Rainbow Chinese Restaurant

Rainbow Chinese is now closed

~Review by Chuck Bradley
We now have a second Dim Sum menu in Salem. Dim Sum is an option I love, especially when dining with at least two companions. These small plate offerings usually come with three samples each allowing each participant to try 9 or 10 items rather than just 2 or 3 if you’re dining solo.

This new eatery is located in the old Full House location on State Street just around the corner from restaurant row on High. The venue is deep and narrow with red vinyl booths on the sides and tables in the middle. It’s neat and clean.

The servers are friendly and extremely helpful in assisting with explanations of the curious sounding menu items. With their help, I chose Baked Char Chew Bow (Sweetly Glazed Buns stuffed with BBQ Pork), Shew My (A kind of Pork Sausage wrapped in membranously thin Dough and steamed) and Shrimp Ha Gow (Steamed Medium Shrimp tightly wrapped in a Rice Paper Dumpling). It was all high quality and good. I would say it rivals the Dim Sum delights we’ve had at Hong Kong House, previously the only Dim Sum place in town. Tea was also provided.

They also have the typical Combination and Family Style offerings we’re all accustomed to. But, don’t miss their House Special menu. There are some absolutely delectable sounding dishes on it; Ginger and Onion Oysters, Crispy Duck and Large Prawns with Honey Glazed Walnuts to name just three.

Although this location has been unforgiving on its two previous restaurants, I have a feeling these folk’s unique menu depth and food quality will give them a leg up on most of their Chinese restaurant competition. 

I’m anxious to hear what my fellow eatsalemites try here and what they think.
 Rainbow Chinese Restaurant

Open 7 days a week
Lunch 10 AM - 3 PM
Dinner 3 PM - 9 PM
440 State ST Salem, OR 97301
(503) 362-9000


jeff said...

Is this the location that was Ming's for years and years?

Anonymous said...

We finally have a great alternative to Wongs in Portland (the king of dim sum, look it up online) Rainbow makes their dim sum fresh to order, hence a bit of a wait, but well worth it. The chicken feet and steamed dumplings are our favorite.

Anonymous said...

Had their chicken curry at lunch with fried rice, a crab puff, and their hot and sour soup. Quite good. Will definitely go back.

Anonymous said...

Had lunch at Rainbow Chinese Monday.

The atmosphere is very uninspired. Totally blah. No decor. Old cheap booths. Uncomfortable seats. None of that is a really big deal to me. Some of my favorite restaurants have been dumpy.

The waitress seemed very disinterested. Not rude, but she did the bare minimum, kinda mumbling the whole time. Again, it wasn't bad but service was not a feature here.

I ordered Kung Pao shrimp. Nice portion. I don't eat Mexican or Chinese often for lunch because I tend to clean my plate and the large portions put me in sleepy mode.

The food was good. Flavorful and well presented. Nothing spectacular here, but good. Same as you can find at most Chinese restaurants.

Price was good. About $5, plus a $1 tip.

Conclusion: the place isn't where I would take a date or a have a business meeting. But if you are looking for a cafeteria style experience, get in, get food and get out, it works well. I say a solid 7/10.

Anonymous said...

I am adding this to my regular list of dining out stops. Yes I agree the decor could use some sprucing up, not a place to entertain on a first date. But what the decor lacks is most definately made up for by the food. The best I have ever had in Salem. As for the service, I don't think its a lack of interest, but a lack of English. Try it and make up your own mind.

Anonymous said...

So the last comment indicates this is "The best I have ever had in Salem". Ok. That is a good start. Can you tell us more about your experience? That is high praise and I would love to know more.

Useful information that I'd would love to hear from you:
What did you eat?
What did you like about it?
Was the service good when you were there?
Was it dinner or lunch?


Anonymous said...

Ate lunch here on a Sunday. Since it was our first time, we decided to order a couple of favorite dishes to compare to our regular stomping ground .. curry chicken and kung po chicken. Both came with tea, hot and sour soup (our choice), fried rice and fried wonton filled puffs. $5.25 each
The hot and sour soup was hot .. and just the right consistency; not too much thickener. The curry chicken was also hot and I had to wait to let it cool a bit to eat; the vegetables were a little over cooked. The fried rice had ample egg and pork bits; wontons were filled with cream cheese and crispy fresh.
My hubby's kung po was a little too sweet for his liking and not spicy enough .. server was quick to get him some hot oil.
Not many customers were dining but the ones that were, were Asian .. and we noticed they all order Dim Sum! So we vowed to go back and try their Dim Sum .. something we are not very familiar with.


Anonymous said...

The reason you like their dim sum, is because the cook was formerly the cook at the Hong Kong House. Unfortunately their dim sum has gone by the wayside. Another unfortunate, The Rainbow has closed their doors. Mae, told me that they had good lunches, but after lunch not enough business. It really is a shame as Joe is a great chinese chef.

DeeDeeDiner said...

Maybe someone could let us know where "Joe" goes to work next and those of us who love dim sum could be his groupies early on in the process so we don't lose another good place.