Great Wall Express owners Hai Lue Lim and Esther Lim have spent the last 35 years working and managing restaurants. And because they love what they do, time has gone by very fast.
Mr. Lim came to the U.S. in 1975 and wasted no time in getting right to work on the American Dream. While working in a restaurant he met his wife Esther, who also had worked in restaurants all her life. After a few years managing kitchens from Austin to Los Angeles, Lim was ready to open his own restaurant.
Lim and Esther opened China Gate Restaurant in May of 1984, in north Austin on Burnet Road. Over the following 19 years they worked hard to impress. Lim and Esther gained many long time customers with their friendly service and well executed oriental dishes. China Gate concentrated on Szechuan style cooking with an emphasis on ginger, garlic and pepper. The menu included everything Lim had practiced so hard to perfect, from Mushu Pork to Sauteed Scallops, Chicken & Shrimp in Bird's Nest.
In 2003, after their children had grown and they wanted to try something new, they opened their second restaurant, Great Wall Express in Pflugerville Texas. Many of their customers had moved to the smaller community of Pflugerville, and they told Lim and Esther to open up there. It is good that they did, because they have been busy ever since. With a smaller menu concentrating on only customer favorites, and a drive thru window, Great Wall Express serves fast and convenient entrees that are always fresh and well prepared. In 2007, with the help of their son Thomas, they opened Great Wall Restaurant in Leander Texas. Late in 2010, Lim, Esther and their sons hope to complete a new restaurant in Round Rock Texas.