FORK IN THE ROAD: Small town Chinese restaurant a must eat destination for many

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- In the larger cities, you can find a Chinese buffet or restaurant within driving distance, but customers who visit one in Silver Lake say the food is worth the drive.

“Thank you Mrs. Lang. Thank you Lisa,” Silver Lake Chinese owner Raymond Sun greeted almost every customer who walked in. That’s because his family has owned Silver Lake Chinese, in downtown Silver Lake, for nearly 3 decades. Raymond took over for his mother back in 1992, when she retired…kind of.

“Even though my mom’s still back there, just supervising,” Sun laughed.

His mom passed down the secret ingredient that makes his meals taste unlike any Chinese food you’ve ever had.

“Everything is made from scratch. Nothing is frozen,” he proudly announced.

And as soon as you order, that’s when they start cooking it. No warming lamps or heat trays, made fresh to order each time.

“Tastes defiantly different. Defiantly different. That’s what my mom taught me,” Sun touted. “Our fried rice is good, and also out crab Rangoon because the crab Rangoon I mix up with some real crab.”

The only downside is, the restaurant is only open on Friday’s and Saturday’s, giving fans a small window to get their hands on his meals. Many times, he even sells out.

“They have the best food. It is always fresh. They have a wide variety,” said longtime customer Nan Cookus.

She has been traveling to Silver Lake from Topeka for many years, making sure she eats there at least once a month

First time visitor to Silver Lake Chinese, Ronald Pittman, was surprised when he took his first bite.

“I was a little skeptical at first, you know being in a small town, but the food was actually very good,” the Topekan exclaimed.

Raymond says when he gets complements like that, it makes it all worthwhile.

“The people will come up to the kitchen and tell me ‘hey Raymond, than you for the food. It tastes great,’ and it makes me so happy. That’s why I’m still here,” Sun said.

Silver Lake Chinese, 207 E Railroad St., is open Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9. Sun also does takeout, but you have to call early to get in your order.