WARNING: The following Review is intended for Mature Audiences only.
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.
The exterior looked stunning, the interior even more so. Impressed 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:
We did want to try one of the Dry Pot dishes. Have you dined there? Have you tried one of those dishes? We’d be interested in knowing if they were better than what we had.
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?
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.
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, I‘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. We 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
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!”)