Collegeville’s newest restaurant serves freshly made-from-scratch Chinese food from the Zhang’s family recipes.
- Lingping Xu and Jay Zhang, Owners
- 201 Second Ave. (Marketplace Shopping Center) (Map it)
- [email protected]
- Website/Order online | Facebook
The Zhang Family had been running a Chinese restaurant with their friends in Allentown for six years, and were interested in starting a restaurant of their own. When they heard that China Jade in Collegeville’s Marketplace Shopping Center was closing, they contacted the center’s management, toured the space, liked the area, and said “yes” to the space. Rice House opened for business on July 22, 2023.
But their journey to Collegeville actually started 10 years ago and much further away. While on a business trip from China, Jay Zhang was offered the opportunity to work in the US. The Zhang Family seized the opportunity, which they saw as an adventure for them and which offered their daughter Qinci (Cynthia), the opportunity to get a diverse education.
When the family arrived in the US in 2013, Cynthia was 13. Although she had learned beginning English at her Chinese school, she now suddenly found herself in the awkward position of being a U.S. teenager who wasn’t fluent at all. And she needed to catch up fast. Ten years later, Cynthia has not only conquered English but in 2022 also earned a college degree with a major in biology from Penn State. Although she is currently helping her parents with the new restaurant, she is hopeful for a career in her future and knows that her work in the restaurant “won’t be forever.”
What Makes Rice House Special
Over the years the Zhangs have developed their own family recipes that they now offer in the restaurant, and their menu is extensive. All dishes are made from scratch and the freshest ingredients, including the sauces. Sauces are served separately on some dishes. But if any customer wants a sauce served separately, they can request it in the “special requests” section on the on-line menu.
Additionally, Rice House provides many options for vegetarians and beyond. For example, they will substitute tofu in any meat dish for only $1. Also, Jay, Cynthia’s Dad who is the chef, can literally make any changes to recipes without restrictions. He is always happy to make any special orders geared to a customer’s taste, for those on any kind of special diet or restrictions and/or to address allergies.
To ensure that all the information is relayed correctly, rather than calling orders in, the Zhang family encourages customers to place their orders on-line. At the bottom of each menu selection, there is space on the on-line order form for special requests which they are happy to do. Because they are a Mom and Pop business with a lot of experience, they have the freedom to be totally creative and improvise on their recipes any way that the customer wants.
Healthy Options and Rave Reviews
Rice House also takes care to offer healthy options. Customers can check out the “Weight Watcher Selections” where the food is steamed and the sauces are all served on the side. Rice House is also one of the few Asian restaurants to carry whole-grain brown rice as a nutritious option. The bran and germ, which are the two outer layers of brown rice, contain most of the vitamins and minerals in the grain. Those layers get removed when manufacturers make white rice. Rice House also serves fried brown rice for a delicious twist on a classic favorite.
In the few months since it has been open, Rice House has already garnered an amazing number of five-star rave reviews.
Rice House lunch specials are available daily until 3 p.m.
They deliver via DoorDash and Grubhub.
Enjoy Rice House’s selections either through take-out or eat-in. There are four tables in-house for those who want to eat in, and people do—much more than the owners had expected. The restaurant is a BYOB.