Dear Proprietors of the Golden Key Chinese Restaurant,
One can not survive on pizza alone. Every once in a while, when we order out, it has to be something else. And when it is, it is usually Chinese food. And when it is Chinese food, for us, it has always been your restaurant, Golden Key.
It is always so tough to find a good Chinese food restaurant. I don't know why. It just is. For the longest time, when I lived in New Jersey before meeting my betrothed, my hot spot was Hunan Garden on Route 130 in Delran. When I moved out of the Garden State, it seemed that I just couldn't find a replacement. I mean, that's OK because myself and the wife just gorged ourselves on pizza and steaks and burritos and that sort of stuff instead, but every once in a while, you just want a good egg roll, know what I'm saying?
That is when I met you. You were the Chinese restaurant that the wife had been going to all of her life. She took me there one night when we were out in the Norristown area. Your egg roll was scrumptious when dipped in some succulent duck sauce. Your pepper steak was delicious and cooked just right, not like the chewy, rubbery stuff you can get at some other amateur-hour Chinese joints. Also excellent, and this is key, were your dumplings. It didn't matter if they were coming in your terrific wonton soup, or if they were ordered as an appetizer. They always satisfied. They were not wet inside when you cut into them. There was no suspect odor upon inspection. The pork nestled inside was great, and the exterior was never doughy. It never overwhelmed the treasure inside.
You are probably noticing all of the past tense usage within the last paragraph. The presence of the pesky words "was" and "were." There is a reason for this. Golden Key, your pepper steak and your General Tso's and your chicken and broccoli, they are still very good! Your wonton soup is still the best I have tasted in my time as a citizen of the great state of Pennsylvania. Your egg roll is still ample, tasty, and cooked to perfection. But your dumplings. Well, those taste like dog food.
No! Worse than dog food! I recently lined your dumplings up vs. a can of Alpo in a blind taste test. I vomited after tasting your dumplings and shotgunned the can of dog food to wash the taste of your dumplings out of my mouth. I am not sure if I have underlined my point enough to this juncture, so let me say this one more time. Eating your dumplings right now is a horrid experience, one that I would most likely compare to the idea of getting my scrotum hair trimmed with a rusty chainsaw by a nervous, blind recovering alcoholic.
Let me recreate the scene the last time the wife and I ordered your dumplings (which at this point is a long time ago and I can't say when the next time will be): We opened the bag. We saw the box of fried dumplings. We clasped hands. We prayed a novena, begging the Lord to ensure that these dumplings would be a return to form for your once great establishment. We opened the box. A not-so-pleasant smell emerged. I cut into the first dumpling. While the dumplings were once simply moist, they are now a watery mess. A torrent of water the likes of which just steamrolled rural Japan splashed out of the dumpling. While I was supremely turned off by all of this, I figured, "Oh, what the f*ck, I paid for these things, I might as well eat them." Yet after I forced down the first dumpling, our dog Bumpkin was doing a backflip because he got the rest of these monstrosities placed into his bowl for canine consumption. I got back to eating the rest of the food, yet I was interrupted ten seconds later when Bumpkin throws the dumpling at the side of my head and castigates me violently for trying to make him eat, and I quote, "cuisine not fit for a Guantanamo Bay hunger-striker."
Look, I hate to be rude, Golden Key! We really have loved your food for a long time. We stayed with you guys through a change in management. The first lady always greeted us with a smile, and the one after that may have been even nicer! We have had several events at the restaurant (which is BYOB) and you have always been accomodating. I remember when you guys ran out and bought an arseload of wine glasses when we had our friend's 30th birthday party there. It was really nice of you, especially since you had to clean half of the glasses off the floor by the time our rowdy friends were done! We really appreciated that!
The thing is you can almost take this review as a rave. As I have stated, the majority of your meal elements are still top-notch. Your delivery is always on time and I never felt as if the guy might bust his way into my home and exterminate me in some sort of weird assassination ritual. This is a good thing.
But, then again, when I think of your dumplings, I want to projectile-vomit like the horny, potty-mouthed devil girl in The Exorcist. I just thought you should know this. Get your shizz together so I can eat your food again.