Don’t be confused by the word “fusion” in this Chinese restaurants name, for Tao’s Fusion is 100% Authentic Szechuan Chinese cuisine brought over, along with the waitstaff, from the Sichuan Province of China. Tao’s Fusion is located at 1310 Middle Country Road, Selden, NY 11784. Though not new, Tao’s Fusion is part of the evolution of Chinese food that is rapidly spreading across Long Island.
No longer content with Americanized Chinese cuisine, the cultivated tastes of Long Islander’s is warming up to authentic Chinese food! At the rate that new authentic Chinese restaurants are opening on Long Island, we won’t have to venture far on our Quest. It’s coming to us! This fusion restaurant brought together some old friends, and two people who were closely connected, like one degree of separation, but had never met before! Mee Magnum hadn’t seen his former co-worker Mee Dan-Dan since the last of the Management reunion dinners 17 years ago. Thankfully Mee Dan-Dan is not only fluent in Mandarin, but he’s also a restaurateur now having owned a very successful Asian Fusion restaurant until he sold that in order to open his new restaurant “Thom Thom Steak and Seafood” which is in Wantagh, NY. On top of that, he also brought two bottles of red wine. And Mee Dan-Dan always brings some mighty fine wine. Plus his great sense of humor, insures that he will be a frequent guest of The Chinese Quest! His ability to communicate with our waitress in Mandarin scored us some dishes off the “Chinese menu” that I’m sure we would not have had if he wasn’t there.
Our other guest this evening, was a guest of Mee V. Stoogas. He and Mee Ed Meed came straight from the golf course to enjoy a fine dinner with us. Mee Ed Meed’s wife, and Mee Tsu Yan’s college roommate have been best of friends for ever. Yet until this evening Mee Tsu Yan and Mee Ed Meed had never met before. And now you know the rest of the story.
Oh? You want to hear about the food too? Ok. Without further ado…. First of all, you have to love a restaurant where you can eat for FREE, right??? Who says you can’t live off of rice and noodles? 🙂
We started with Lotus Root Jiangnan Style. It sure didn’t look like the picture in the menu, and we weren’t expecting it to be served cold. The Lotus Root was smothered in osmanthus seeds (we think). It tasted, some likened, to Bologna. Though some of us enjoyed it, it was not the Lotus Root that we had become accustomed to at other Chinese restaurants.
The restaurant advises ordering Peking Duck a day in advance, or at least a few hours before you arrive. We were lucky that when we inquired when we arrived, we were told it wouldn’t a problem and they would make it for us.
I really enjoy the artistry of them carving up the Duck. I tried my best not to drool while he cut.
12 pancakes were served. Enough to make two for each of us, along, of course, with scallions, shredded spring onions, and hoisin sauce. Normally I prefer buns over the pancakes especially as these pancakes appeared to be paper thin. But, to my surprise, the pancakes held up quite well, and were tasty too! After the the skin and duck are served, the rest of the duck is either deep fried or served in a soup… Duck Soup! Why does that always make me think of Groucho Marx? We opted for the soup which was served at the end of the dinner. It was quite good. …
Next up were:
Dan Dan Noodles – Every Chinese restaurant prepares Dan Dan Noodles slightly differently. These were doused in Chili Sauce, and we got our first true taste of the fire that can be Szechuan Cuisine.
Fried Pork Dumplings – These had some kind of liquid inside them. I wasn’t expecting that, so on my first bite, some of it came shooting out. I don’t think anyone noticed. I hope! At first I didn’t notice that there was dumpling sauce on the lazy susan. That improved the taste. These dumplings were ok.
And now for something completely different…
Thanks to Mee Dan-Dan we got to try two dishes off of the “Chinese Menu”.
Sauteed Eel with Peppers – I have only had eel before in sushi, and the fact that these were fried and breaded, I never would have known that it was eel.
Spicy Chicken with Hot Pepper – Forget the hot pepper, this chicken was HOT HOT HOT. But, Good Good Good! This was my favorite dish we had this evening. The chicken was moist. The spice was cooled only by the Carvel Ice Cream that we had after dinner. More on that later.
By this time we needed something to cool off our raging palates.
Young Chow Fried Rice – As usual, everything but the kitchen sink was thrown in to this rice dish. But, even the rice itself was extraordinary. This was one of the best Young Chow Fried Rice dishes I feel that we have ever had.
Duck Soup – As discussed and pictured above. A nice ending to a lovely dinner.
We definitely needed some ice cream though after this meal.
For six people the bill was only $184 with tax. Now if you take in to account that the Peking Duck alone was $68, you can clearly see that the rest of the dishes that we ate were extremely reasonably priced.
Unfortunately, for him, Mee Gonzi Biao was unable to attend this evening. He was doing his share NOT to spread the influenza virus to the Chinese Quest. This this we are grateful. Though we missed his presence. Speedy recovery Gonzi!
As mentioned we all went for Carvel Ice Cream, which was just over a mile east of the restaurant at 642 Middle Country Rd., Selden, NY 11784. Two things are especially noteworthy about this Carvel. First the sign on the door announcing that they serve 17 (yes, seventeen) different flavors of soft serve ice cream! We learned it’s the only Carvel on Long Island where you can get 17 different flavors of soft serve. Secondly, the cleanliness of this Carvel was remarkable! We had to compliment the Owner. Which brings us to the third thing (ok, there are THREE things especially noteworthy about this Carvel). Sheryl (sp?) is incredible. What a great hostess. I have never used that word to describe the owner of a Carvel store before, but she wanted to make you feel special, and that coming to her store was a treat. A party, if you will.
So, hats off to Sheryl! Bonus Tip: Try the Brown Bonnet in the freezer (always fresh within the last 24 hours). I’ve never had such a thick, and delicious chocolate coating on any Brown Bonnet ever! And it’s served in a sugar cone. Double Bonus!!
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)