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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
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Chinese Cuisine – What’s Worth a Try!

China is popular with its unusual dishes, which are able to frighten some people. Traditional Chinese cuisine includes cooked whole grains, which is made of corns, millet and Japanese sorghum. To read more about the main dishes of Chinese cuisine, click the link! The post Chinese Cuisine – What’s Worth a Try! appeared first on The Chinese...

Rice is probably the first thing people think about when they hear of Chinese food. It is truly the basis of a huge number of dishes here. The thing is that there are many more, which are definitely worth a try. Besides, China is popular with its unusual dishes, which are able to frighten some people. Traditional Chinese cuisine includes cooked whole grains, which is made of corns, millet and Japanese sorghum.

Fluffy-Rice-Porridge

A fluffy porridge is made of rice and a thin porridge, which Chinese have for breakfast. Many courses include soy oil, soy milk, and soy curds in China. There are thousands of recipes out of fresh, vinegar-cured and dried soy curds. They just love dark brown thin sauce and liquid salt pasta made of soybeans. Pulse crops are the main protein sources in food of Chinese people. Beans replace meat, consumption of which is very limited.

If to talk about meat, pork is widely used. As for beef and lamb, it is consumed not that often. Sauces are the main thing about Chinese food, it is all about exotic combinations of tastes and aromas. There are plenty of them in China and they make courses delicate and inimitable. There are not that many of unusual and non-traditional courses and they are made for the purpose to surprise the tourists.

Duck

The main national dishes of Chinese cuisine:

  • Peking Style Duck, which is Peking special. A slice of the duck is put onto a thin cake, covered with onions and dipped into soy sauce.
  • Fresh River Fish is quite of a separate course with different names, which is for sale in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.
  • Kong Bao Chicken a tender chicken meat with a crispy crust baked deviled and sauced.

Kung-Bao-Chicken

Dumpling-Soup

About the Author:

Melisa Marzett is a huge fan of Chinese food. She writes for Online Paper Editing Company getessayeditor.com but she takes every chance to write a piece when it comes to food especially Chinese so it was a pleasure for her to provide with an article on national Chinese dishes and hopefully not a less pleasure for its readers to get acquainted with it.

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

The post Chinese Cuisine – What’s Worth a Try! appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



[REVIEW] “Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao”, Flushing, NY

Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, a Shanghainese Chinese Restaurant located in Flushing, NY came touted to us as having THE BEST Soup Dumplings.  Even better than the Soup Dumplings at Joe's Shanghai.  That's quite a bold statement!  Were they?  You'll have to read on to find out if we agreed! The post [REVIEW] “Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao”, Flushing, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, in Flushing, NY came touted to us as having THE BEST Soup Dumplings anywhere.  Even better than the Soup Dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai!  That’s quite a bold statement!  Were they?  You’ll have to read on to find out if we agreed!  Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao is located at the Southern part of Main Street in Flushing.  There are quite a few great Chinese restaurants right in that two block radius.  Right next door is one of our favorite, Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet.  On the other side of the street a block north is Shanghai Cuisine 33; a block to the south is Lake Pavilion.  All of these restaurants are just off the Long Island Expressway.  Parking is a LOT easier to find than in downtown Flushing!

Old-Shanghai

Old Shanghai

Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao is located at 59-16 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355.  It’s sandwiched in between lots of other Chinese restaurants.  What you couldn’t tell from the outside was how modern and clean the interior is!  Even the bathroom!  Adorning one wall are some photographs of old Shanghai juxtaposed with pictures of new, modern, Shanghai.

 

Let’s break down the restaurant’s name:

Kung-Fu-Xiao-Long-Bao

  • Kung Fu (功夫) – Refers to any discipline or skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial arts.  Assuming this refers to the skill of cooking, my taste buds came alive!
  • Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) – Dumplings.  So, putting it all together, 
  • Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao – Skilled at making Dumplings.  BINGO! 

Let the feast begin, with, of course…

Soup Dumplings – The dumpling wrappers were thinner than any other soup dumpling wrapper we have ever had.  You would think that that would make them fall apart easily.  Surprisingly that wasn’t the case (no pun intended).  In fact, it accentuated the flavor of the soup and pork filling.  We also had an order of Soup Dumplings with Pork and Crab Meat.  I preferred the Soup Dumplings with just the pork filling.  Are they better than the Soup Dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai?  That is a personal choice.  I will say this, they are at least on par with Joe’s, and you might just prefer the thinner wrapper.

Soup-Dumplings-PorkSoup-Dumplings-Pork-Crab-Meat

We were ready then to try more dishes on the menu.  Our waiters were eager to make suggestions, and for the most part we accepted their recommendations.

Stewed-RibsStewed Ribs – Not the spareribs that you would expect at an Americanized Chinese restaurant, but these are served Wuxi style.  The vegetable in the dish was Spinach.  We’ve had Wuxi-style spare ribs before.  These didn’t match up to what we have had in the past.  The sauce was sort of sweet you like you find on Americanized BBQ Spareribs, but not exactly.  Mee V. Stoogas really thought I would love these.  In my opinion, this dish just missed.

Scallion Pancakes with Beef – For as far as the Stewed Ribs missed, this dish hit it out of the ballpark!  A Questie-worthy dish I proclaimed.  This was just fantastic inside and out.  The outer wrapper, the pancake, was crispy and delicious.  The inside was filled with beef, hoisin sauce, and scallions… almost like Peking Duck!   I would have this dish every time I went.  You must try it!

scallion-pancakesScallion-Pancakes-Inside-View

String Beans with Eggplant – It is well documented how much we love Chinese vegetables, and how much I don’t like eggplant (at least until I had them at a few of the last Chinese restaurants we had been to).  I guess you could call this a 50/50 dish in my eyes.  The eggplant lived up to my prior experience, and String Beans weren’t crispy nor crunchy (neither was the eggplant).  For one of the rare times on this Quest, I was disappointed in the vegetables.

Fish Filet with Soy Sauce – The fish was flounder, the soy sauce was very lightly applied.  This dish was served with Bok Choy.  Seeing this dish being served at practically every other table, we figured that this was a must try dish.  To me the fish was very dry and lacked much flavor at all, probably because of the limited amount of soy sauce it was cooked in.  The Bok Choy was ok.

String-Beans-Eggplantfish-filet-bok-choy

Being that only four of us made it this evening (we missed you Mee Gonzi Biao)  we had enough food to fill us.  We were very happy to see the bill was about $80.  Not bad for four hungry people. 

To sum up Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, I would definitely come back for the Soup Dumplings, and the Scallion Pancakes with Beef, and I might try another dish or two.

Our Rating:

Rating-Kung-Fu-Xiao-Long-Bao-Chinese-Restaurant

Where are the best Soup Dumplings you ever had?  Please post your comments below.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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Hot and Sour Soup! Some Health Benefits You Should Know About

You will find Hot and Sour Soup on the menu of most Chinese restaurants. What you may not know is all of the dietary and health benefits that this miraculous soup offers. From being low in calories to providing relief to common colds and in bone development and metabolism. There is one thing though that you must be aware of when drinking Hot and Sour Soup. Read on to find out what that is! The post Hot and Sour Soup! Some Health Benefits You Should Know About appeared first on The Chinese...

The hardest part about dining out is not being able to decide what to order. If you’re a health cautious person, you might be concerned about the nutritional values that different foods provide to the body. If you’re torn between the dilemma of ordering something tasty and ordering something nutritious, there’s a mid-way that serves both the purposes. Hot and Sour Soup is a popular, tasty, and healthy dish that can be found on many menus in Chinese restaurants.

Soups are usually a vital part of a Chinese meal having huge health benefits. Hot and Sour Soup, in particular, follows the balance of both yin and yang. Not only does it cater to your taste buds but also has high medicinal properties that help in maintaining good health and also speeds up recovery if you are sick.

It can be prepared with a variety of recipes originating from different Asian cultures and contains ingredients that make it both sour and spicy. Chinese hot and sour soup is considered to have certain properties that help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. The soup traditionally contains mushrooms, pork loin and tofu in chicken broth that’s seasoned with chill peppers, garlic, ginger, onions and vinegar, then thickened with beaten eggs and corn-starch.

hot-and-sour-soup-health-benefits

In This Article We Will Discuss the Different Health Benefits of Hot and Sour Soup

Low Calorie Content

A typical bowl of Hot and Sour Soup contains around 91 calories, which may vary according to the recipe (if you add or delete some ingredients). A usual serving of Hot and Sour Soup contains 6 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrates and almost 3 grams of fat, including only 0.5 grams of unhealthy saturated fat which is just about 4% of daily value for fat that is required by a human body.

Hence, you can say that hot and sour soup is relatively a low-fat appetizer option for those health conscious individuals who are always counting their calories.

Helps to decrease inflammatory response

Since a typical hot and sour soup recipe includes chicken broth or stock, it is known to prevent the movement of white blood cells or neutrophils that are responsible for inflammation; symptoms are very similar to that of a cold i.e. coughing and mucus build-up.

Researchers believe that Hot and Sour Soup and other similar soups might help to lower the effect of neutrophils in individuals.

Helps to clear up Sinuses

Congestion along with a headache and stuffy nose is a common symptom of a sinus cold, and consuming a lot of hot liquid and inhaling steam can help reduce sinus stuffiness.

A hot bowl of hot and sour soup solves both these problems.

Includes Peppers which act as an alternative for decongestants

Peppers have capsaicin in them which is a compound that binds to heat sensitive pain receptors in your skin, mouth and nose. This results in more production of mucus and thins out existing mucus that makes the process of elimination easier.

Since pepper is a natural decongestant, it might not entirely cure your cold, but it helps you to breathe easily and reduce the sinus pressure and the risk of infections that might develop in excess mucus.

Has Manganese and Other Micronutrients

The main micronutrient that is present in hot and sour soup is manganese which is required for bone development and metabolism.

This soup also includes many other essential nutrients like niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.

High in Sodium

The only drawback of consuming Hot and Sour Soup is that it is high on sodium as it contains around 837 milligrams of sodium which is a bit too high and can lead to high blood pressure.

If you choose to start your meal with Hot and Sour Soup then you need to make sure that you opt for low sodium options for the rest of the day. To do this you can opt for vegetables that are lightly fried. Also limit the amount of sauce that you consume.

Author Bio:

sharda-hospital

The article is presented by Sharda Hospital and rounds up the health benefits of the Chinese delicacy, Hot and Sour Soup. Sharda Hospital is one of the largest super specialty hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

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

The post Hot and Sour Soup! Some Health Benefits You Should Know About appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



Enjoy Grilled Chinese Food this Summer

Do you love to Grill? Do you love Chinese food? Of course you do! Tadej Kožar has a passion for Grilling, and shares his experience grilling Chinese food in this article that is chock full of Grilled Chinese Food recipes! Which are you going to try first? The post Enjoy Grilled Chinese Food this Summer appeared first on The Chinese...

It’s that time of the year again when you get to dust off your grill and get it ready for some barbecue. With the weather all warm and people in a cheerful spirit, it is the perfect time to get your grill from the store and prepare tasty meals that you will share with your loved ones.

The norm with outdoor grilling during the summer has always been to prepare some steaks, it could be beef or lamb, and vegetables for those who are vegan, but this is getting all too familiar and boring. To make your cooking memorable, you can decide to try different cuisines and grilled Chinese food are among the best that you can prepare.

This article will look at a few recipes from that part of the planet and why you should make the Chinese cuisine part of your diet. Let’s now get started on some of the Chinese meals and recipes that are great when prepared over a grill.

The best of grilled Chinese Food

The Chinese have a very rich cuisine. They insist on fresh and seasonal ingredients that are cooked lightly so as to retain the natural flavor and taste of food. Seasoning is a key part of the Chinese cuisine with locals using natural herbs and spices to season and add flavor to the meals that are being prepared.

The Chinese culinary style has spread far and wide with people from all over the world yearning to eat meals prepared the Chinese way. This has led to the emergence of Chinese restaurants and eateries in different parts of the world so as to make sure that people can easily access Chinese meals even without having to board a plane and head to China.

You, however, don’t have to head to a Chinese restaurant or make the bold step of heading to China to enjoy Chinese dishes. This is because you can prepare them at home and we will highlight several grilled Chinese food that you must try this summer.

Must-try Chinese Grilling Recipes

Here are a few Chinese grilled dishes that you must try this summer:

1.    Grilled chicken with bean sauce

Chicken is one of the amazing dishes that you can prepare over a grill. You can, however, give it a Chinese twist by preparing it with bean sauce. Grill it perfectly to develop a flavorful and crispy crust.

It is advisable to pick the meaty parts of the chicken when preparing this meal such as the breast. Don’t cook your chicken on high heat so as to ensure the chicken retains its tenderness and juicy nature as well as the smoky aroma from the burning coal.

2.    Grilled Chinese Potatoes

You can’t make your grilling all about steaks as there might be people in your party who don’t eat meat. To cater to these people, you can prepare grilled potatoes that have been spiced with chilli pepper and curcumin to give the potatoes added flavor.

Slice the potatoes finely and grill them on low heat until they get blistered and their texture becomes creamy. Such potatoes are quite tasty and if you get the preparation right, you might even have the meat enthusiast scrambling for the grilled potatoes.

3.    Delicious grilled eggplant served with Yu Xiang sauce

This is another amazing meal of the Chinese cookbook. Most people hardly consider eggplant as a main dish, but when you prepare it the Chinese way, you will be able to enjoy a tasty vegetarian dish.

Cooking eggplant is not that hard and you will be able to cook a crispy and tasty dish that you will share with your family and friends.

4.    Xinjiang lamb skewers

Lamb is one of the meals that don’t miss in a barbeque and the Chinese have an amazing way of preparing lamb skewers. The Chinese are big on herbs and spices and the Xinjiang lamb skewers are prepared with cumin and chili for seasoning.

This results in tender and flavorful skewers that are a delight to have. Enjoy them with a cold beer as you spend time and chat with your friends.

5.    Grilled chicken salad

This is another amazing dish from the Chinese cookbook that you will enjoy especially if you are a health freak. To prepare the chicken salad, you will need the following ingredients:

– 1 pound of boneless chicken. You should remove the skin from the chicken as well.

– Vegetable oil

– Ginger-Miso spice paste

– 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice

– 2 scallions

– 4 cups of shredded coleslaw mix

–  Snow peas

You will first of all have to prepare the grilled chicken that you will mix with the other ingredients to make the salad. Make deep slashes on the boneless chicken so as to make grilling it easy.

In a separate bowl, combine the spice paste with the vegetable oil and apply the mixture to the chicken. Set the grill to high and cook the chicken for about 7 minutes until it is done. Let the chicken cool and then slice it into thin strips.

Next, you will have to get a saucepan, add some salt water and bring it to boil. Add the snow peas for about a minute and then drain the water. Add the remaining paste to the snow peas as well as the remaining vegetable oil.

Add the coleslaw, scallions, and the grilled chicken into the mixture. Stir gently to get the ingredients to mix properly. Season with salt and enjoy a lovely Chinese dish that is not only tasty but healthy as well.

Conclusion

Grilled dishes are great if you are planning on hosting several people over. This is because grilling is easy and you will be able to prepare the meals in a short period of time.

Most people usually prepare their grilled dishes the conventional way but if you want to really enjoy your meals, then you should think about preparing grilled Chinese food.

Author Bio:

Tadej-KozarDo you love to grill? If you do, then you check out my website, “Grill Idea“. I have a passion for grilling and I know how important it is to get the right grill. There are many different kinds of grills these days and I will help you to find the one that will suit your cooking needs and wishes.

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

The post Enjoy Grilled Chinese Food this Summer appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



Dumplings – Global Comfort Food

The Dumpling King fully endorses this article on Dumplings. We present you a history of Dumplings, and why Dumplings are truly a Global Comfort Food. Thanks to our guest author, Dale Phillips, we hope you'll enjoy this article as much as we did. Perhaps one day, McDonald's will add Dumplings to their menu. Oh gosh, we hope NOT! :) But, should they? Please post your comments below! The post Dumplings – Global Comfort Food appeared first on The Chinese...

Name a country, and no question they will have their own version of dumplings, and certainly more than one. They are traditional foods for millions, eaten during religious and festive holidays, enjoyed with meats, covered with gravy, served as desserts or simply alone as a light meal. They can be dipped, stuffed, boiled, fried, or steamed.
summer-dumpling-plate

History of Dumplings

Dumplings are an ancient food. Historians believe that cavemen actually prepared some version. (Perhaps ground up dinosaur formed into a ball and dropped into boiling water, once they figured out how to create fire.) Filled dumplings probably developed centuries later, known as iiaozi, most likely about 2,000 years ago. Credit for their creation is given to a man named Zhang Zhongjian, a renowned doctor of herbal medicine during the Han Dynasty. Many poor people in his hometown suffered from the cold temperatures and had frost bitten ears. He made up big vats of boiled vegetable soup, added herbs, then dropped in dumplings and fed the concoction to the populace. (Surely this was the forerunner to chicken soup for colds and flu.) The dumplings were made from thin wheat sheets and chopped vegetables. The herbal soup was filling, soothing and helped unthaw the locals. They actually resembled the same shape and size you see today in Chinese restaurants.

A Global Phenomenon

Although they had been eaten for centuries in China, during the 13th century Turkish traders were introduced to manti dumplings in Mongolia. They resembled the traditional Chinese, a thin dough filled with meats and veggies then steamed, often served with garlic and yogurt, pickled cabbage or cucumber. The Turks took them back to the Middle East and from there they made their way to Western Europe, where each country created its own version. Italians first introduced the concept of dumplings with their light, potato-based gnocchi sometime in the 15th century. Sadly for explorer Marco Polo, who lived several hundred years earlier, he missed out on this glorious Italian specialty and had to limit his dumpling consumption to trips to China. (A long way to go for take-out). Eventually tortellini and ravioli pasta were created, similar to the Chinese wonton.

India has many versions of dumplings, which vary by region and by traditional holidays and religious feasts. Africa as well features a multitude of types and cooking methods, from country to country. Spanish empanadas are a favorite in many South American countries, including Mexico and the Caribbean. They may be fried or steamed, with sweet or savory fillings. English and Irish usually drop them into stews. In Czech and other Slavic countries, bread dumplings are the most popular, which are made from a yeast dough, formed into one large dumpling resembling a football, and boiled until done. Light and delicious, they are served with gravy or sauerkraut. Fruit dumplings, a favorite dessert or light meal, are prepared by wrapping dough around a plum or apricot and boiling until done, then topped with melted butter, cinnamon, sugar and served hot.

Meanwhile, back in the United States

For the Colonists, dumplings in some form were an easy way to stretch soups and stews. And there is some evidence that even the Native American Indians had some form prior to the Colonial settlements, probably made with corn meal. They could take just about any meat or vegetable, chop it up, wrap it in dough or some old bread and drop it into the boiling pot over the hearth. As thousands of ethnic immigrants poured into New York City, they brought their own traditional recipes and versions with them, turning the country’s melting pot into just that–filled with dumplings. In the Midwest and the South, where chickens were plentiful and Sunday dinner was a tradition, chicken and dumplings took center stage after a morning in church. This popular dish is still embraced and enjoyed by millions and is as traditional as apple pie, or make that apple dumplings. It is highly likely that foodie President Thomas Jefferson enjoyed Sunday dinners of chicken and dumplings at the White House as well as his home, Monticello.

Many restaurants and towns across the country celebrate Dumpling Week, and entire restaurants feature them in their name. (The Dumpling House is a popular eatery in Chicago’s suburbs where a large population of Slovak and German descendants reside).

Dumplings, THE global comfort food

If there is one common food that unites the entire world, it’s got to be dumplings. So did the cavemen start the trend? Or was it the Chinese? You decide. The Japanese said it best: “Dumplings are better than flowers.”

Dumpling-Galaxy-Soup-Pork-Dumplingdumplings-trio-noodle-soupdumplings

Author Bio:

Dale-PhillipLife without dumplings is unimaginable for author Dale Phillip. Growing up in Chicago, they were a weekly favorite at her family’s dinner table. Bread dumplings smothered in sauerkraut or gravy were served along with meat or poultry, the liver variety graced homemade soups, and plum dumplings were a Sunday favorite. Residing now in Southern California, they are sadly scarce except at Asian restaurants, but they still remain at the top of her foodie hit parade, even though nobody can make them as well as her mother did. Dale invites you to visit her many articles on the history of Food and Drink. Her blog site is: http://myfriendlyu.blogspot.com/

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.

Perhaps one day, McDonald’s will add Dumplings to their menu.  Should they?  Please post your thoughts below in the Comments box at the bottom of the page.

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[REVIEW] “Spicy Home Tasty”, Commack, NY

Spicy Home Tasty is a new Szechuan style Chinese restaurant that recently opened in Commack, NY. We welcome the influx of authentic Chinese cuisine to Long Island. However we found this restaurant lacking in two ways. You won't believe the second! The post [REVIEW] “Spicy Home Tasty”, Commack, NY appeared first on The Chinese...

WARNING:  The following Review is intended for Mature Audiences only.

DISCLAIMER:

The views of The Chinese Quest are theirs and theirs only, and are based on their Mission of “finding the best Chinese restaurant (read that to be “Authentic Chinese food”) on Long Island and New York City”. 

We respect the views of all others.  That doesn’t make anyone else’s views right and ours wrong.  Or vice versa for that matter. 

Your mileage will vary depending on the type of Chinese food you seek.  Our reviews will hopefully resonate well with those who appreciate authentic Chinese cuisine.

Spicy Home Tasty

Our latest Quest took us once again out to Suffolk County in search of authentic Chinese cuisine.  Having heard great things about the recently opened Spicy Home Tasty in Commack, NY, our taste buds yearned to try out the best dishes that offered.  Spicy Home Tasty is located at 1087 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY 11725.

spicy-home-tasty-sign

If someone could please translate the Chinese for us, it would be interesting to know what the name of this Chinese restaurant translates in to. Please post the translation in the Comments at the bottom of the page.

The exterior looked stunning, the interior even more so.  spicy-home-tasty-interiorImpressed by the number of tables that were occupied on a Tuesday evening (the restaurant is on the small side, perhaps about ten tables in all), we managed to score a nice small table in one of the corners.  An intimate gathering it would be.  And the size of the table ensured that we wouldn’t be served all our dishes at once.  There was comfortably enough room for one dish, two would have been a stretch.

English was hit and miss with the waitstaff.  One waitress seemed to speak like a native.  The others like natives too, but from China.  And this, we felt was a good omen.

After an Abbott and Costello routine trying to order the wine.  Unfortunately there was just no way for me to capture the dialogue verbatim, but it went something like this:

Mee:  I’d like a glass of white wine, what do you have?

Server:  We have Pinot Noir (sounded like it could have been Pinot Grigio), a Merlot, and some other choices

Mee:  Pinot Grigio?

Server:  No.  All the wine is served by the bottle.

Other Mee:  What reds do you have?

Server:  Plum Wine, Riesling…

Mee:  You have Riesling?

Server:  Yes

Mee:  Ok, I’ll have a glass of that.

Other Mee:  Merlot?

Server:  Yes, by the bottle.

Other Mee:  I’ll try the Plum Wine

They also serve Tsingtao Beer.

Having sorted all that out, we turned our attention to the menu.  There appeared some promise here… but, also some disappointment.  We didn’t expect to see General Tso’s Chicken on the menu, as well as some other very distinctly Americanized Chinese Dishes.  But, we persisted onwards.

Mee V. Stoogas and I arrived first.  And we were hungry!  So we ordered an appetizer or Fried Pork Dumplings.  By the time that they arrived, so did everyone else.  The consensus was that they were very doughy, and the pork very bland.  That would be a recurring theme this evening.

The only dish that looked like our “standard” order of spareribs on the menu was Salt and Pepper Pork Rib.  To our waitresses credit, she gently guided us off that dish and suggested we have Salt and Pepper Octopus instead.  We have had a few seafood dishes served like this, most notably calamari.  This dish had some flavor with different peppers, but there was a lot of the breading that made it difficult to distinguish the Octopus.  I certainly didn’t see any tentacles or suction cups, and the details are in the tentacles!  In addition, there were onions and crystal, or cellophane noodles, in the dish.

fried-pork-dumplingssalt-pepper-octopus

On all of our Quests we had never had a Moo Shu dish, so tonight we tried their Moo Shu Chicken.  To be honest (ok, you’re right, Imoo-shu-chicken‘m always honest and straight up with you), this dish tasted like anything that you would get at any Chinese Take-out restaurant.  And the coup de grace was that it was served with only four pancakes.  Now, that might normally be the number that they generally serve the dish with.  But there were five of us (you know, “FIVE Jewish Guys on a Quest to…”) and not four.  Rather than have us fight over the four, they should have offered us one more pancake, even if it meant us paying extra for it.  We would have!

The waitstaff wasn’t very attentive, and we had to wait a long time between each course in order for us just to order another dish.  

By this time, we were getting an idea already of what was on the menu (read in to that as you so desire).  We planned on ordering two more dishes.  Again, we wanted to try something that we had never had before, and this dish looked awesome when it was served to the table near us, a Crispy Rice Style dish.  crispy-rice-style-chicken-shrimp-beefWe couldn’t decide on Chicken, Shrimp, or Beef, so we were lucky that we didn’t have to choose.  They offered Crispy Rice Style Combination.  You guessed it, it included chicken, shrimp and beef, which is plated at the table.  A large dish of what can best be described as rice crispy crackers, upon with is poured a sizzling concoction of the aforementioned chicken, shrimp, and beef along with sweet and sour sauce with bamboo shoots and wood ear mushrooms.  When it’s poured over the rice, it makes the rice go snap, crackle, and pop.  Really!  However, I had some serious trouble seeing any beef in the dish.  I had to ask the others, and even bring over the waitress, thinking that they left the beef out of the dish.  I asked, “Where’s the beef?”.  When pointed out which pieces were beef, I still insisted that they looked like chicken!  Beef shouldn’t be the shade of chicken.  I’m just sayin’!  This was yet another bland and tasteless dish.

By this time, we were done.  We planned to try one of the Dry Pot or Authentic Noodles dishes.  But, we opted to straight for Carvel instead.  Don’t pass the Kitchen.  Do not collect another dish.  You know something’s not Kosher when we go for Carvel on a night that’s not a Wednesday.  It meant that we were willing to pay, heaven forbid us, FULL price for Carvel!

In summary, “Spicy Home Tasty” breaks down like this to me.  Spicy?  Not so much.  Tasty?  Kind of bland.  Home?  I should have stayed there.

We submitted our ratings at Carvel, and I have summarized them below.

The Bottom Line

Rating-Spicy-Home-Tasty-Chinese-Restaurant

Oh, one more thing worth mentioning.  If you’re a man, I couldn’t validate this for both sexes, and you’re over say 5’8″, don’t plan on going #2 unless you’re a contortionist.  I’m 6’2″.  I kinda sorta had to go.  I attacked the bowl from a few different angles.  There was just no way I could manage it.  The wall was just too darned close to the front of the seat!!  Thankfully Carvel wasn’t that far away, and home not all that much further.

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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The post [REVIEW] “Spicy Home Tasty”, Commack, NY appeared first on The Chinese Quest.



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