I am struck with a sense of warmth by the beautifully crafted dishes and the atmosphere of Confucius. When you walk in, you are greeted with smiles and heartfelt greetings, not just from the staff but from Shawn and Danielle Xiong, the husband-and-wife team who operate the establishment. This restaurant isn’t just a business to them; it’s an extension of their home, and they make every effort to ensure that everyone who walks through their doors feels genuine warmth and hospitality.
Aesthetically, Confucius offers a casual yet elegant environment. However, the true star is, of course, the food. Offering an extensive menu that explores the breadth and depth of Chinese cuisine, Confucius manages to strike that perfect balance between tradition and innovation. Each dish is a labor of love, crafted with care and attention to detail that’s palpable in every bite.
A must-try is the Sichuan Crispy Whole Fish. It’s a dish that showcases the chefs’ expertise in creating bold and rich flavors while at the same time highlighting the freshness of the locally sourced ingredients. The fish’s crispy skin and tender flesh are perfectly complemented by the spicy and tangy Sichuan sauce. It’s a celebration of flavors that leaves you wanting more.
One of my absolute favorite dishes is the Chinese Broccoli. This seemingly simple dish is a masterclass in the subtlety and depth of Chinese cuisine. It’s made with Gai Lan, a type of broccoli commonly used in Chinese cuisine with a slightly bitter, earthy flavor.
“Confucius offers an experience that transcends mere dining. It’s a place where food becomes a bridge, connecting cultures and fostering a sense of community.”
At Confucius, the Chinese Broccoli is stir-fried to perfection. The vegetables maintain a bright emerald color and a satisfying crunch without losing their natural flavor. They are lightly coated in a garlic sauce that’s savory and perfect. It’s a dish I always order, no matter how many times I’ve had it before, because it’s so well executed and comforting. I could eat it every day.
Despite its simplicity, Chinese Broccoli speaks volumes about the culinary philosophy of Confucius. It shows the restaurant’s commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients and treating them with the respect they deserve. The dish embodies the heart of Chinese cooking: balance and harmony, where less is often more.
The Chinese Broccoli is more than just a dish for me. It’s a reminder of the power of simplicity in cooking and the joy that can be found in a well-prepared, comforting plate of vegetables. It encapsulates everything I love about Confucius — its respect for ingredients, its commitment to tradition and innovation and its focus on creating food that’s as nurturing as it is delicious. That’s why Chinese Broccoli is my favorite and one of the many reasons I love Confucius.
The beauty of Confucius isn’t just in its food or ambiance. What truly makes it exceptional is its sense of community. It’s a place where families gather, friends catch up and love is shared over plates of delicious food.
As I mentioned earlier, dining at Confucius feels like visiting family, and this is not just because of the Xiongs’ warm welcome. The overall sense of camaraderie and connection makes this restaurant a beloved institution in the Southern Delaware beaches.
Confucius offers an experience that transcends mere dining. It’s a place where food becomes a bridge, connecting cultures and fostering a sense of community. As a chef and restaurant owner, these are the experiences I cherish, and Confucius in Rehoboth Beach delivers just that. I love the food, the ambiance and the people at Confucius. That is why I am happy to share my love for this beautiful establishment despite not being a restaurant critic. After all, great food and company are always worth celebrating.