rating star

definitely one of my favorite places to eat chinese food!
when you initially go in you have to ask for a vegetarian/vegan menu as it is completely separate and most of the options aren't on the regular menu. it states on that menu which options are vegetarian and which are vegan.
the food is great and i have told many of my friends about it. would recommend going! :)

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I've been coming here for the past three years and it's sad to say that the service has gone downhill.

Let me start with the food, though.
As far as vegan food goes in Connecticut, this is one of the best places to go.
I've tried many of their vegan dishes and although I'm not always blown away, rarely am I dissatisfied.

The single best item on the entire menu is the Boneless BBQ Ribs (vegan of course)
That is one item that I almost always have to order.
The vegan chicken and beef options are very all comes down to personal preference. Be aware that the texture on particular dishes may be extremely different than others. If you are picky about texture, you may want to do more research before coming here. The first time I had the General Tso's, I thought the "meat" was far too tough. It has grown on me...

As far as the service, it used to be excellent, but now it is fair, at best.
It seems like they have a completely new lineup of servers and they don't seem to know what's going on, at least compared to previous servers. (whom I got to know very well)

The new servers are:
-Not very attentive
-Not particularly knowledgeable about the menu. In fact, I have been told a few different times that an item did not exist, but then I had to show them the item on the menu...I've even told them a dish and they literally had to stare at it on the menu for 10 seconds to figure it out. (could be a language barrier I suppose)
-Much slower paced than the old ones (perhaps still training?)

The biggest letdown was when I went there with an omni friend a few weeks ago...
She ordered something non-vegan, I ordered a vegan dish.
At the end of the meal, we both asked to take our leftovers home.
For the first time ever, they actually put both of our dishes into the same CONTAINER.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that you don't mix vegan food with non-vegan food. Even with that said, why would they mix two completely different dishes in the same container? This friend is not someone I live with and she's not in my family.

All in all, the food is good, but the service is mediocre.
Someone mentioned that brown rice is free, but I have not gotten it for free in at least a year, back when they had their original wait-staff. I miss the old crew...they were funny, very ready and willing to be of service and would sometimes cut slack on items, including not carding for underage patrons ordering drinks.....

Is it worth trying? Sure.
Is it worth going to on a regular basis? Not in my opinion.

I live 50 minutes away and I used to come here all of the time, but now I will only return for special occasions or take-out.


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rating star

China Pan’s takeout menu proclaims, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” However, I can say emphatically that it DOES get better at places other than China Pan.

I’ll give some kudos first: China Pan is one of few Chinese restaurants in the whole of Connecticut that serves mockmeats (and a large variety, at that---think “vegan lobster”). Its menu features three full pages of predominantly vegan dishes (a couple have egg). Also, the service is friendly, knowledgeable about veganism, and the ambience inside is that of a cozy, familiar stripmall joint where you go for reliable take-out or for a lazy dinner with friends. They serve brown rice at no extra cost. They also serve alcohol and have a sushi bar with half a dozen vegetarian options.

Now onto the not so great. First, none of the lunch specials offer mockmeats; they’re reserved for much higher-priced full dish entrees only. Most of the mockmeat dishes range in price from $11-17 which is steep for what they’re offering.

Second, the dishes aren’t particularly creative. I was hoping for something to catch my eye, but most of the entrees and appetizers here are run of the mill (stir-frys with mixed vegetables and fried egg rolls). The one dish that caught my eye, a braised “chicken” offering, is no longer available.

I opted for an order of egg rolls ($1.95) and a “vegan chicken with basil” ($12). The order took a long time to arrive which was strange given the lack of customers (I went around 2:30 p.m.). The egg rolls were pedestrian, overly breaded, and not filled with anything interesting.

The vegan chicken dish was a major disappointment. Basically it was the chicken, straw mushrooms, some bell peppers, lots of celery, and some basil in a thick, black, overly-salty and gooey soy-based sauce. The overpowering saltiness and greasy texture of the sauce subsumed the delicate flavor the basil and all but ruined what could have been a good dish. The “chicken” wasn’t great either. It was too chewy rather than firm. This is what mockmeats were like ten years ago. All in all, this dish did not inspire confidence in the chef.

I’d be willing to give China Pan another chance, if only because it offers so many different options, and maybe I just picked the wrong dish. Then again, no stir-fry should be so middling and unsophisticated. At the very least, it should emphasize the colors and flavors of the vegetables and seasonings, rather than drowning them out in a massive glop of awful sauce. China Pan, you’ve got lots of room to improve.

rating star

been here a few times and have never been let down. service is always fast and friendly.

great to have so many non-meat choices on a menu. sometimes it's hard to believe what you are eating isn't meat.

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Delicious and amazing. I try to think of excuses to go near Farmington so I can eat here. The vegan citrus spareribs are one of the most scrumptious dishes i have ever eaten! HIGHLY recommended to the veg*n population. Worth the trip.

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You need to get the Vegan BBQ Boneless Spare Ribs, Steamed Veggie Dumplings, and Wonton Soup.

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this place is amazing. the vegetarian menu is huge, at least 3 pages and its obvious what's vegan and what's not. if you're ordering vegan dishes, and then order something with egg in it (like the fried rice) the waiters will even know well enough to say 'with no egg?'. they also have a full bar.

but do not miss the vegan citrus spareribs or the vegan drumstick appetizer, i've never had anything like them. the mock meats are DELICIOUS, if you're feeling adventurous, go for the vegan scallops or the vegan mutton. it can be a little pricey, but if you go with four people and order three dishes, you'll easily have leftovers.

really good straight up vegetable dishes too, especially the broccoli with garlic sauce or green beans. the tofu is pretty good, but if you're going to go here, go for the stuff that you can't get anywhere else.

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