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Blog Description:

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!
Blog Added: December 03, 2014 09:14:44 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 1,469
Blog Rating: 3.06
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[REVIEW] “Zou Ji” in Syosset, NY

"Zou Ji", a Chinese restaurant, opened up three weeks ago in Syosset, New York.  Zou Ji features Northeast Chinese Home Style, or Dongbei, cuisine. This evening we had some dishes that we had never eaten before on our Quest, and that was only half the surprises that were in store for us! The post [REVIEW] “Zou Ji” in Syosset, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

Zou Ji” opened up three weeks ago in Syosset, New York.  The Chinese Quest, always vigilant on their quest and search for authentic Chinese food on Long Island, picked up on their scent and got there as soon as we could get at least four of us together.  Zou Ji features Dongbei cuisine, which comes from Northeastern China.   Northeastern Chinese cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine in Northeast China. While many dishes originated from Manchu cuisine, it is also heavily influenced by the cuisines of Beijing and Shandong Province, and even Russian cuisine.  A strong flavor is very important for Northerners, who achieve this with salt and strong seasonings, compared with the South where chilies and pickles are more used, or dishes are lighter in flavor. Generally, northern dishes are oilier and richer in meat, and make liberal use of garlic and scallions.

Zou Ji is located at 19 Ira Road, Syosset, NY 11791

The strong flavors were very prominent in almost every dish that we had.  And we had some dishes this evening that we never had before.  So exciting!

Zou Ji MenuZou Ji is owned by Helen, who named the restaurant after her daughter.  Her father, Pan Chai (apologies if I have misspelled his name) was a famous Chef in China.  Managing the restaurant is Joe Hawkins.  You’re not going to get much more Irish than Joe.  And it was the first time we ever saw an Irishman managing a Chinese restaurant.  But he did a fine job, displaying his knowledge of Dongbei Cuisine and making sure that we truly enjoyed our dining experience.  Joe was well qualified as he spent many years in China.  He and Helen have known each other for about 14 years.

Our main waitress this evening was Grace, and her elegance was only exceeded by her laugh.  Or, she was just laughing at all of our jokes and shenanigans (I had to sneak an Irish reference in, didn’t I?) out of courtesy 🙂

Enough with the background, I’m sure you’re looking forward to reading, and seeing, the food that we ate this evening.  So, Joe and Helen, bring us your best!

Lamb Dumpling and Chicken Dumplings 

DumplingsWhile we waited for Mee Yong Joo to arrive, the three of us (myself, and Mee Tsu Yan and Mee V. StoogasMee Gonzi Biao was busy implementing something big that probably saved the world or cured the common cold…. the spices in the dishes we ate could have cured a cold for sure!) placed orders for these two different type of dumplings.  In my very humble opinion, the Lamb Dumplings may just have been THE best dumplings I ever had in my life.  Though they weren’t soup dumplings, they did have a lot of flavor and juices packed in to those dumplings!!  The Chicken Dumplings were ok.  There were about 10 dumplings in each serving.  Many many more that you usually get in one order.  The Dumplings were served at the same time that Mee Yong Joo arrived.  He has impeccable timing!

We were ready now to move on to some main dishes.  The first to be served was…

Stir Fried String Beans – As good as the Lamb Dumplings were, these String Beans were that good and better!  Immediately we had two Questie-worthy dishes served to us!  The String Beans were incredibly flavorful and seasoned to perfection with a nice spicy kick!  Well done!!

Stewed Mixed Vegetables and Pork – Of all the great dishes that we had, I would have to say this was my least favorite.  In the stew were potatoes, string beans, cellophane noodles, and some very very fatty pork.  I felt that this dish didn’t have a very strong presence.

Stir-Fried-String-BeansStewed-Mixed-Vegetables-Pork

Having seen a dish being served on the table behind us, Mee V. Stoogas said, “We have to try that!”  What was that?

Grilled Fish with Vegetables

Grilled-Fish-Vegetables

The dish comes out in a large metal serving tray and places on top of a portable stove.  The fish, Squirrelfish, was already cooked, nice and crispy.  The vegetables raw included Mushrooms (the large “stalks” in each corner of the tray), mushrooms, various greens, peppers, and more ingredients that I can recall all in the broth.   The dish is left to cook until it starts to look like this:

Everything is then mixed together and you end up with a most delicious main dish.  Beware the bones of the Squirrelfish.  They are very long and you do not want to end up ingesting one!

Joe, the ever vigilant Manager observed how much we enjoyed authentic Chinese cuisine, so he really wanted to show off some of their best dishes.  He treated us to the following:

A Tofu dish that looks just like pasta.  And it did!  I’m not the right person to judge this dish, since I’m not a tofu fan.  I will say though that the consistency of these “noodles” reminded me a lot of conch.  VERY chewy!  

The other dish was called “Huo Shao” in Chinese.  These are on the menu as House Beef Pancakes.  The beef is on the inside, obviously, the outside is a kind of thick, crisp, pastry(?).  I liked this dish!

Tofu-Hot-Peppers-CilantroHouse-Beef-Pancakes

We at a LOT of food for just the four of us.  We like to guess what the bill will be before we receive it.  None of us were even close!  $74 including tax!  That was some real good eats for not a lot of money.

Our Rating:

Rating-Zou-Ji-Chinese-Restaurant

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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The post [REVIEW] “Zou Ji” in Syosset, NY appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



Mini Mee, Little Mee, Little Dumpling Chinese Restaurant

What would Father's Day have been without a trip to "Little Dumpling" in Little Neck?  My little Dumpling, err, my little Mee, I mean, Mini Mee made sure that we capped off a spectacular Father's Day with some Chinese food of course! The post Mini Mee, Little Mee, Little Dumpling Chinese Restaurant appeared first on The Chinese...

What would Father’s Day have been without a trip to Little Dumpling in Little Neck?  My little Dumpling, err, my little Mee, I mean, Mini Mee made sure that we capped off a spectacular Father’s Day with some Chinese food of course!  Soup Dumplings, for sure.  But what other surprises might there be in store for us on the menu?

For those of you unfamiliar with Little Dumpling, it’s located at 252-20 Northern Boulevard Little Neck, NY 11362.  We formally reviewed Little Dumpling a few years ago, and I’d say what we wrote then is still valid today.  And since that time, I noticed that they opened up a second location in Bayside, NY.  I spied it when I started taking computer programming classes at Queensborough Community College.  One night I will have to try it out before class.

little-dumpling-chinese-restaurant-little-neck-ny

When we walked in, at around 4:30pm, the restaurant was already packed.  Who knew that Little Dumpling would be such a hot spot for Father’s Day?  Or is it just a hot spot every day?  The Soup Dumplings are always hot.  So, why not?  We had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Of course we immediately placed an order for Soup Dumplings, but as they were packed and I assume wanted to turn over the tables as quickly as possible, we were pressed to place our entire order.  So, let’s break the meal down:

Soup Dumplings – These were extraordinarily good.  Bonus points because the dumpling didn’t break apart when removing it from the Steamer basket in to the Chinese spoons for consumption.  As if you needed reminding, or a warning, the contents ARE hot!  And delicious!

Pan Fried Pork Dumplings – I don’t know why I assumed that these were going to be Char Siu Bao (Roast Pork Buns)?  The name didn’t sound like them… and nor did they look like them when they were served!  LOL… and oh my gosh, did they taste oh so so so good!  I loved this dish!  They were fried to perfection.  A little crispy on the bottom, and delicious (dare I almost say “delucious?  You know they’re good when I have to start making up words to describe something).

Soup-Dumplings-Fathers-Daypan-fried-pork-buns

Last, but not least (though surprising to the waiter that that was all we wanted to eat… but, we were full and sated by the time we did finish all three dishes)…

Shanghai Spring Vegetable Rolls 

shanghai-vegetable-spring-rolls

These were ok… UNTIL you dipped them in the sauce, and then kung—-POW!  Dynamite!  Don’t leave this little dish off your order, and dip to your hearts content in the hot sauce (chili peppers?).

I feel like it had been a long while since I had eaten IN a Chinese restaurant, and as I mentioned, it was a perfect ending to a perfect Father’s Day with my Mini Mee.

It was also the perfect appetizer to whet my appetite for another Chinese Quest!  Did someone mention a Chinese Quest?  Well, it just so happens, that we will be going on one in the very near future!

Everyone has an opinion on who makes the BEST Soup Dumplings.  Please post in the comments below where YOU think the best Soup Dumplings can be found.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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The post Mini Mee, Little Mee, Little Dumpling Chinese Restaurant appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



“Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House”, Flushing, NY

The long line of hungry people waiting to eat at "Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House" should give you an indication of not only how popular this Chinese restaurant is, but possibly how good it is too. If you want to see what all the buzz is about, I suggest you go to 135-33 40th Street, Flushing, NY 11354 - Now if only we knew what that dessert soup was! The post “Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House”, Flushing, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

Let me come to tell you, that the world waits in wonder for a table at Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House in Flushing, NY.  Every time I have driven by, I was astounded to find hordes of people waiting for their turn to dine in this apparently, not too secret, Garden.  Long a destination in The Chinese Quest’s Bucket List, we have never managed to make it there.  But, I will call them to order and insist that we go in force and wait on line like everyone else.

Shanghai-You-Garden-Dumpling-House-Flushing-NY

Yuyuan Garden (as is the name of the restaurant in Chinese) is an extensive Chinese garden located  beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai, China.  However the restaurant itself, Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House, is located at 135-33 40th Road, Flushing, NY 11354.  It’s literally around the corner from both the Flushing Stations of the Long Island Rail Road and the subway (Main Street Station).  Good luck trying to find parking. I would recommend finding a spot if you can in the municipal lot at the corner of Prince Street between 38th and 39th Avenues.

This past evening I went with my good friend Mee Ette Apparently, we learned when we were given a beeper that it is quicker for a party of two to be granted entry in to the Inner Sanctum than for larger parties.  But, no matter the wait, I say it’s alright.  For the pager we were told works in a one block radius.  So rather than wait in a line, one is free to explore the neighborhood until you are beckoned.  We only had to wait 20 minutes for our beeper to buzz. 

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is the swarm of activity.  Service staff buzzing all around.  The buzzing of the beepers still going off as you’re led to your table, which is nearly drowned out the din of conversation and food consumption.  I hesitate to call the staff waiters, for the moment we sat down any and all Staff stopped by impatiently asking if we were ready to order.  And when you finally were ready, you pretty much had to give them your entire order.  No trying two dishes… enjoying those, and then selecting more if you like.  No, there’s a line waiting out the door, so they have to move plates!

A very nice surprise, which I’m sorry if I am ruining it for you — but, it’s something to look forward to no matter, and should be taken in to consideration when you place your order, is that every table gets a FREE order of Soup Dumplings!  Now usually when someone tells me something is free, I always say “I’ll take two!”.  But, we weren’t given that chance.  In fact we weren’t even told (at least by the Wait Staff) that the dinner came with free dumplings.  In fact there’s one more surprise coming at the end of the meal which I won’t ruin for you (at least not here…. you’ll have to read on!).

Now, on to the food and away we go!

Soup Dumplings – I did mention that they were free, didn’t I?  And if you forget that they’re free, it states so on the bill!  Well, just because they were free didn’t mean that they weren’t good.  Quite the opposite indeed.  The Soup Dumplings could stand up to any Soup Dumplings I’ve ever had.  Caution:  Contents ARE hot!

Shanghai Shao Mai – At first I didn’t know what to make of these.  But after the second I bite, they won me over.  Inside these dumplings were, to the best of my knowledge, sticky rice.  With one pea on top (perhaps there’s some significance to the pea that someone can enlighten me on).  Four in this serving (what we will do when the Five Mee’s come is anyone’s guess).

Soup-Dumplings-Shanghai-You-GardenShanghai-Shao-Mai

Scallion Pancakes with Sliced Beef – Questie Alert!  I thought the Scallion Pancakes that we had at Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao were the best I ever ate.  Slide those down the ratings and make room for the new best Scallion Pancakes with Sliced Beef!  YUM!  A Questie-worthy dish.   Need I say more?

Pork Moon Cake – This is an item on the Breakfast Menu.  They look like roast pork buns (Char Siu Bao) on the menu.  But, they aren’t.  Mee Ette always wanted to try this dish.  So we ordered it.  We didn’t even manage to finish one each.  Save this dish for breakfast, but don’t order it for dinner.  The Wait Staff refused for us not to take the remaining two home.  I gave them to Mee Ette.  Hey, it WAS her idea to order them.   She “threatened” to discard them the first chance she had, but I wouldn’t let her.  Until we got momentarily separated on the way to the Asian Supermarket to browse when I noticed that they were gone.  I don’t think I believe her when she innocently said that they were knocked out of her hand.  Hmm.  What do you think really happened to them?

Scallion-Pancakes-Sliced-BeefPork-Moon-Cake

The Final Secret

Dessert-SoupCourtesy of Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House we were served a dessert soup.  It is served warm.  They said it tasted like (I couldn’t hear what he said because of the aforementioned din in the restaurant).  Can someone please identify this Desert Soup for me? 

The Bottom Line:

Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House is definitely Quest-worthy.  When will we go?  Well, there’s at least one secret I can keep!

By the way, the cost for this extravaganza (which included one can of Coke), with tax came to only $20.26 – Need I say any more?

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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The post “Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House”, Flushing, NY appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



A Chinese Cookbook Offer (You Can’t Refuse!)

The anticipated release of Jenny Jade's first Chinese cookbook, "Chinese Food at Home" has occurred! Currently #1 in Best New Release, and available only in Kindle format for now, you can order on Amazon.com - Read this article and get a special "The Chinese Quest introductory discount!!" The post A Chinese Cookbook Offer (You Can’t Refuse!) appeared first on The Chinese...

The Chinese Quest was very honored to have been selected by Jenny Jade to try out some of the recipes she included in her cookbook, and allowed us a sneak peak at some of the recipes in her cookbook, “Chinese Food at Home” and to share then with our followers.  As a special thanks, she included a section at the end of her cookbook about The Chinese Quest allowing us to express why we love authentic Chinese food!

 

Her cookbook is going to be a living book in that she’s going to keep adding sections and recipes to it.  If you buy it once, you’ll get all the updates for free.

 

Now the offer… by being a loyal Chinese Quest follower, we are going to give you a unique, limited time offer to buy the book for only 99 cents ($0.99).  This offer will expire in a week.  After that if you want the book you’ll have to pay the full retail price.

 

What’s the catch?  Well, actually, there are two:

 

  1. We ask that you post a review and comments (and requests for future recipes) in the Comment Section that follows this article.
  2. Post an honest review on Amazon – this will help Jenny make future updates to her cookbook… and perhaps encourage her to write a second one!

After just two days, the cookbook has become the #1 New Release in Chinese Cooking!

Chinese-Food-At-Home-Cookbook-Offer

Don’t delay, order today!  A link, yes, a link would help wouldn’t it?   Click here to get “Chinese Food at Home”.

Also, for signing up with your email, you will get access to some extra “secret recipes” as a bonus. We will send you the bonus recipes in the next week. They already have over five and will work on more in the future.  To get those added bonuses, click here.

Please share the book and the food you make. Enjoy authentic Sichuan food at home!

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

Please share this article if you enjoyed it! click-to-share

The post A Chinese Cookbook Offer (You Can’t Refuse!) appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



Recipe: Fried Eggs with Tomatoes

Another bonus recipe from Jenny Jade's soon-to-be-released cookbook "Chinese Food at Home", Fried Eggs and Tomatoes. Learn to make this great authentic Sichuan dish with step by step directions and video! Information on obtaining a discounted copy of jenny's cookbook can be found in this article! The post Recipe: Fried Eggs with Tomatoes appeared first on The Chinese...

The Chinese Quest is excited to help spread the word about a new cookbook that is about to be published featuring Authentic Sichuan Recipes titled “Chinese Food at Home” by Jenny Jade.  As promised, here is your first bonus.  Jenny shares with us her recipe for Chinese Dumplings.  Please share this article, and Subscribe to The Chinese Quest because there are even more bonuses coming!

Fried Eggs with Tomatoes (番茄炒蛋)

Fried-Eggs-Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ginger (optional)

Directions

  1. Beat eggs
  2. Chop up tomatoes and green onions
  3. Heat oil in pan
  4. Pour eggs into the pan and cook slightly
  5. Add tomatoes and cook while stirring, until soft
  6. Mix in salt and green onion

Serve and enjoy!

 

Demonstrated by Beni Thomas (assisted by his Mother-in-Law):

Take a short tour of our tiny apartment’s kitchen and then learn to make this great authentic Sichuan dish.

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.

Please help spread the word about the cookbook by sharing this post! click-to-share

The post Recipe: Fried Eggs with Tomatoes appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



Chinese Food at Home: Chinese Dumplings Recipe

Jenny Jade, author of the soon to be released cookbook "Chinese Food at Home", featuring authentic Sichuan Cuisine recipes, shares with The Chinese Quest one of her recipes. In this sneak preview, please enjoy her recipe for Chinese Dumplings (饺子)! Read the article for special discount codes! The post Chinese Food at Home: Chinese Dumplings Recipe appeared first on The Chinese...

The Chinese Quest is excited to help spread the word about a new cookbook that is about to be published featuring Authentic Sichuan Recipes titled “Chinese Food at Home” by Jenny Jade.  As promised, here is your first bonus.  Jenny shares with us her recipe for Chinese Dumplings.  Please share this article, and Subscribe to The Chinese Quest because there are still more bonuses coming!

Chinese Dumplings (饺子)

dumplings-jenny-jade-2dumplings-jenny-jade-1

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

Wrappers:

  • 3 cups flour 1 1/2 cups water

Filling:

  • 1.2 lb minced pork or beef 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tsp sesame oil (optional) 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 0.5 lb finely shredded cabbage or Chinese chives (or any vegetable you want)

Directions

  1. Start making the wrappers. Add the water to the flour and mix. Don’t add more water than necessary. It shouldn’t be too sticky or dry, like bread dough. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Knead the dough again until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 40-50 pieces. Prepare rolling surface with some loose flour. Roll each piece into a circle about 3-inches in diameter.dumpling-wrappers-jenny-jade
  3. Prepare the filling. Add salt and minced ginger to the meat and mix. Add sesame oil and small pieces cabbages or minced vegetables and mix well.
  4. Place a small portion (about 1 tbsp) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with a little water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal where it is wet with water. Create tiny pleats in the dumpling by pinching it at the edges and along the seam.
  5. Continue filling each wrapper with the rest of the dumpling filling.
  6. To cook: Put the dumplings in boiling water. Stir the dumplings so they don’t stick together. Once dumplings rise to the surface, wait for a few more minutes. They should look plump. Take the dumplings from the water and enjoy with soy sauce or other Chinese sauce.

dumpling-recipe-Jenny-Jade

Optional Cooking Methods: you can also try frying, steaming or baking the dumplings.

Demonstrated by Beni Thomas:

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.

Please help spread the word about the cookbook by sharing this post! click-to-share

The post Chinese Food at Home: Chinese Dumplings Recipe appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



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