20 days 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).
It’s been two years since we last published this series of articles, and a lot has changed since then. We’ve been to many more Chinese restaurants since then, and our ratings reflect that. It is time now to freshen up this list.
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.
Moving in to the Top 3 Chinese restaurants in Suffolk County this year is “LOL Kitchen & Grill“, which is located at located at 2545 Middle Country Rd, Centereach, NY 11720. A former Stony Brook Student, Yang, and a few friends decided it was time to open their first restaurant, and they knew that they could reach their roots via their connection to Stony Brook University. What they opened is “LOL Kitchen & Grill”, a thoroughly modern looking restaurant. Small in size, just six tables, and another room that would hold a small private party. They even designed the chairs themselves. Left over plumbing supplies became chairs. Ingenious! LOL Kitchen & Grill features the food of Northern China. The Dry Pot Ribs are not to be missed. WOW!! Bang Bang Chicken was #OffTheHook! True to their Northern China roots, they also serve lots of Skewers and Buns.
Stay tuned next week for our Chinese restaurant recommendations for Nassau County.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)