Confucius Is a Superstar!
It’s been four years since I wrote about one of my very favorite Rehoboth Beach restaurants, Confucius—a bright star on the Wilmington Avenue restaurant row of bright stars.
Always a spectacular gourmet destination for extraordinary Chinese food, there’s reason to revisit, as owners Shawn and Danielle Xiong have upped their A-game to A+ and beyond. There are new entrees and appetizers added to the menu, and if you haven’t found this gem of a restaurant already, now is the time to go.
I am constantly running into folks who say, “I’ve never been there!” My question is, “Why?” First, it might be that people associate beach visits with seafood restaurants and saltwater taffy. Fair enough. And also, face it, many Chinese restaurants these days, especially around here, fall into the fast food category, denoted by brightly colored pictures of dumplings and Moo Shu over a countertop where you order by number, then wait for carryout. And the results are often disappointing.
Oh, my friends, not so for Confucius. It never disappoints me.
The place boasts large dining areas, an expansive menu, a full bar, many Sake selections, good wine and more.
As for the food, Chef Shawn is a magician. He not only serves up traditional Chinese fare that you love (pork dumplings, wonton soup, and Kung Pao Shrimp) but creatively prepared delicacies such as Scottish Salmon in Black Bean Sauce, Salt and Pepper Calamari, and Cumin Beef.
I have several favorite dishes. For an appetizer, I order the Smoked Salmon in Scallion Pancakes (of course she does!), and more often than not, I cannot resist the crispy Peking Duck. It’s prepared perfectly, and I am a fool for the duck, scallions, and Hoisin sauce. This dish at Confucius, I kid you not, is far superior to the same dish I was served in Shanghai.
I also adore the sautéed green beans, spicy enough but not a killer, and the chicken and eggplant in black bean sauce.
Frankly, when we go, there are so many marvelous choices that we always go with four or six people so we can dig in family style and share. If you like that sort of evening, Confucius is a perfect choice. One of our frequent companions has a blast ordering for the table, so when we’re with her, we put the menu down and leave it in her hands. Yup, we’re always thrilled. That Ms. Louisa knows her way around the Confucius menu like a GPS.
But, if you enjoy ordering an entrée and keeping it to yourself, don’t worry. Confucius will work well for you, too. But be warned. It will be a tough decision.
Now all this deliciousness, requiring fresh as can be ingredients and magnificent seafood plus pork and chicken worthy of the finest gourmet kitchen does cost a bit more than your average Chinese Carry-out. And it should! It’s on a par with the other upscale Rehoboth eateries on Wilmington Avenue and the meal is always well worth the tab. In fact, now that I think about it, it’s possible to taste some of the wonderful fare at Confucius on a budget as well. Appetizers range from $7.95 to $12.95, with ten different small plates like Pork Fried Rice, Greenbeans, and Baby Bok Choy coming in from $8.95-$10.95.
Like everywhere else, there is a wide range for entrees – from $16.95 for Kung Pao Chicken and Pork with vegetables, $18.95 for Hunan Beef, to $24.95 for Mango Shrimp (another of my favorites!), Half Duck for $24.95, Seafood with Ginger Sauce $27.95 and the steamed Halibut for $30.95.
In addition to the delightful food at Confucius, Shawn and Danielle are friendly hosts and enjoy getting to know their customers. If you want something special, just ask, and Shawn will do his best to make it. Can’t quite figure out what you want for dinner? Just ask and Shawn will put together a perfect combination for you. We’ve done that several times, and it’s always surprising and wonderful.
Confucius is open year round. During the summer season, it is open seven days a week for dinner starting at 5 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays during the off-season).
Confucius has consistently been voted Best Chinese Restaurant by both critics and customers in Delaware Today, and by other publications and food writers. Not to mention its legions of fans. Go see why!
Confucius is located at 57 Wilmington Ave.