Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant has three menus with one goal — provide big choices no matter the palate of the customer.
For folks who like Chinese food popular with many Americans, dishes such as orange chicken and broccoli beef are abundant. Those looking for traditional Chinese dishes can enjoy Peking duck, fried pig intestines and much more.
The restaurant also serves a wide variety of dim sum — another traditional Chinese cuisine that features bite-sized portions of food served in small steam baskets or on small plates.
Each option has its own menu.
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The Lee family opened Four Seasons on the southwest corner of Clovis and Herndon avenues in late 2013. Ivy Lee said it was a good choice: “The people here are nice and very respectful.”
Lee was born and raised in Canton, a province in China near Hong Kong. She came to the United States when she was 18. In the 25 years since then, she's worked steadily at Chinese restaurants.
“We like it in America,” Lee said. “People are more respected, and if you work hard, you will get what you want.”
Even so, she misses China and has returned many times to visit family members. When families gather — whether in China or the United States — dim sum is often served.
Shiu Mai — a pork and shrimp dumpling — is one of Lee's favorites on the dim sum menu. Steamed pork bun, baked BBQ pork bun and Shanghai style dumpling (“very juicy,” she said) are among customers' favorites.
Shrimp dumpling is a favorite of her three children, Lee said.
Some of Four Seasons' other dim sum offerings are steamed beef dumpling, turnip cake, baked egg custard, taro coconut gelatin, mango pudding, black bean chicken feet and green tea dumpling. Prices range from $2.70 to $6.50.
Customers can choose dim sum from a cart that circulates through the restaurant on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. On other days, they order off the menu.
Meanwhile, customers choosing from the traditional Chinese menu will find items listed in English and Chinese.
“Some of the older people don't read English. The Chinese makes it easier for them,” Lee said.
The traditional Chinese menu and the American Chinese menu have items in common. For example, Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($11.59) and Jelly Fish ($12.59) are offered as appetizers on both menus. It's the same for hot and sour soup ($8.99, the serving feeds more than one person).
However, Exquisite Flavor Dishes are listed only on the traditional Chinese menu. Two of the offerings are Szechuan spicy style fish fillet and beef short ribs with eggplant. Both are $12.59.
Also exclusive to the traditional Chinese menu is congee, a type of rice porridge. Some congee offerings feature meats, including minced pork with preserved egg, sliced beef, salty pig, and seafood. Prices are $9.59 and $10.59.
Part of the pleasure at Four Seasons is having customers learn about traditional dishes they didn't know about. For example, one of Lee's children plays on a youth basketball team, and other parents on the team tried dried scallop egg white fried rice, at her husband's suggestion. They are now fans of the dish.
Minced beef fried rice, curry seafood fried rice and salted fish chicken fried rice are some of the other offerings.
The American Chinese menu features several lunch and dinner specials that include multiple items for a set price. The lunch specials cost $7.99, and the dinner specials range from $9.59 (for one person) to $12.59 to $15.99 per person for parties of two more.
The menu has a variety of beef, chicken, pork, seafood and vegetable dishes. Familiar dishes such as Kung Pao beef, shrimp and chicken are among the choices. Other choices (and this isn't a complete list by any means) are asparagus beef, Mongolian beef, cashew chicken, garlic chicken, string bean shrimp, and sweet & sour fish fillet. Prices range from $8.99 (Chinese sauteed broccoli with oyster or garlic sauce) to $21.99 (a whole steamed or fried chicken).
Four Seasons also offers party trays in small, medium and large sizes. Prices range from $25 to $75.
Four Seasons is at 342 N. Clovis Ave. The phone number is (559) 324-8438. The restaurant is on Facebook. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.