Popular appetizers include crab rangoon, six dumplings for $4.95; potstickers, six pieces for $5.95; and spring rolls, one piece for $1.50.
While most local diners gravitate towards more familiar items like the pork fried rice pictured, China Cottage offers a traditional Chinese menu with more exotic dishes like mala conch, jelly fish, simmered sea cucumber and rock salt prawns.
Kettering — 3718 Willmington Pike (937)294-4724
Trotwood — 1983 Shiloh Springs Road (937)854-8033
Springboro — 784 N. Main St. (937)748-8866
Centerville — 6290 Far Hills Ave. (937)434-2622
Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 22:00
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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