Hidden Gems: Yangtze River Restaurant

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Alexander Lee


Something about the Yangtze River restaurant on 584 King Street, Littleton oozes with nostalgia. I think it’s because I used to come here as a kid. On a Thursday afternoon, my mom would offer me a casual meal at this classic Chinese-American buffet.

I remember the buffet, a whole array of oriental goodness: general gao’s chicken, crispy orange beef, Lo-mein, chicken wings, Peking ravioli, fried rice, scallion pancakes, and too many other savory delights to name. As a kid, I left satisfied every time after I ate there. The food was stick-to-your-ribs good, not the healthiest option available, but who cared about that when we were young.

Over the years, I admit that I had somewhat of a falling-out with Yangtze River restaurant. For one reason or another, I just did not the frequent the place as much as I did when I was a child. I think that one of the biggest factors behind this was the establishment of two other Chinese restaurants in Westford: Bamboo and Karma.

So I entered the quaint, cozy little Chinese buffet trying to rekindle some of that nostalgia.

The friendly waiter brought me to a half-booth, half-chair table. It was a Thursday in the early evening, and there were several families perusing over the buffet’s options.

I ordered the buffet for myself, which also came with hot and sour soup. As soon as the waiter took my order, I was free to eat my to my heart’s content at the buffet.

The options are basically split into three sections: stir-fried Chinese classics, deep-fried appetizers, and desserts.

In my first trip, I decided to stick to appetizers. I spooned onto my plate chicken wings, Peking ravioli, pork spare ribs, half an eggroll, a spring roll, scallion pancakes, and teriyaki chicken.

Everything was fried very well; none of the selections were overly greasy, and the meat dishes still maintained their juiciness. I particularly liked the Peking ravioli. Unlike at most other Chinese restaurants, Yangtze River cooked them with a significant amount of soy sauce in the dumpling itself. This added flavor and allowed the dumpling to stay moist.

After eating the appetizers, I realized just what a great value this meal was. For the small price of $9.95, I was getting as much as food as I wanted. I had already made my first trip to sample a variety of appetizers and now I was about to do the same with entrees.

Thus, for entrees I chose general gao’s chicken, orange beef, vegetable lo-mein, vegetable fried rice, green beans in garlic sauce, chicken medley, and broccoli beef.

The food was as expected. Slightly worn because they had been out for a while, but that’s typical for a buffet. I enjoyed the appetizers more, but there were no major problems with the entrees.

Finally, I moved onto the desserts. Here, there was a surprising variety of foods. Not only was I offered ice-cream as a part of the buffet, but there were cakes, jellos, cream-puffs, and fresh fruit. The cakes slices were small and square, but these petite aspects made them all the more appealing. I especially enjoyed the tart orange slices, which helped balance out a lot of the savory foods I had just eaten.

All in all, my trip to Yangtze River reminded me why I used to like the place so much. It’s certainly not the most health-conscious option in Westford, but its filling food and peaceful environment warrant my strong recommendation.

I highly suggest that everyone come here for that Chinese food fix, making it one of WA’s hidden gems.