With the holidays over and colder weather inevitable, comfort food comes to mind, as in dining out simply and inexpensively, or perhaps takeout - especially Chinese. To fit the bill, Lucky Palace Asian Fusion at 101-A Commerce Place West, off 170 and next to the post office in Okatie, is accessible to most in Sun City via golf cart and an easy drive from other communities in Greater Bluffton and Okatie.
Open since September, Lucky Palace is a spare and simple space with a little more than a dozen tables and a menu that offers traditional Chinese dishes (lo mein, mai fun, chow fun and fried rice) as well as Thai, Mongolian and Hunan specialties. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., many of its signature entrees can be sampled as a lunch special for $7.25 and served with your choice of wonton, egg drop, or hot and sour soup with white or fried rice.
There is a Weight Watchers menu with half a dozen selections (including Chicken with Broccoli, and Mixed Vegetables with Shrimp or Scallops), all steamed and served with a light sauce on the side, from $9.25 to $13.95.
A dozen appetizer offerings, $7 and under, include Crab Rangoon, Fried or Steamed Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes and Vegetable Spring Rolls, the latter attractively served in a martini glass for $3.25. From the chef's specialties, General Tso's Chicken, $11.95, is among the most popular, with tender chunks of crispy chicken that have been deep-fried and topped with a spicy brown sauce. Malaysian Fried Rice, $12.95, can be made with chicken, beef, shrimp or Chinese sausage.
Lucky Palace gets creative with sauces, and here is where the Asian Fusion comes into play. From mild mango to spicy Hunan black bean, there is something for the more adventurous diner in these carefully blended, flavorful sauces. Thai Basil Ginger or Coconut Curry infuse dishes featuring fresh shrimp, scallops, chicken, beef or tofu, from $10.95 to about $15, all served with white rice.
Suzanne Walter, who lives in Oldfield, came in for a late lunch with her son Anthony Walter, who was visiting from Naples, Fla., on the day after Christmas. "I come here a couple of times a week," she said, after being introduced to the restaurant by friends from Oldfield who recently moved to Hampton Hall.
One night a former merchant marine who had traveled extensively in the Orient was with Walter's group and used the translator app on his iPad to communicate what they wanted to the staff.
"He knew what he wanted and what to order, and it was fabulous," said Walter. "Prior to coming here, we'd given up on finding good Chinese."
For information or to order, call 843-705-5007 or 843-705-5077.