The Chinese Quest was extremely eager to dine at the newly opened You Garden Xiao Long Bao Chinese restaurant in Bayside, NY. This new Bayside location is owned by the same people who own Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House in Flushing, NY. People have claimed that Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House has the best soup dumplings in New York. But, the members of The Chinese Quest are far different than ordinary people.
Technically speaking, tonight was a second visit You Garden Xiao Long Bao for three of us, and Mee Tsu Yan was able to join us to make this now an official review. This review is an updated and augmented review than prior article.
On this visit we came on a Thursday night. Oddly enough, even though we arrived half an hour later, there was no line outside.
Whereas on Monday night we had to wait half an hour for a table, on this night there was no wait. Though all the tables were still full, and a steady flow of customer came in throughout the night, the pagers were kept in their box to save for another night.
The first thing that you see in the front window is a giant sign covering one entire window. The words are like manna from heaven. “FREE Samples”. Oh my gosh, FREE Soup Dumplings for the table, or a FREE Peking Duck Pancake.
Your choice. FREE!
From the outside, You Garden Xiao Long Bao, which is located at 41-07 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361, looks just like their location in Flushing.
What’s different? It’s larger. The restaurant’s capacity is 50% larger than in Flushing. What hasn’t changed? The food. No wait. That’s changed too. Change is the wrong word. It hasn’t changed. It has everything that Flushing has and more! More?
The menu is like 30 pages long. They added a whole page of Cold Dishes. Cold Appetizers. You could dine here 100 times and never eat the same dish twice.
Let’s get down to our chops… as in chopsticks. Theirs are brilliant! I’ve never seen anything like it. A mixture of elegance and practicality. Instead of disposable chopsticks, theirs are disposable tips! You get really nice chopsticks, and the tips come in separate sealed bag that contain chopstick tips that you screw in. Ingenious! This invention could be right up there with their inventions of alcohol and fireworks!!
Some of the dishes below we ate on our prior visit, and some were new. We didn’t eat ALL this food in one night. Though we probably could have!
Pork Soup Dumplings – FREE! Need I say more? Yes. In fact I must say more. These were excellent. And even at their regular price of $5.95 per order, they’re some of the lowest priced Soup Dumplings I’ve ever tasted, and some of the least expensive, if not the least expensive Soup Dumplings we ever had. And for FREE? Say not more!
Peking Duck Pancakes – Either FREE (your choice as noted above or $1.50 per pancake (which of course comes with Peking Duck, skin, bun (which was to die for), and all the fixings. We could have had a few of these each. For some reason we only had one. Shame on us!
Special Spare Ribs with Garlic Sauce – These were like dinosaur spareribs. Fred Flintsone would have given these five stars each. There was SO much meat on each one, they must have had a Brontosaurus in the refrigerator in the kitchen. The Garlic sauce made them taste like no spareribs we ever had before.
Cucumbers – They’re cucumbers. And tasty and seasoned just lightly. They were served cold as you would expect, and tasted as good as you would expect too!
I don’t know if we would consider these entrees and the prior dishes appetizers, but I had to split the article up a little bit.
Yangzhou Fried Rice – Kind of like Young Chow Fried Rice, but not. These was a most delicious fried rice dish and should be ordered whenever you dine here.
Scallion Beef Pancake – Perhaps the only dish that disappointed me. They pancakes were too thick, and the beef got a little smothered by the pastry part. Next time more been and less pancake.
Dishes that we had this evening that we didn’t before:
Seafood Pan Fried Noodles – Thickest noodles I ever did see. I think these out-noodle the Udon Noodle. Limited seafood in this dish, so I proclaimed, “If you see food, eat it!” (pun intended!)
Sweet and Soup Crispy Chicken – I REALLY loved the chicken in this dish! Sweet and Sour sauce can only be taken in moderation or I would have eaten all of the chicken on this platter. Really. I could have! Perhaps with a different sauce I would have.
Pea Shoots and Garlic – Oddly, this was the most expensive dish that we ordered. I am not sure why. It wasn’t the tastiest. But, I guess the market for Pea Shoots is high. It wasn’t a total disappointment, and it is good to have ones greens. I probably wouldn’t ask for it again. But, it’s nice to try different things on the menu.
Shanghai Sauteed Pork Fried Rice – We opted for a different fried rice dish tonight. Given my druthers, I would have opted for what we had last time, the Yangzhou Fried Rice. This dish was on the salty side due to the pork, which was salted. D’oh!
Grandmas’s Braised Pork – I don’t remember my Grandmother ever making a pork dish. Who am I kidding? Of course we at pork. There’s tasted just like beef stew, but with pork. And perhaps more flavorful. This dish went well when served over the rice. And the presentation was very nice!
By this time we were pretty full. Remember, we did NOT eat all of these dishes this night. Our review is based on our experience of both nights, and Mee Tsu’s Yan’s on this night. And THAT is what made this night different from all other nights!
(click to enlarge)
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)