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“Exceptional Cantonese style. ALL home made by family.”
Review of Rice Bowl

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Rice Bowl
Ranked #143 of 603 Restaurants in Des Moines
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 21 September 2016

As another reviewer said, this is a gem. It is Cantonese style which means the seasoning is subtle. There are no heat ranges because Cantonese does not use hot spices. However, there is much more to Cantonese than just chop suey.

My favorite is shrimp in lobster sauce. There is no lobster in it, that is just the name of the sauce. It is difficult to describe because I have never seen anything to compare it to. The flavor is unlike any American dishes so perhaps you just need to try it to see what you think.

Their egg roll is the only one that I ever enjoy at any restaurant. The soups are subtle flavored also, but I think they are wonderful. A lunch favorite of mine is the pork fried rice.

EVERYTHING is cooked in the kitchen by family members so it takes a few minutes to come out. Not to say they are slow, but this is definitely not pre-made mass produced fast food.

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Thank seacorp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2015

Family owned business since the 1960's. Retro decor - orange vinyl booths, bare tables. This is a neighborhood place - not fancy, not the best food but wonderful service, very reasonable prices and a neighborhood gem.

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Thank runread
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2014 via mobile

Server was extremely attentive and pleasant. Interior however reminded me of a church basement. I can't say the food I chose was bad but it was uninspired and bland. My husband likes bland so he was happy. The menu was small and didn't indicate any heat levels whatsoever so I don't think anything had heat but I could be wrong.

Thank LindaGE52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

I had not been to the Rice Bowl until today when my Aunt introduced me to it. I don't think I'll ever eat another egg roll that tasted as good as what I had there. In addition, it is immaculately clean and the owner had an amazing personality. I will definitely be eating there again in the future!

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1  Thank Christine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

This restaurants food is like no other. Clear your mind of the typical Asian food you've been eating everywhere else. Try to forget the greasy commercial spring rolls and thick, brown sauced flavorless entrees. In a time of the over the top multiple layers food, there is so much to be said for simply dressed foods that allow all the ingredients to speak for themselves. The Rice Bowl has been open over 40 years. There is no question they are doing it right and continue to earn a spot in Des Moines history. They along with the now closed King Ying Lo were the FIRST Asian restaurants to open in Des Moines. The Rice Bowl makes an "Americanized" version of Chinese food. 40-50 years ago Des Moines's only experience with Chinese food was the stuff that plops out of can. Realizing that Midwestern's may not be ready for the often spicy and use of little known vegetables and meat cuts, prompted the owners of this restaurant to tone down the uniqueness and rely more on simple tastes. Its a plan that has worked for 40 years. Everything is hand made, fresh prepped and never processed. Starting with the best Egg Rolls made anywhere, hands down! Served piping hot, these crisp on the outside and a moist vegetable and roast pork on the inside are so good you could easily make a meal of them. They also have great Wontons with a small gem savory meat filling. These are a cousin to the more commonly found "Crab Rangoon". I find the crisp and crunchy Wontons an addicting finger food and I especially enjoy them dipped in the homemade sweet & sour sauce. The sauce is made from fruit puree, sugar and vinegar.. no dyes or a tasteless ubiquitous liquid found in other Asian restaurants. Their soups, in particular the Chicken Rice Soup is known to many as having curative powers over most anything that ails you. Generations of people often make special trips to pick up soup when a cold or flu has someone down and in need of care. The rich, homemade stock is the base for all their tasty soups and many of the entrees .

If you consider yourself an Egg Fu Young enthusiast, this is the holy grail of goodness! Thick patties of eggs, meat & vegetables smothered in gravy made from the roast pork juices. The restaurant also has 4-5 fried rice options- all of them great, but my favorite is #17; Special Fried Rice. Speckled with Beef, ham, plump shrimp and vegetables. So delectable, I could lick the plate to get all that savory goodness!
The right side of the menu offers traditional Chop Suey and Chow Mein dishes hitting all the vegetarian and meat groups. These dishes are lightly sauced which envelops the vegetables and meat. Served with rice or crunchy chow mien noodles The Left side of the menu is an array of specialty items. Sweet & Sour Chicken bring huge puffs of all white meat chicken in crisp batter along with pineapple, green peppers, carrots & onion in that great sauce Beef and snow peas is a beautiful platter of bright green crisp-tender peapods with tender sliced beef in gravy served over steamed rice. If you want spice, you need to ask for it. You'll get a little dish of hot chili's in oil to mix in yourself. No bar or endless soda options, sit back and enjoy a cup of black tea. While you won't find Mongolian Beef, lomein or any of the typical dishes you will find in other Asian restaurants..What you will find is simple, clean and tasty food.

The same cooks are here today as they were 40 years ago. Frank is nearing 80 and his wife Jean still hand cut & prep all the vegetables and meats. Sauces are made fresh using real wholesome ingredients. No MSG or preservatives. They fill & roll the eggrolls and fold 100's of wontons every day. A peak behind the kitchen reveals this close family cleavers in hand prepping vegetables and meat. Some days, the aroma of pork roasting hits you when you walk in the door and if you are lucky enough to count this family among your friends, Frank just might pull off a succulent piece for you to enjoy! Their son Ken runs every aspect of the this long standing Beaverdale establishment. All the cooking is done by these 3 people. Often son John can be found helping out as time permits between his career and family. The wait staff all have 20-30 years working for the family. Every visit brings the same great food, made by people who care.

I speak so highly of this establishment because the Rice Bowl has been my go to restaurant for 39 years. Generations of people have grown up eating here. Us "regulars" hate to think what will happen when the day comes Frank & Jean need to retire. Selfishly I dread the thought of never eating another eggroll from here. The moral of the story is get here while you can, enjoy the fruits of their labor and savor this hard to find cuisine.

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4  Thank Fran B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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