Marty Rosen likes The Joy Luck from the moment he enters its "calm warmth," which he says one can see in "the grain of the light floor planks" and "wooden fixtures that glow under the soft light of hanging lanterns." He approves of owner Alvin Lin's "Chinese cuisine filtered through a Taiwanese sensibility," and finds his General Tso's Chicken ("a spicy, sour, faintly sweet assemblage") an example of what sets The Joy Luck apart from "Louisville's assortment of Asian restaurants."
[G]ently fried cubed chicken in a glossy red sauce with tender broccoli florets, slivered bell peppers and red chilies [is] a familiar dish prepared in the usual style, but the kitchen (headed by Alvin Lin's father, known to most as Uncle Lin) executes it with an impeccable precision that places The Joy Luck squarely in the top tier of area Asian restaurants.
Rosen also enjoys "Uncle" Lin's "splendid example" of Crab Rangoon, as well as a Singapore rice noodle dish and his soup dumplings, though the latter come with a warning:
Within the sturdy dough walls of a steamed, tightly wrapped dumpling, hot broth and minced pork are waiting and ready to spurt when you bite down (carefully now! Ask your server about the technique if soup dumplings are new for you).And he really, really likes his bao (steamed buns) which he has with both a "street food treatment" of Beijing roast duck and gua bao, "which some describe as pork belly sliders." Rosen also raves about The Joy Luck's black bean sauce, calling it "a condiment full of nuance and heat." He bestows three out of four possible CJ stars on Alvin Lin, his parents and The Joy Luck. [Courier-Journal]
· The Joy Luck helps to fill a void in Chinese cuisine [Courier-Journal]
· The Joy Luck [Official Site]
· All Eater The Joy Luck Coverage [~ELOU~]