GREENBRIER — Generous portions, fresh vegetables, exquisite attention to detail and fine service—those are what make a Chinese restaurant out of the ordinary. Although Chef Lin’s Restaurant has been here almost four years, it is only recently that people have begun to catch on to the real quality this restaurant has to offer. They were voted Best Oriental winner by readers of the Log Cabin in 2011.
Before 1981 Chef Terry Lin was a mechanic in Taiwan married to Sophie. Their babies were small and Sophie’s brother told of the many opportunities in America. The Lins always wanted something better for their children, ages six months and three years; so they moved their family to America with absolutely nothing. Terry thought he could work hard in the automotive field; but instead he found that America had not yet adapted to the metric system, which was what Terry was skilled in. So he went to work as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant in Houston, Texas.
It just happened that the Chef at that restaurant was well-known in Shanghai and had been cooking since early 1900s. He had been the Chef for dignitaries in Shanghai and much respected. Terry watched and learned and was finally given a chance to learn under that Chef’s watchful tutelage.
When that restaurant closed, the Lins traveled to Appleton, WI where they took a partner and learned more of the business side of running a restaurant. Because they knew friends in Russellville, AR, they eventually moved there and partnered with owners of Madame Wu’s Restaurant. In 2010 the opportunity to have their own in Greenbrier became Chef Lin’s Restaurant.
When Chef Terry Lin was asked what makes his food so special, he replied, “Fresh vegetables, meats slow roasted before wok cooking and a very special soy sauce. Everything is prepared fresh to order.” The vegetables have character to them and are not diced so small as to be unrecognizable. Each dish also has eye appeal. When probed as to why his rice had such good flavor, he replied, “Chef’s secret sauce!” He explained that his style of cooking is Shanghai, not Hunan—which is quite spicy food from a different province in China.
Chef Lin’s is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m; Saturday 4:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Drop in for a delicious meal, served quickly in a beautiful clean and modern dining room at 150 South Broadview. Call 501-679-0685 for take-out or drive-through service.