The restaurant, being brand spanking new, was very clean and dare I say sterile as far as Chinese restaurants typically are. There wasn’t a lot of ornamentation, but the restaurant is well lit, and modern. Our presence wasn’t totally unexpected (we made reservations!) and we got to enjoy our meal in a circular table that would have easily fit another two or three people. Plenty of room for us to spread out, and plenty of room for all the food that we were served. A large glass lazy susan was strategically placed in the middle of the table that made passing and sharing dishes a breeze.
511 N. Broadway
Jericho, NY 11753
(Birchwood Plaza Jericho)
Although it’s sister restaurant, The Orient, has undergone a major renovation and modernization since we were there, the similarity between the restaurants ends right there. The dishes were completely different as evidenced primarily in the House Special Wonton Soup (more on that later).
The Staff, led by Frank and Sam, were very courteous and eager to please. Tommy the owner was very happy to greet us, though a bit shy, he didn’t stick around too long. As usual we asked for a traditional, authentic, Chinese buffet. We didn’t give the menu a second look (except to get a general feel for what they normally serve). We started off with two appetizers:
Fried Calamari – Sounds like we ended up in an Italian restaurant and not a Chinese restaurant, right? We had never seen Calamari on any menu in any of the Chinese restaurants that we have been to before. But, this Calamari was breaded very lightly, and the Squid itself was just right. Clearly this was fresh, and not frozen. Our meal had gotten off to a great start.
Spareribs – As is our wont, regardless of the authenticity of any meal that we ask for, we must ask for Spareribs. This is our go to dish. The one constant that we can compare and contrast against other Chinese restaurants. While these spare ribs were quite meaty, and the BBQ sauce not too sweet, I found them to be slightly dry, and not quite as flavorful as some of the other spareribs we have enjoyed at other restaurants.
After the appetizers were finished, Mee Tsu Yan took this occasion to announce the 2014 Questie Award Winners. He stood up in a packed restaurant and orated a speech that was both heartfelt and moving. The Winners (The Questie is awarded to our five favorite dishes) will be announced in a future article, and the restaurants that won a Questie will be presented with a commemorative plaque at a formal ceremony at each restaurant. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, hence the reason for not publishing the winners publicly).
Now it was time for the entrees. Tommy said we HAD to try the first dish (sounds like it was their signature dish).
Hong Kong Soy Sauce Shrimp – JUMBO shrimp! Still in shell. I didn’t realize that at first until I got a mouthful of shell. But, none the less, I finally got the hang of it and truly enjoyed the shrimp.
Young Chow (House Special) Fried Rice – Nicely done. Not much that a restaurant can do to make this dish extraordinary, but easy to make it forgettable. This fried rice dish was good. Hmm, what’s with the camera in the picture of the Waiter serving the Fried Rice? This is what we call in the business, a teaser!
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy – Although bok choy is very healthy, I found their bok choy to be kind of bland if you asked me. Perhaps the most disappointing dish of the evening, as typically Chinese prepared vegetables are off the hook. These were stuck on the hook.
Hong Kong Style Wonton Soup – Remembering how awesome the House Special Wonton Soup was at The Orient, it was imperative that we tried their House Special Wonton Soup. Well, this was a polar opposite of the way that they prepared it at the Orient. Rather than the shrimp, scallops, pork, chicken, etc., all be in the broth, Orient Odyssey PACKED all that INSIDE the wontons! The broth itself was fabulous, and the wontons practically melted in our mouth! Big hit!
Lamb Chop with Basil and Garlic Sauce – I was disappointed by this dish. The lamb chops were relatively small and thin, and perhaps it was overwhelmed by the garlic sauce. Not one of my favorite dishes.
Filet Mignon with Lotus Root and Asparagus – The Filet Mignon melted in your mouth like butter. We asked for it medium. It might have come out medium rare. But it was scrumptious. The Lotus Root and the Asparagus was what we expected all the Chinese vegetables to taste like. This was a really nice dish!
Dessert was Coconut Jello and Fortune Cookies.
Someone will invite you to a Karaoke party.
Bend the rod while it is still hot.
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
The surest way to have nothing to give is to give nothing.
It was just moments after we received the bill that the alarms went off… we thought we won the jackpot, and a free dinner! Alas, it was just the fire alarm (false), and our bill came shortly there after. After which, we said our goodbyes to Orient Odyssey and headed down the road to Carvel.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)