Three weeks from today is Christmas Day. We know WHAT you will be eating. But, do you know WHERE you will be eating? Jews around the world are on a Quest to find a Chinese restaurant to enjoy their “Christmas dinner”. This is the first of a three-part series to help you find the BEST Chinese restaurant to dine at this Christmas (or any time of the year).
Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we will break the series down regionally. Starting from the east, this article will highlight the best Chinese restaurants that we have found in Suffolk County. Next week we will feature the best Chinese restaurants in Nassau County. And finally the week before Christmas we will venture to the westernmost regions of our Quest, and highlight the best Chinese restaurants that we have found so far in New York City (primarily in Queens, and especially in Flushing).
The Best Chinese Restaurants in Suffolk County:
(To read our complete reviews, please click on the the Chinese Restaurant name)
Red Tiger Dumpling House, Stony Brook, NY – We were splendidly waited upon by Robin, who shared with us a history of the restaurant, and the food, which was from the Shandong Province of China. This would be a new experience for us. Shandong cuisine, we learned, is one of the eight culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine and is also ranked among the Four Great Traditions (四大菜系). We enjoyed a meal of Soup Dumplings (called Soup Buns on the menu), Three Vegetables with Garlic Sauce, Cumin Chicken, Shredded Beef with Hot Green Pepper, and Big Meatballs with Brown Sauce (Lion’s Head). As you can see the dishes were on the spicy side, yet extremely delicious!
Yao’s Diner, Centereach, NY – If it is authentic Chinese Food you’re after, Yao’s Diner fits the bill. If it’s a romantic setting, or Americanized Chinese food, then definitely keep on rolling. Yao’s Diner is definitely a hole in the wall kind of place, and if you don’t know where you’re going you’re sure to pass it right by. We enjoyed a hot and spicy dinner of Multi-Flavors Spare Ribs (these are NOT the typical spare ribs you would expect to encounter in a Chinese Restaurant. These were meaty and tasty… not sweet), Szechuan Pork Dumplings, followed by Sliced Basa Fish w/Silken Tofu Pot (that was a Famous Szechuan Dish (that’s what it was listed under on the menu… so it must be true!), Chicken in Spicy Hot Pot w/Mixed Vegetables, Shredded Pork w/Baby Bamboo Shoots, and Dry Sauteed String Beans.
Ancient Ginger, St. James, NY – On a day that will go down in the famed annals of The Chinese Quest when our story is completely written one day (what a play on words!), The Chinese Quest had the great pleasure, and honor, of being joined this evening by Long Island’s premier Food Reporter, Newsday’s Erica Marcus. The cuisine here is Cantonese, so if you want to stay away from the hot and spicy dishes at the above two restaurants, then this is the Chinese restaurant to you. May we recommend, Spare ribs, Moo Goo Gai Pan (if ever a dish sounded like an Americanized Chinese dish, Moo Goo Gai Pan is one I remember from my earliest of days eating Chinese food. And believe it or not, I had never tried it until tonight. I liked it!), Beef with Mixed Vegetables, Spinach, Chicken, Scallops, and Beef, Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice, Pineapple Chicken and Shrimp, With Three (Chicken, Scallops, Jumbo Shrimp with Chinese Vegetables) – This is the only dish that had a hint of Szechuan style cooking, having a wee little kick to it. It was nice to have a slightly spicy dish after a few Cantonese style dishes), and Yellow Prawn.
We are eagerly awaiting the Grand Re-Opening of Lotus East. We plan on being there on Opening Night!
Stay tuned next week for our Chinese restaurant recommendations for Nassau County.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)