Lee’s China Kitchen (CLOSED)

Editor’s note: As of 2018, Lee’s China Kitchen is closed.
65 East State Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Right at the heart of downtown Columbus, Lee’s China Kitchen caters primarily to the white-collar day population of the city, with a variety of gourmet dishes. Good, quick Chinese food is a must in an area like this, and the restaurant’s central location adds to its great convenience. It’s a bit cleaner and more refined competition around it, and the pleasant environment is accentuated with very quick service that makes it a great place to eat and go with time in your lunch hour to spare.

The food is a very prototypical Chinese menu, with a variety of chicken dishes, beef, poultry, seafood and noodle dishes dominating the menu. There are also a few speciality dishes with some creativity behind them. The menu is large and there are a lot of delicious-looking options. The website claims each of the items are cooked to order and I have to wonder if  this is the case, though. Coming in at the peak lunch hour, my food came within a few minutes of being ordered; so fast I have to wonder if there is an assembly line-type of organization in the kitchen that keeps the ingredients ready and then assembles them. Either way, some of them didn’t taste very fresh.

The specialty food, though, was pretty good. I liked the fried rice, which had been well cooked and filled with just enough vegetables. I liked the “Lee’s Special Chicken” too, as the sauce was sweet and the vegetables on the dish were prepared well. To its credit, the restaurant does these items well. I did not like the meat though. The chicken dishes I have tries were universally soggy. Either they weren’t fried well in the first place, or they had been allowed to sit too long after frying, as they lacked both the crunchy texture and the fresh taste of good chicken, which is a clasically tricky dish if it isn’t served as fresh as possible.

The staff was polite, which made for a very pleasant experience. They frequently refil water, but oddly not ice (which means you can sometimes have a glass full of warm water) and were very speedy at returning bills and generally keeping a pleasant demeanor. The atmosphere was also pleasant too; clean and generally not too crowded in spite of the large number of people eating there.

Lee’s China Kitchen is a great option for lunch during the workday. It’s convenient and the food is at least a decent option. If your coworkers suggest it to you, you’ll probably be able to find something you like on them menu, but better Chinese food can be found elsewhere.


  • Food during the lunch hours comes quickly but sacrifices a little on the quality side for this.
  • Rice and vegetable dishes are great items, but I would be more cautious with meat dishes; some of them aren’t prepared as freshly as would be preferable.
  • The spicy items are done well here, too.

Lee's China Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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