Our latest Quest landed us at Nan Bei Ho located at 212-22 48th Avenue in Bayside, Queens, New York. The interesting back story to this restaurant really peaked my interest. Apparently, the owner Angela Mao was as famous as Bruce Lee, when she was a martial arts film star in Hong Kong during the 70’s. Known as “Lady Kung Fu” and “Lady Whirlwind”, Ms. Mao starred in more than thirty films over a decade (including “Enter the Dragon” where she played Bruce Lee’s sister).
Eventually moving to New York, she opened three Chinese restaurants. Cool story, right? “Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet her this evening. We missed her by one night as she was there yesterday, but at another of her restaurants this evening. I only wished that the food was as beloved as the movie star! The restaurant is a real nondescript kind of a place, but did score an A from Mayor de Blasio. I was hoping for action shots of Mao on all the walls, but no such luck. The cuisine is touted as Taiwanese.
DISCLAIMER – Our waitress did not speak a word of English, and therefore we were on our own with the ordering. It is possible that we ordered wrong. There were quite a few tables with Chinese patrons (usually a good sign), and seemed very happy and satiated with the food.
Tonight, Mee Mah Thoo joined us for dinner. You may remember him from our Fu Run review. Always a great addition, Mee Mah Thoo is a true foodie and a lover of Chinese cuisine. Gonzi was sorely missed, as he had to sit this dinner out with a death in the family. Our starters included OYSTER PANCAKE, and FRIED SPARE RIBS-WUXI STYLE. The pancake was really awful. Way too fishy for me, with a nasty gelatinous slide down my throat. This pancake had such a horrible after taste, I feared losing all human contact for the rest of my life! The ribs were not bad. Although they did not appear to be fried at all, the dish was certainly edible. It was prepared with a semi-sweet sauce. We have had this dish at many a restaurant and they were all much better than this attempt.
For a change, we ordered two soup dishes. HOUSE SPECIAL NOODLE SOUP and SPICY BEEF NOODLE SOUP. The House Special Noodle Soup was a tasteless chicken soup that needed multiple doses of chili oil to add some flavor. The Spicy Beef Noodle Soup looked like it was going to be good, but upon further review, had an oil slick similar to the Exxon Valdez. Greasy, and really not all that good. Our next and last dish was PORK CHOP PEKING STYLE. The Pork Chop was fried and smothered in another sweet sauce. The pork chop was not bad, but I just cannot get past that sauce. At this point, we decided to call it quits.
All for now,
Mee Tsu Yan