Forbidden City Bistro
Forbidden City Bistro

Forbidden City Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.forbiddencitybistro.com/
  • Phone: 8603438288
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday: 12:00pm - 9:30pm, Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
  • Executive Chef: Kevin Zhao
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Off-site catering is available.
  • Private Party Facilities: Three private rooms are available for 14 to 60 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Brian or Mario 8603438288

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Court Street
  • Public Transit: MAT Station
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Forbidden City Bistro
Eric Leong’s modern “Chinese fusion” has been awarded top Chinese in the state, and top food in “Zagat” for three consecutive years. The warm eclectic atmosphere and cozy setting transforms you straight to China. The art work and furniture has been all custom made and imported from Beijing, China. The food and décor, are complemented by our Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” wine list with 175 selections. The in house mixologist creates Chinese/Asian style martinis and cocktails.
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Forbidden City Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
3 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelQuiet
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (2)romantic (1)kid-friendly (1)good for groups (1)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)notable wine list (1)fit for foodies (1)Show More
  • Consistently Good
    2dine
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Best General Tso's anywhere - that's all my husband eats there. However, there are so many great Asian dishes offered, it's a difficult selection each time. Try the roasted shallot rice as a side (and take home what you can't eat, for reheating).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid Restaurant
    Astro123
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Ofcourse this isn't some high end Chinese place; however it is a good restaurant and in some aspects better than PFChangs. The food was good, the flounder fritters was the best dish ever! Service was good too since there were not a lot of people. Definitely will visit again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Forbidden City Bistro is a must :-)
    JimMc131
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    First time for my wife and I, service and food (we had appetizers, dinner, desert, and drinks) were excellent, we'll definitely be back and will highly recommend to others. Thank you for a great Saturday night dining experience!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Interestingly eclectic
    MarkP
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    A good array of Chinese an Asian influenced foods from basic fair to more interesting dishes. Lots of great fish choices. Extremely accommodating when one of our orders did not meet expectations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful
    Lucy
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    I ordered the duck which was perfect. My friends ordered salmon, pork shoulder, a shrimp dish and a curry flounder dish all were so tasty. Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive. The meal with tip and one glass of wine and 2 shared desserts was $40.00
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent restaurant
    Hamden
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    A friend had recommended Forbidden City to me, and it lived up to my expectations. The food was delicious and the service was prompt and efficient. I recommend it highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Terrific Saturday night Dinner
    BReal
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Went there with friends and found the place to be just what we were looking for. They have a full bar and they have a full wine selection with recommendations that went with the food. The food was just outstanding and they have a really good selection of it. Our table - which we reserved gave us a great view of the street, the lighting is perfect for an evening dinner and the food was just terrific. The service while good overall was a little less attentive than I would have wanted. Our waiter was slow in getting second drinks, water refills and dinner wine. On the other hand, they didn't rush us. We were able to catch up without ever feeling like we were taking too much time. Great choice!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impressed
    1veg1meateater
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Great specials and lots of variety on the menu. Extensive martini and wine selection. I plan to go back again very soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Normally not a fan of Chinese food!
    CarolVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Chinese is usually the last thing I want when going out to dinner. However, my bf had been wanting to go to F.C. for awhile so I caved. We had been once or twice in the past, I don't remember having a negative experience, but I don't remember being overly impressed either. We went at 7:30 on a Sunday night. There was only 1 other table with people. I ordered a Thai Basil martini which was absolutely delicious and chilled perfectly. Most bars don't seem to take the time to chill their martinis. I ordered Peking Duck Confit (after googling the sauce and what a pillow cushion was) and my boyfriend had Harvest Fried Rice. Both were amazing (although I thought mine was better). Try it out, this place is great!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delicious
    WendyVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We have always had great meals. The short ribs are incredible. They now have vege and vegan appetizers and main courses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find on Main
    1phantomdiner
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    hit up Forbidden City for a birthday brunch...extensive menu to include 2 pages of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Order in: Tangerine Beef, slightly crispy served with side of white rice, calamari app (pretty standard), Zhong Qing Red Oil Wonton app (spicy throughout), Peking Duck Con fit (the mini pillow buns were neat), and the Orchard Crispy Shrimp (basically shrimp tempura with melon balls and a fruit glaze for dipping)...didnt do dessert but hit up the selection of teas which were good..staff was attentive and prices reasonable...would def head back to try more of the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Evening at Forbidden City
    Linus
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    This was my third time at Forbidden City though it is a 35 minute drive -- worth it, too. We had a vegetarian with us and she was thrilled with the many vegan and vegetarian menu items. My favorite, the shrimp over melon balls with fruit sauce -- very different, wonderfully tasty. This is definitely NOT your usual Chinese restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We decided to try a place
    Foxer
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We decided to try a place we have heard good things about in the past, but we had never been too. So off to Forbidden City. The menu on line looked good with selection in fish, beef and typical Asian varieties The restaurant was 75% full with several wait staff buzzing around. Our water glasses were filled by some silent staff member and now we sat for 30 minutes before a waiter arrived. The waiter appeared indifferent to our long wait....we were prepared with a drink and food order, since we were certain we would not see him again. The food was delicious. Many other diners were suffering through the same poor service...you could see that typical look in the other diners faces as well as 1 couple did walk out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food; disappointing time
    Natty
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We booked a table for 3 almost an hour and a half before an event in town, and barely made our event. The service was inexcusably bad! The waiter seemed not to understand anything -- our order, the menu, our questions, how to get our food out, the importance of checking on us to make sure we have everything. Nor did anyone else, like the manager, bother to check on us! The food was tasty and interesting, but we had to gulp it down and did not finish our meals so we could not fully enjoy it. Would not recommend coming here. We may try it one other time when we do not have another engagement but not sure that I want to endure another evening of frustration.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • dissapointment
    Wabe
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I took my wife out for Valentine's day at this restaurant of her choice. We entered at 6pm with a prior reservation, some discussion ensued as to where we were to be seated, at 6:25 our order was taken, at 6:45 our appetizer was served and finally at 7:15 our order was delivered. As we had theater tickets as well we had less than 15 minutes to enjoy dinner. While the flavor and portions of the meals were very good the extended preparation and response time was unacceptable. If I had allowed a full 2 hours for dinner it would have been a different story although the noise volume made it difficult to have an easy conversation so I doubt that sitting there for 2 hours would have been that enjoyable either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Favorite Spot in Middletown
    Marusia48
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Forbidden City is always delicious and innovative Asian fusion cuisine. We were there on Valentine's Day and the only downside was super slow service. Perhaps it was just the busyness of that particular evening. It certainly won't stop me from returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gem in Middletown
    Gr8eats
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    We have never been disappointed with the food, service and ambiance at Forbidden City. The food is always top notch, waiters attentive and friendly and a great wine list. I highly recommend Forbidden City as one of the best choices that you can make in the Middletown area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent
    DeCristoforo
    Dined on 1/28/2014
    I have been going here for over 3 years and I have never had a bad meal, everything about the place is consistent. I can't stress enough that I believe that this is the best place in Middletown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well worth the hour drive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Well worth the hour drive to get there. The food was wonderful. Loved it!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre at best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    Drove an hour based on reviews and we were quite disappointed. Service adequate but unfriendly, salmon fishy and boring. We won't be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love it still
    MicksterVIP
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    Not my first review but it bears repeating. Everything this chef does is different from other restaurants and this place should never be grouped in with the rest of the ubiquitous Asian restaurants that pepper each town like 7-11s. The Steamed Szechuan Beef Dumplings With hot Mala oil & ginger balsamic vinaigrette are killer good as is the unique China Box and Tangerine Beef. Their presentation is as special and thoughtful as unique as the dish itself. Don't miss this place if in Middletown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    We were so excited to go, since we had read all the good reviews. We were very disappointed by what we got. My daughter ordered the General Tso's chicken and my husband ordered the Tangerine Beef. When they came out, we were 100% sure that they were exactly the same sauce, and practically the same dish. My husband's was chicken-fried steak, and my daughter's was chicken-fried chicken. Hmmmm. There's a huge and wonderful martini menu though, and my small plates were good, but we won't be back, at those prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Average Dining Experience
    JustAverage
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    We dined at the Forbidden City Bistro on Saturday and had just an average experience. Not great .... not bad. The food was OK. Nothing special. We will most likely hold off on coming back for a while. We had dined there back in September and had a wonderful experience but this time kind of turned us off.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time, really liked it.
    KD21
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    Was my first visit here, having just moved to Middletown. Nice ambiance. Felt like an intimate atmosphere, good lighting, surprisingly quiet. Started off with the Szechuan Beef Dumplings. They were light, flavorful, and came with a nice sauce that had a subtle kick to it. I'm not a wine person, but noticed an extensive wine list with a pairing for every dish listed. This seems like a nice touch if you're into wine. I had the Cheng Du Short Ribs and they were fantastic. Extremely tender, tons of flavor. Came with Noodles, bok choy, and a slightly spicy broth. The noodles and bok choy were fresh and the broth was tasty. If I had any complaint, the dish was a little unwieldy for the presentation. Overall a great place, can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous as always
    MicksterVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    I've dined here since they've opened and they've truly never disappointed me. The food is creative, flavorful, and will have you coming back time and time again. Great service, ambience, and food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Good
    BadChinese
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    My wife had a dish that required shrimp. they were more like biting into rubbery iodine. The dish I had was also a shrimp dish, and was also Iodine taste and the sauce was way too much of it and way too sweet. Chinese food at this price and level should never be a corn-starched based sauce. It was really gross to the pallet.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not your standard Chinese restauran
    BarryVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2013
    Actually, it's Southeast Asian and a great change of pace. The menu items are not what you're used to seeing. Very tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but
    BrunoBVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2013
    Not quite enough greens, and odd to find bread on the table for Chinese, however fusion it may be. They were running out of several dishes even though the place was hardly full. I made my reservation on open table and they could not find it. Nice people, odd place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another great meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    We've been to Forbidden many times over the last several years. The food is always fabulous and I highly recomend if you have never been. This is not take out Chienese with a table. The food is carefully prepared and delicious. Sauces are full of flavor and used judiciously. Portions are not huge, so this is not the place to get stuffed. It is a fine dinning restaurant and you'll enjoy it. One note is that service will tend to be ok. It's CT, not Manhattan, and some of the little touches you could expect from an upscale place are missed. Not enough to impact your dinning experience, but this is really about the great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting
    caroline
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    After all the hype it was just good.The food was fresh especially the sea bass(although pricey at about 30 bucks). Nothing that special.Also had the triple delight from the chinese side of the menu, again very fresh and not salty so good but just that. The scallops looked very good....fried in some batter with a lite sauce. We had heard the scallion rice was to write home about ...not sure Id do that. Its a trendy atmosphere with a retro feeland an Interesing Martini menu.Overall not what I expected....hoped for more.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Forbidden City
    TomB
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    We love going here for the fantastic food. The General Tso is the best I have ever had. The portions are a nice size too. Always attentive to our needs and willing to make changes on the go. Great place!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A favorite Middletown haunt
    nutmegger
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    We love to go to Forbidden City. The staff is always welcoming and the food is reliably delicious. Favorite starters are the seafood soup (very spicy) and I personally love the vegetable spring rolls. We often try new things, but have several favorites that we return to often -- the seabass is great, as is the tangerine beef. The shrimp is another favorite, but get the sauce on the side as it is very sweet. We prefer the tables to the booths.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food here is always excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    The food here is always excellent. When they are busy, there aren't enough waiters to handle all the tables, so initial service is a bit slow. Will still go back for the food.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great meal!
    GeneralTso
    Dined on 5/6/2013
    We are repeat diners at Forbidden and long time loyalist of their Glastonbury counterpart, CharKoon, their menus are very similar and they serve the best Asian food in CT! Service its always polite and prompt, prices are a deal for the quality and quantity you get!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not great food
    senorericVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    Takes fusion too far - be asian or don't be. We love Main st. Middletown but this place didn't impress with the food. Great bar, great drinks, but not great food and.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was delicious and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/20/2013
    The food was delicious and the service lovely...I'd recommend it to others
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were celebrating our anniversary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/14/2013
    We were celebrating our anniversary and decided to try someplace new. We made reservations, but found that it wasn't needed as the place was dead. I was surprised as it was a Thursday night. The food was good, and I had no complaits. My Fiancé asked that they not make hers spicy and it was on the hotter side for her. I have to admit I liked her dish better, but I have a high tolerance for spice.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great restaurant. Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/23/2013
    Great restaurant. Wonderful food made to order. Very interesting dishes. We loved everything we ate, from appetizers to dessert. Service is excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely love this place
    KimmiVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    Absolutely love this place - the service and food are amazing!!!!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Eclectic entrees and many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    Eclectic entrees and many old favorites among the appetizers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall