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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at Mainetoday.com. You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk about...music of course.

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Posted: October 29, 2014

Generous portions & plenty of people watching at new Golden Lotus Restaurant in Portland

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
The lunch special, top, wok-fried teriyaki chicken with har gow and white rice at the Golden Lotus Chinese restaurant, which looks out on Congress Street. Photos by Gabe Souza/ Staff Photographer

The lunch special, top, wok-fried teriyaki chicken with har gow and white rice at the Golden Lotus Chinese restaurant, which looks out on Congress Street. Photos by Gabe Souza/
Staff Photographer

Just a few hundred steps from my office and I was seated in a sunny spot at the recently-opened Golden Lotus Restaurant. I was joined by my friend Jen and we were taken care of by a very attention and cheerful server.

The Golden Lotus menu is bursting at the seams with many noodle soups, seafood, fried rice and chicken, beef and pork options. There’s also plenty of dim sum type dishes available on the menu.


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We both selected lunch special combination plates. They were ten to choose from and all are $9.25. Jen went with the stir-fried shrimp served with white rice and har gow. I opted for wok-fried teriyaki chicken with the same two sides. Har gow, I learned, is a traditional shrimp dumpling.

In short order, our plates arrived and while people-watching Congress Street, we dove in.

The dining room at the Golden Lotus overlooks Congress Street. Photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

The dining room at the Golden Lotus overlooks Congress Street. Photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Jen gave her meal an above average grade stating that the shrimp stir fry was tender and flavorful. She was less impressed with the rice and har gow but did say she’d give Golden Lotus another try for dinner.

As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken with a sauce that wasn’t overwhelming but tasty enough. The har gow didn’t put stars in my eyes, but I’m quite sure that if given the opportunity I could put away a dozen at one sitting. Maybe this is because one of my mother’s terms of endearments for me is “Dumpling.”

White rice, or as my brother-in-law likes to call it, “the candy of grain,” is something I could also do a lot of damage with, and this certainly was the case with what I consumed at Golden Lotus. Cooked to perfection, it didn’t stand a chance, even with my less-than-stellar chopsticks skills. Also, the portions were generous. Not enormous, but plenty of food to satisfy the bottomless pit of my stomach.

I quite appreciated the layout of The Golden Lotus: spacious and inviting and void of tacky artwork. I am certain I’ll be tapping colleagues on the shoulder in the coming weeks for spontaneous lunch dates with the goal of working my way down the specials list. And I’m also certain there’ll be a dinner date or two as several menu items are speaking to me including salt and pepper shrimp, house chicken chow mein and sweet and sour ribs.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Golden Lotus. I have the feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

GOLDEN LOTUS RESTAURANT

WHERE: 511 Congress St., Portland, 207-747-5322 | www.facebook.com/theglotus
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday
WAIT: About 10 minutes
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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