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On the hallowed grounds of the former Lotus East in St. James, NY, rose a golden palace. Worthy of a Chinese restaurant re-born now as Golden Dynasty. Same owners. Same location. Completely renovated. Over a year into the process and months and months of delays due to the Town of Smithtown ordinances, etc., the Golden Palace finally opened their gates to the public a few weeks ago.
Golden Dynasty is located at:
416 North County Road (Rte 25a)
St. James, NY 11780
We had Lotus East on our radar before they closed down for their renovations. So we were eager to try out their new venue. Rather than sending the entire “Quest” out East, I ventured out there along with Mee Wen Dee and Mini Mee to preview the restaurant. Is it Quest-worthy? Read the rest of the article to find out.
The restaurant was immaculate. The air conditioning more than adequate. Tables nicely covered in table clothes, nice flatware, and dishes. Yes, the restaurant was brand new. But, it was clear that they didn’t spare any expenses. The restaurant was tastefully decorated, but not overdone. The bathrooms, A+. We were there mid-afternoon on a Sunday. Not a prime time dining time yet the restaurant started filling up nicely as our meal went on. As we perused the extensive menu, the Waiter asked to take our drink order. Mai Tai’s of course! But, there were other fancy looking drinks on their Specialty drink menu too!
Clearly, you have to have a real Mai Tai glass to serve a Mai Tai in. And this one was “authentic”, and the Mai Tai most excellent. I must say, the SECOND Mai Tai was way stronger! No complaints from this food reviewer!
Then we really delved in to the menu. The self-proclaimed Dumping King, Mini Mee, of course opted for the Steamed Dumplings. Four dumplings came in the order. But they were a nice size and the Dumpling King gave them a slightly better than average score. In addition, he ordered Pork Fried Rice. I must say, this dish of fried rice was one of the best we’ve ever had. The rice was just perfect. And there were plenty of pieces of roast pork and a few shrimp in the rice. Excellent!
Then it was up to us to choose which entrees to try. I didn’t use the standard line, “give us your best”. If we were going to come back to formally review Golden Dynasty, I wanted to save “the best” for that trip. For now, I wanted their standard fare. We did make our selections though from the section of the menu titled “Dynasty Gourmet”.
I selected Seafood Delight with Pan Fried Noodles, which had shrimp, and scallops, both very good, as well as crab meat and lobster pieces. Mee thinks they were both imitation, and definitely detracted from an otherwise fine dish. The Pan Fried Noodles were very good! And vegetables, as one has come to expect from a Chinese restaurant, were superb!
Mee Wen Dee chose Crispy Calamari Salted & Pepper. This is now two restaurants that I have had this in, and this dish of Crispy Calamari Salted & Pepper was every bit as good as the same dish served at
Chef Wang’s in New Hyde Park (EDIT: Correction, it was Ancient Ginger in St. James)!
Our meal was completed by the presenting of the check and fortune cookies.
Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.
You cannot run away from yourself, you’re always right behind you.
Burnt bridges are hard to cross.
Whether it was still a grand opening special, or a Father’s Day thing, though there were no signs, all of our drinks were complimentary. Nicely played Golden Dynasty. Nicely played!
Now, the bottom line: Is the Golden Dynasty Chinese Quest-worthy?
This Mee is recommending a formal review by the esteemed panel of Chinese restaurant reviewers, formally known as the Mee’s of The Chinese Quest.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)