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Szechuan chicken, Colala Special soup at Colala Express

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The space on 2010 W. Saginaw St., the former home of Jumbeaux and many others, is becoming a revolving door. Its latest occupant is a Chinese takeout place called Colala Express. On my first venture, I ordered Szechuan chicken with fried rice and the Colala Special soup.

The main issue I run into with Chinese takeout is a certain rubbery, fatty texture throughout the chicken.

Colala Express’ chicken avoided that — it was lean, juicy and glazed with just the right amount of sauce. It passed that test easily, but I wish the sauce bordered closer to the spicier end of Szechuan, rather than the savory sweet side. The rice was a little dry, but the addition of bean sprouts gave it a special flair.

The Colala Special soup was an oddity. It’s almost a standard vegetable soup, filled with potatoes, carrots and chicken, but the special ingredient here is banana. Perhaps the banana chunks add to the flavor of the broth, but biting into bananas, mixed with chicken and potato, is a little too jarring, and that’s coming from somebody with a penchant for “strange” food.

But Colala Express is inexpensive, convenient and tastes just fine, which is what you really want in takeout — isn’t it?

Colala Express 2010 W. Saginaw St., Lansing Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (517) 763-2228 www.colalalansing.com

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