The Ming Tree was one of Tallahassee's better restaurants in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a family business. The original owners sold the place and it went downhill through several other owners, as described in the reviews below. On April 3, the original owners reopened at a new location, (which should be changed by Trip Advisor soon). It's now at 2711 Killarney Way, in a small strip mall on the corner of Killarney Way and Shamrock, right across from the traffic circle in Killearn Estates. Tallahasseans will know the location, out-of-towners, use your GPS. Phoen for take-out 850-894-8888.
We went there on the night after the reopening. The owner and two young men handle cooking and take-out delivery. Mom and one or maybe two of the daughters run the front of the house. This is a tiny space, which in my 25 years in Tallahassee, has hosted at least 8 different restaurants. I hope the Ming Tree ends that string because it is a great place, and in my neighborhood.
The interior had been gutted and repainted in very pleasing colors. New tables and very comfortable chairs are evident...maybe 10 four-toppers in all, some of which were pushed together for a larger party and a couple of two toppers just outside on the sidewalk. A small vase of fresh roses was on each table. The place is scrupulously clean and well-lighted.
The menu is standard Chinese-American, but features regional dishes from Hunan, Szichuan, and Canton. Crab Rangoon had sold out (we were there after 8:00 PM) but the egg rolls were perfect. There are starter-size bowls of egg drop and won-ton soups, and then others that make more than a meal. Noodle soup as an entree comes in three varieties: chicken, beef, and vegetable. My wife had the chicken-vegetable noodle soup. The portion would easily have fed three people...full of authentic Chinese vegetables, chunks of chicken and a rich broth. You know you've done well when the soup has straw mushrooms and not those tasteless white buttons. Her soup was $8.95. I had Hunan style General Tso's chicken, which was also delicious; not overly spicy, and more than I could finish @$10.95. Around 15 other main dishes are available and run between $8.95 and $10.95, with most in the lower price range. Entrees are served with either steamed or fried rice. A nice gesture: they added some more steamed rice to our take-home leftover container.
A word about the staff. English is spoken here, and very well. Aside from outstanding, attentive, and knowlegable service, our waitress gave us the rundown on the Ming Tree's transition through the years. The family is obviously proud of the place's early history and working very hard to see that this resurrection succeeds. A couple headed out the door shared their pleasure at having such a nice place nearby and we agreed.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC