Ming Tree Cafe recently opened its doors off the roundabout in Killearn across from the Killearn United Methodist Church. It sits in a small brick plaza also occupied by a Goodwill Drop-Off location. A simple red and yellow sign sits above the door. A small wrought iron table was to the left of the door with a neon open sign to the right. The windows were occupied by large wooden screens that broke the area up into a series of geometric patterns. My friend and I were interested to see if this place lived up to the buzz we heard from several friends.
We opened the door and were greeted by a brightly lit dining room. The walls were painted a pale yellow and an eye popping red. Decorations were minimal, with a few framed prints on the wall. Six tables filled the space. To the back was the register. A beaded doorway led to the kitchen where the clanking of metal utensils on metal cookware could be heard. We were told to sit wherever we liked, and we opted for a table situated cater-cornered to the door.
The tables were laid out with place mats under a glass top. Stemmed glassware was soon filled with water by a woman I assumed to be one of the owners. She brought us two menus and directed us to the back of the menu where the lunch menu was located. The selections were varied and were priced $6.95 and up. I decided to order Hunan Shrimp. It came with a bowl of sweet and sour soup, fried rice and an egg roll.
Three small bowls were soon brought to the table. One contained sweet sauce, another spicy mustard, and the last was overflowing with crispy wontons. We snacked on them while waiting for the soup. It arrived shortly and was piping hot. The soup was a good balance of sweet with a kick of heat. My favorite part were the large sliced mushrooms. It was nice to see Ming Tree Cafe did not skimp on the ingredients.
Our entrees arrived once we were finished with our soups. Each came on a matching blue and white plats. A large pile of fried rice and egg roll shared the plate with a generous portion of Hunan Shrimp. The rice was well seasoned and was moist. The Hunan Shrimp consisted of sliced mushrooms; carrots; bok choi; and scallions sauteed in a spicy sauce. Red pepper flakes and several chilies provided a nice amount of heat. Six plump shrimp were nestled among the veggies. They were fresh and well cooked. I saved the egg roll for the end. It was crispy on the outside but a bit bland.
Ming Tree Cafe is worth a visit and outshines its competitors in the northeast area of Tallahassee. My meal with tip came in a shade over $10.00, and was a great value for the money. I was full and happy when we left and will definitely be back for another satisfying lunch.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: