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  • Mee Magnum
  • December 03, 2014 11:14:44 AM
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A Little About Us

What started humbly as five friends gathered for a night out, has grown to a quest. A Chinese Quest. Follow along as five hungry Jewish guys search for THE BEST Chinese Restaurant on all of Long Island (and now New York City too)! What do Jews like? A bargain AND Chinese food! It started innocently enough. Now it's become something bigger than even their appetites. Or, has it? So, follow along and let's see where their journey takes them in their search. They welcome your suggestions and feedback. And if you're lucky enough, perhaps they'll ask you to join them on one of their crusades! So pack your chop sticks, we're about to hit the road!

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6 VERSATILE WINE PAIRINGS FOR A CHINESE NEW YEAR FEAST

Wine is a versatile drink that has the ability to add flavor and depth when paired right. And like wine, Chinese cuisine also has a wonderful range of varieties that are lined up to light the spirit of the festival. The rich diversity of these two helps us explore and understand the perfect pairings of food and wine. So here is the pair guide for wine and dine you might want to try this new year. Cheers! The post 6 VERSATILE WINE PAIRINGS FOR A CHINESE NEW YEAR FEAST appeared first on The...

Wine-pairing-chinese-foodThe best part of festivals is family and friends gatherings where you get to meet and cherish the wonderful day with your loved ones. Festival meals are the time to experiment and explore new food pairings and wines that you might have wanted to try for a while now. Wine is a versatile drink that has the ability to add flavor and depth when paired right. And like wine, Chinese cuisine also has a wonderful range of varieties that are lined up to light the spirit of the festival. The rich diversity of these two helps us explore and understand the perfect pairings of food and wine. So here is the pair guide for wine and dine you might want to try this new year.

Steamed fish and Rieslings

The Chinese culture considers Fish a symbol of prosperity and enjoying drool worthy delicacies on the New year’s eve feels fantastic. Steamed food is a healthy choice of meal especially pre-workout and could be a great start towards a healthy lifestyle. Steamed fish cooked with delicate flavors of vegetables and garnished with a splash of spice is a perfect meal of choice to enjoy. White wines pair amazingly with steamed fish by enhancing the flavors with a spicy kick. A light, fruity and crisp palate of Rieslings could be the right add to this festive season.

Crispy Duck and Cabernet Sauvignon

Barbequed or fried dishes are heavy, and heavy bodied wines pair amazingly with these. Duck when cooked crispy has an enriching flavor along with the oily crunchiness that makes an amazing meal. A dry wine like Cabernet Sauvignon blends well with this crispy texture and is strong to match with the dish. If you are looking to enjoy something slightly light then any sparkling wine would be a great choice to pair with heavy fried dishes.

Dumplings and Pinot Noir

Dumplings are a Chinese dining staple that can leave its juicy, delicious flavors alluring. The steamed dish is light and soft textured and is highlighted with simple flavors from the fillings. The minced meat or finely chopped vegetables can be combined gracefully with a light-bodied drink such as a Pinot Noir. The sweetness will compliment the flavors of the dumplings well and being a flexible drink it can extend its compatibility with the rest of the dishes too.

Dim Sum and Sparkling wine

Deep fried foods or dim sum particularly look for a refreshing pair that balances the heavy body of the meal. Also, a touch of sweetness carves its own niche when paired well with delicious delicacies such as Dim Sum in a lovely way. A simple choice of Malbec rose would be a fresh pairing choice to go with deep-fried food. The closest you can get to this amazing food pairing is with the bird dog whiskey which is matching the heavy meal with some heavy booze.

Spicy food and Torrontes

The secret to enjoying spicy food lies within balancing the key factor called acidity. Some mouth-watering dishes from the Chinese cuisine also have some tongue numbing spice such as in soups, meat etc. And the best pair of wine to go with the outstanding, flavorsome dishes would be Torrontes. Acidic wines help cope with the flavors well and balance out the spice better. This way you can experience the inner flavors of the dish better.

Bakkwa and Bordeaux Rose

Bakkwa and Johnny Walker Black are considered a match made in heaven given how it tastefully balances the sweetness from the dish with its smoky and spicy notes. But when it comes to wine Bordeaux Rose would be the perfect choice to pair with this salty and sweet meat. The savory notes of Mezcal also match well with the meaty deliciousness of this dish that will make your meal even more special.

General rules of pairing with Chinese food

Steamed seafood: Dry Rieslings, Champagne, and White Burgundy are the best choices to pair with steamed seafood as they balance out the delicate flavors from the dish with its fruity flavors.

Spicy noodles: Considered a sign of longevity, enjoying soft noodles during your dinner with notes of spice can be paired well with Viognier.

Gingery Dishes: When it comes to crabs or lobsters brimming with a flavor of ginger the best way to balance the spice from it is to choose varieties such as Rose or Gewürztraminer.

Fiery Szechuan: A touch of sweetness from Alsace Pinot Gris could be the magic some fiery Szechuan cuisine needs to balance and treat your palette.

Black bean Sauce: A velvety, smooth texture pairs well with Black bean sauce such as a fruity touch of Zinfandel.

Bordeaux for everything: If you do not want to carefully select a bottle and want something that is more neutral and goes with all then Bordeaux is the bottle of choice. It has a rich variety and diverse palette that makes it a go-to wine for every occasion and every cuisine.

These wine pairings should make your New Year’s more special and definitely delicious.

Sources:

Author’s Bio:

RebeccaRebecca is a student and a blogger who loves to write on different verticals such as F&B, health, and fitness. She holds special interest and expertise in food and drinks pairing. She loves to go out on wine tasting functions with her close buddies. Her hobbies include traveling and reading

The Chinese Quest welcomes original articles pertaining to the Chinese dining experience.  Your article should pertain to Chinese restaurants, Chinese food, recipes, etc.  For more information, please contact us.

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[REVIEW] SHANGHAI DUMPLING, Little Neck, NY

The Chinese Quest celebrated the Chinese New Year, Year of the Pig by dining at the recently opened Shanghai Dumpling in Little Neck, NY. Pigs love to eat, we love to eat! Did we love what we ate? Read on to find out! The post [REVIEW] SHANGHAI DUMPLING, Little Neck, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

The Chinese Quest came to celebrate Chinese New Year at Shanghai Dumpling in Little Neck, NY.  Shanghai Dumpling opened a mere six weeks ago.  Converted by the owner of the Grain House, which occupied this space, he maintained a 30% ownership in this new venture. 

This is the Year of the Pig.  A pig is also a very social creature – if they have a mud puddle, they want to share it with the whole neighborhood – the more diverse group the better. And people will come because they know the Pig can be trusted and makes an ideal friend.  We managed to entice three old and new friends to join us this evening in celebration.  We had a party of 8, a very lucky number to the Chinese.  Was this going to be our lucky night?

Joining us this evening was Mee Mah Thoo, a frequent guest of the Quest (who is always welcomed, especially since he always brings us some mighty fine wine and/or Tequila), Sweet Lou (who also brought some wine), and Jeff (who brought some great stories… ask him about going to the same Chinese restaurant in Chinatown for over 47 years and running!  Perhaps the Quest will have to join him the next time he goes to Chinatown!).  Lou and Jeff will have to be given some Mee names soon.  I’m open to suggestions!

Shanghai Dumpling is located at 249-11 Northern Blvd., Little Neck, NY 11362.  Parking can be problematic at times.  I’ve been lucky the first two times I have come here.  There is a large Stop and Shop across the street with an inviting amount of free parking available.  Not that I am endorsing parking there, it is quite enticing to say the least.  Would our dinner be as enticing?  Let’s find out!

shanghai-dumpling-little-neck

The restaurant was packed upon our arrival.   Despite the fact that we had a reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes for our table to become available.  We took advantage of the wait and wished our fellow diners a very happy Gung Hay Fat Choy!  (Happy New Year in Chinese).

As soon as we were seated we quickly blurted out what we wanted to start with:

Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings – THREE orders!  The Soup Dumplings had been ordained as the best Soup Dumplings that Mini Mee, The Dumpling King, had ever eaten.  So, how could we not indulge?  The dumplings were filled with piping hot soup.  Despite the warning to some our guests, we nearly lost two tongues.  Luckily we had some nice cold wine to soothe the burns.

Wuxi Spareribs – which may be called Stewed Pork Ribs in Brown Sauce on the menu.  Either way, these were the ribs that the pork just fell of the bone and melted in to our mouths.  They were quite sweet and succulent.  We are off to a flying start!

steamed-pork-soup-dumplingswuxi-spareribs-stewed-pork-ribs

Fish Head with Vermicelli Soup – The soup didn’t have a lot of flavor or presence to me.  The broth was just ok.  Honestly, all I was waiting for with this dish was to watch Mee Tsu Yan suck the fish head.  Alas, I was let down twice by this dish, as there was no heading sucking to be seen this evening.

Pork Shoulder  – One of the House Specials, the pork (gosh we ate a lot of pork this evening) served with bok choy (and a lot of bok choy too!) was, if not a little fatty, very yummy.

Fish-Head-SoupPork-Shoulder-Bok-Choy

Snow Pea Leaves with Mushrooms – We really should order more than just one vegetable dish (and perhaps some other proteins as well aside from pork!), because nothing beats vegetables made the Chinese way!

Udon Noodles with Bok Choy – Being Chinese New Year, we needed a noodle dish with the longest noodles they had.  For eating long noodles on Chinese New Year will help you to live a long life.  It also helps to have great friends to share dinners, and along with great food, and laughter, these are all the keys to living a long and happy life.  

Snow-Pea-Leaves-MushroomsUdon-Noodles-Bok-Choy

For dessert we were given (read that to be “On the house”, also known as FREE) Peanut-Crusted-Mochi-with-Black-Sesame-PastePeanut Crusted Mochi with Black Sesame Paste.  I’ve never found too many Chinese desserts to the kind of dessert as I deem dessert to be, these were quite good!  And, I highly recommend you try them when you dine in at Shanghai Dumpling!

While we didn’t order a lot of different dishes, we had to order multiples of some so the eight of us could at least get a taste.  The nicest surprise at the end of the night.  With tax and tip included, the bill was just $22 per person.

The night concluded by submitting our individual rating of Shanghai Dumpling, before we bid each other, and our new found friends a fond adieu.  Or, should I say Shalom, I mean 晚安 (pronounced: Wǎn’ān).

Our rating of Shanghai Dumpling:

Rating-Shanghai-Dumpling-Little-Neck-NY

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

How did you celebrate Chinese New Year?  Please post in the comments below.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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[REVIEW] BLUE WAVE RESTAURANT – New Shanghai Cuisine in Williston Park

Blue Wave Restaurant, a Shanghainese Chinese restaurant, recently opened in Williston Park, NY. The spread of authentic Chinese restaurants is continuing in Long Island, and The Chinese Quest was there to review it. Click to read our review, and please post your comments about Blue Wave! The post [REVIEW] BLUE WAVE RESTAURANT – New Shanghai Cuisine in Williston Park appeared first on The Chinese...

We must really love Chinese food because on January 21st, we ventured out to Blue Wave Restaurant, located at 344 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. For those of us that opted to block it out of our minds, January 21st, 2019 was the coldest day in four years. The temperature outside was ten degrees below zero with the wind chill factored in. In fact, it was so windy, my car door almost snapped off the hinges from the arctic blast. Walking into Blue Wave that night did not really create the toasty atmosphere that we were after. I guess the heater was fighting with the outside cold, and I’m pretty sure the heater was losing the battle. We made due with some piping hot Chinese tea, and proceeded to order dinner.

blue-wave-chinese-restaurant

As we settled in, our waitress brought to the table a free snack to enjoy while we were pondering the menu. I refer now to Exhibit A – store bought fried noodles that looked like they were purchased from Restaurant Depot. Scanning the menu, and looking around at the Asian customers, I got the feeling that this was a pretty authentic Chinese restaurant, with almost a “Flushing” feel. The noodles did not go with the place. Half kidding, I said to the waitress that possibly we could do better with the free snack offerings. She walked away laughing to herself and came back with Exhibit B – peanuts. Serving peanuts at the onset of a meal is a common practice in Chinese restaurants in Southeast Asia. I was happy that I spoke up and maybe earned some street cred at the same time.

Exhibit-A-Fried-Wonton-NoodlesExhibit-B-Peanuts

EXHIBIT A                                                           EXHIBIT B

The decor is pretty plain, not sure much money was poured into the place. The owner and wait staff were really fun and friendly. The restaurant does not have a liquor license so it is BYOB. You might want to check it out on a warmer day; I literally saw my own breath when I made a pit stop to the bathroom.

For appetizers:

WUXI RIBS – the ribs were a nice mix of traditional Wuxi style and standard ribs, on the sweet side served with bok choy. The meat fell off the bones. A great dish for starters.

SOUP DUMPLINGS – this restaurant offers free soup dumplings with dinner.  Giving away soup dumplings seems to be the latest thing with Chinese restaurants. I guess the Chinese version of Donny Deutsch decided this was a good marketing strategy. We had free dumplings at You Garden Xiao Long Bao in Bayside. The Bayside dumplings were much tastier than these, but heck, free is free!

Wuxi-Spareribs...Wuxi Spareribs

SCALLION PANCAKES WITH BEEF – I would love to meet the guy that decided to put beef in with scallion pancakes, he definitely deserves the Nobel prize! I had this at a few places and it never fails to excite my taste buds, a must order. Great Chinese finger food with scallions and crunchy beef in a pancake.

SHANGHAI STYLE SOUP WITH HAM & PORK BELLY – this was the perfect night to order soup. It was served piping hot with a nice chicken broth, bok choy, spiral tofu noodles, and big pieces of pork shaped liked freaking Napoleons. YUM!!

Scallion-Pancakes-With-BeefSHANGHAI-STYLE-SOUP-WITH-HAM-PORK-BELLY

Main Meal:

SAUTEED CHICKEN – chicken with mushrooms and ginger, really delicious.

YOUNG CHOW FRIED RICE – standard Young Chow with the veggies, nice version.

Sauteed-Chickenyoung-chow-fried-rice-blue-wave

PAN FRIED NOODLES WITH PORK – thin noodles in a brown sauce.  I was hoping for a very thick noodles, but my Chinese isn’t the best.  This dish was very tasty though.

SAUTEED CHINESE SPINACH – excellent vegetable dish served with baby bamboo, gotta love those Chinese veggies!

Pan-Fried-Noodles-PorkSauteed-Chinese-Spinach

For dessert, they prepared us something special.  All those karma points we earned when we asked for peanuts and not the American Fried Wonton Noodles, were paying off!  Blue-Wave-Chinese-DessertNow comes the audience participation part of our Review.  The Manager wrote on my notepad what this was in Chinese, along with the English transliteration.  But alas, as I was wrapping up this Review, I used that paper to wrap up some whitefish. 

Kudos to the first person who can correctly identify this Chinese dessert ==>

I enjoyed this restaurant, but I probably would not make the journey from Suffolk county just to eat there. I think it deserves another try in a different month, when staying warm is more important than the food in front of you.

Our rating:

rating-blue-wave-chinese-restaurant

A shout out to all of you Nassau county people, give it a try and let us know what you think?

All for now,

Mee Tsu Yan

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GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! The Year of the Pig!

Happy Chinese New Year - Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Pig. Learn about all the fascinating Pig Traits and Personality in this guest article by Bernadette King The post GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! The Year of the Pig! appeared first on The Chinese...

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year!!  2019 is the Year of the Pig.  This article is an update to the July 2014 article.

Chinese Zodiac Pig Traits and Personality

Pig’s mantra is, “I live to serve.”

You will not find a more selfless soul on the planet earth.

The kindness of those born in The Year of the Pig knows no bounds even when they’re hurt or disillusioned.

This Chinese Zodiac Animal is dauntless in whatever efforts they begin. You will never find them weak or fearful, but even so they stick to making peace wherever and whenever possible.

Pig is also a very social creature – if they have a mud puddle, they want to share it with the whole neighborhood – the more diverse group the better. And people will come because they know the Pig can be trusted and makes an ideal friend.

The main caution with the Chinese Zodiac Pig personality is the temptation to become consumed with life’s pleasures.

The Pig easily loses sight of other things and as a pure soul can be easily manipulated. And while not prone to getting angry for long, a major Pig personality trait is that they become fierce when people overstep defined boundaries.

Positive keynotes for Pig include honesty, honor, courtesy, tolerance and kindness. Pig does not make friends quickly but once that relationship’s forged they’re very devoted and considerate. They don’t give up on friends when problems arise.

Chinese Zodiac Pig Compatibility

In relationship a Pig is very physical and affectionate. They give their heart fully and show their emotions openly, including heartache. These people don’t like deception so they put it all on the table with clarity. The best companions in the Chinese Zodiac for Pig are Chinese Rabbit and Chinese Sheep.

Chinese Zodiac Pig Children

As children Pigs constantly rescue their companions. They have trouble seeing people’s weaknesses and mistakes, so parents have to guide them carefully from potential users and abusers. This child is happy and playful, and not overly concerned with life’s small stuff.

Metaphysical Associations

The Chinese Pig’s metaphysical correspondences in this astrological system include the Color Purple, the Direction of North and Number 5 in Numerology.

Chinese Zodiac Posts supplied by The Chinese Quest Groupie – Lucky Mee (Bernadette King of BuildingBeautifulSouls.com) .

Learn more about the Chinese Zodiac Pig Traits & Personality.

Delve into the symbolism and meanings of the Color Purple, the Direction of North and Number 5 in Numerology.

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“Empire Garden”, Bayside, NY

Empire Garden is located at 61-17 Springfield Blvd., Bayside, NY 11364. From the exterior it looks like a typical Chinese take-out restaurant. On the inside it's just enough restaurant with ten tables for dine in, and authentic Chinese cuisine, if you know how to read the writing on the wall. Did we? Read on to find out if we did. The post “Empire Garden”, Bayside, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

Every door can be an opening in to a great adventure.  Never judge a Chinese restaurant by its door.  Like a book, you never know what know what could be written between the lines of a menu.  And sometimes the plot isn’t found in the pages within, but on the walls that surround us.  chinese-menu-empire-gardenThe walls are not an illusion.  Oh they contain art.  And in the case of Empire Garden their art was the Chinese characters that hid the authentic Chinese food from the Americanized Chinese food written on almost every page of their menu.

I was introduced to Empire Garden by my classmate, then co-worker and again classmate, and brother in the culinary arts, Mee Wai-Man.  This would be my introduction to some of the treasures to be found not far from our school, Queensborough Community College where we are enrolled in the TechWorks program, on Springfield Boulevard.

Empire-Garden Empire Garden is located at 61-17 Springfield Blvd., Bayside, NY 11364.  The exterior looks like it’s going to be a take-out Chinese restaurant.  The interior is spartan, and that’s being generous.  There are eight to ten tables.  A few big round ones for families, and the rest rectangular for parties or two to four.  This is not a Chinese restaurant that you would take a date to, but it’s a Chinese restaurant you would go to for some Authentic Chinese cuisine, if you know how to read the writing on the wall!

We didn’t come tonight for the decor, we came to eat.  Schoolwork makes one very hungry!  So, we ordered.  More correctly I should say Mee Wai-Man ordered.

牛肉面 Beef Stewed Noodle Soup – The broth and Udon noodles were excellent, with the broth carrying a nice spicy kick to it.  The stewed beef tasted like flanken, and had just as much flavor. 

椒盐排骨 Pork Chop with Salt & Pepper – Perhaps a little too salty for my taste.  The pork itself was excellent.  One thing to be said about this Chinese restaurant, the portions are ENORMOUS.  I had plenty leftover for lunch the next day!

beef-stewed-noodle-soupSalt-Pepper-Pork

雞大腿白米飯豬肉棕色雞蛋 Chicken Thigh with Rice and Minced Pork – Not to mention the Brown Egg.  I tasted this dish and though the chicken was very moist.  Mee Wai-Man was hoping that this was the Chicken Thigh over Rice dish that is his go to dish at this Chinese restaurant.  It wasn’t what he expected.  For that, he would have to wait a week, which will be a subsequent article. (Don’t you just love cliff hangers?  You do?  Well then, let me add this… Trust me.  You ain’t see nothing yet!)

chicken-thigh-rice-minced-pork-brown-egg

Would I recommend that The Chinese Quest come to Empire Garden?  No.

Would I eat there again or take out  from Empire Garden?  No.

Was the food good?  Yes!

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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“Yummy House China Bistro”, Tampa Florida

We were new in town... so, where is the BEST Chinese restaurant? This one could argue that the best Chinese restaurant in Tampa, Florida is Yummy House China Bistro! Click to find out why we thought it was the best! The post “Yummy House China Bistro”, Tampa Florida appeared first on The Chinese...

When one moves, or travels, to a new place, what’s the first thing one asks?  Well, if that one is like me, or Mee Tsu Yan (that’s another story), one asks “Where can one find the best Chinese restaurant?”.  So when this one and his Mini Mee planned a trip down to Florida, Tampa in particular, we did our research.  Choices seemed limited to either Chinese Buffet restaurants (you know how this one feels about Chinese buffets), or Chinese take-out restaurants.  Neither seemed appealing.  Thankfully we had a great reason to looks for a real, proper, and hopefully good Chinese restaurant because we were going to have dinner with my brother Craig.  There was only one obvious choice it seemed, Yummy House China Bistro.

Craig-Matthew-Lonnie

Brother / Uncle Craig, Matthew (Mini Mee), and myself, Lonnie (Mee Magnum)

Yummy House China Bistro is located at 2620 E Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33610.  Driving there, I thought for sure that Waze was leading me the wrong ways.  I just couldn’t imagine finding a nice Chinese restaurant in the area we were in.  But, apparently the fine people of Tampa know all about Yummy House.  By the time we left there were at least 20 people waiting outside for a table.

yummy-house-tampa-florida

The restaurant was gorgeous.  The interior well adorned with various different pieces of Asian art.  The waitstaff was knowledgeable and attentive.  You will find many Americanized dishes on the menu.  But what was served was fresh and full of flavor.  The portions were enormous, and the food very tasty!

wonton-soupWe started off with Wonton Soup.  You can’t ordered one bowl, so we all shared enough Wonton Soup that easily could have filled up four bowls.  The wonton wrappers were very thin and contained not pork, but Shrimp.  The vegetables were excellent and the broth just right.  Not salty at all.  This was a well received soup.  We were off to a great start!

Mini Mee ordered the Pot Stickers, which were the only dumpling-like dish on the menu.  He rated them one and a half thumbs up.  He doesn’t like to talk with his mouth full.  In addition he ordered Young Chow Fried Rice for all of us.  The rice was most delicious, the shrimp just right and a nice mix of the usual Young Chow ingredients as well.

pot-stickersyoung-chow-fried-rice

Apparently brothers share more than just the same Father, they share similar tastes as Craig and I both ordered Shrimp and Scallop dishes.

Craig had it prepared with Spicy XO Sauce.  Sautéed tender scallops, shrimp and snow peas served in their classic spicy XO sauce.  Craig pronounced this the BEST Chinese food he ever ate!  He can’t wait to go back with his family.  

Craig, for a special treat take your family there for Dim Sum (served during lunch hours) on the weekend.  Take LOTS of pictures and try many different dishes.

I had my Shrimp and Scallops with Black Bean Sauce.  Sautéed tender scallops, shrimp, asparagus and fresh mushroom in their original black bean sauce.  The shellfish were huge, tender, and delicious.  After tasting Craig’s dish, I definitely preferred what he ordered and would opt for that preparation instead.

shrimp-scallops-broccolishrimp-scallops-black-bean-sauce

We know now why this restaurant was filled and people were waiting to get inside.  I wasn’t expecting to find such delicious Chinese food so far south from New York!  The good news is that if you are in Florida and want to go to Yummy House, you don’t have to go to Tampa.  They have TWO locations in Tampa, and also in Sarasota, Gainsville, Altamonte Springs, Ocala, AND Orlando!  The Executive Chef at our Yummy House is Tommy Tang.  You know, if they put your name up in gold right on the front door, they don’t expect you to be leaving soon.  Since Tommy is going to be there, you can be sure that when you go, you’ll enjoy your meal as much as we did!

yummy-house-executive-chef-tommy-tang

Have you been to a different Yummy House in Florida?  Who was your Executive Chef?  Did you go for Dim Sum?  Chat us up with your comments below.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum (“Chop!  Chop!“)

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