New Era Begins for Beloved Chinese Restaurant
China Star was Harlingen's first Chinese restaurant and has remained a local favorite for four decades. Now that owners Mr. Han Su and his wife Kim recently retired after 38 years of service, the restaurant is under new ownership. Michelle Chen and her family, including her husband, father, and mother are the new owners of China Star. Michelle has been in front of house management for the past five years and working in restaurants all over the U.S. since she was 17. Her dad has been a chef since 2007. The Chen family has spent nearly two months shadowing Mr. Su in the kitchen to learn his recipes. Michelle is attempting to keep the integrity of the original dishes while experimenting with some new more traditional Chinese style items. If customers like the new items, she will add them permanently to the menu. China Star is best known for its lunch buffet, which is offered daily, 11 am to 3:30 pm. (The buffet was not available due to Covid but was recently brought back in October 2022.) Popular classic items on the buffet include mushroom beef and China Star chicken. Michelle plans on rotating some items on the buffet to include new dishes such as chicken egg rolls, coconut shrimp, chicken dumplings, and tempura fried banana (my personal favorite!). The desserts, such as traditional Chinese red bean puff, are baked each morning with fresh fruit from a local farmer. Guests can also choose to order from the menu. Customer favorites include orange chicken, China Star chicken, fried rice, lo mein noodles, and sizzling rice soup. If patrons have any concerns or complaints, Michelle asks that they contact her directly at the restaurant or on her new Facebook page so that she can learn and improve. Customer satisfaction is very important to her and her family as they establish themselves in the Harlingen community. China Star 1801 S. 77 Sunshine Strip Harlingen TX 78550 Phone: 956-425-2991 Open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday 11 am to 8 pm Holiday schedule: Closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.