It was almost Chinese New Year. It was almost the 10th Anniversary of The Chinese Quest. It was time for the five of us to get back on the road on our Quest to find the best Chinese restaurant on Long Island. Did we find it tonight? Read on.
But first, what do Jia Dim Sum and Ivory Kitchen have in common? The answer my friends will be posted in the next article.
Jia Dim Sum is located at 84 Old Shore Rd. Port Washington North, NY 11050. If you do not use GPS, and even if you do, you won’t be blamed if you drive by, and past, the restaurant a few times. There is NO sign. And it does not look like much of anything, much less a restaurant, especially a Chinese restaurant. The outside is dark, maybe even black. You can walk up, as I did, to the door, and until you get to the door, you may still question if you are at the right place. There beside the door, is a rather small illuminated, barely I must add, sign saying simply “JIA”. I couldn’t even take a good photograph of it.
Driving by, you won’t see that sign, so it won’t help. If you truly want to dine there, may I suggest tapping one of us on our shoulders, but please don’t scare us, and if you ask nicely, and pay for our dinner, we would be happy to accompany you. This is a limited-time offer, so please soon. If you respond early, we will treat you to Carvel Ice Cream. But, only if it’s on a Wednesday, ok?
So you have made it this far, and you’re about to enter. Professional Tip: Wear sunglasses before you enter, because the brightness could disorient you at best, or at worse temporarily blind you. Once your eyes adjust you will see a beautiful, spotless, contemporary environment. Everything is just beautiful. Well done on the decor, I complimented Goo. Not sure if he’s the owner, but he could be.
The ceiling, I believe is birchwood as are the tables and chairs. I’m not an Arborist, so please don’t sue me if I have misidentified the wood.
We didn’t come here to ogle the hardwood or eat it, no, we came here to dine. And dine we did. Thanks to Goo who guided us, at our request, to select a suitable, and representative meal. Show us your best Goo! Did I mention that Goo was our server?
They have a full liquor license, including wine, beer, saki, whiskey (check the price before you it’s ordered for you… my so-called friends nearly talked me into buying a round for the table. I thought they were my friends SMH. But, they’re brothers, so they let me in on the “joke”), and also mixed drinks. Sorry, I digress, I promised you food.
So, this is what we ordered:
Signature Crystal Shrimp Dumplings – WOW! These were the best shrimp dumplings I have ever had. The shrimp was fresh, moist, full of flavor, and not shrimp-sized. I love a good oxymoron almost as much as I loved these dumplings. Professional Tip #2: This is not the least expensive Chinese restaurant you will eat at. Far from it. But, if you want good quality and love authentic Chinese food, this is the place for you. Oh wait, I just tipped you off to the rest of the review. NOW you CAN sue me.
Snow Pea Leaf and Crystal Shrimp Dumplings – Same shrimp as above, but wrapped in a snow pea leaf that gave the dumplings a sweeter taste. And I don’t mean too sweet. It’s sweetness done right!
Photographs, as they are presented, are from the descriptions above the pictures, and in the same left-to-right, top-to-bottom order.
Just look at the presentation! They look out of this world, or otherworldly, and taste like they are too.
Pork and Shrimp Shumai – I, and I speak for the five of us, have never seen dumplings presented this way, on skewers! And like the two prior orders of dumplings, they were fantastic. So full of flavor. Pure heaven.
XLB Shanghai Soup Dumplings – Everyone has had soup dumplings, they’ve popped up all over like a fad. Put your thoughts of what a soup dumpling tastes like aside, for you have never ever EVER had soup dumplings like these. From the looks of them, it appears they don’t contain much soup. They are the masters of illusion these chefs. There was plenty of soup. Nice. But, what makes them extraordinary was the flavor. These will blow your taste buds out of our solar system. If the shumai was heavenly, when you eat these soup dumplings, you’ll know what Nirvana is like.
On to the main courses:
BOBO Farms Tea Smoked Crispy Chicken – This was a dish I found a little disappointing. the chicken was a little dry. But perhaps that should have been expected as it was smoked. I found the chicken also to be a wee bit too salty. Professional Tip #3: If you have high blood pressure you may want to avoid this dish. But, fear not as there are many other excellent and healthier options on the menu.
Peking Duck Noodles – I’m glad to say this picks up right where we left off before the chicken. YUM. YUMMY. Noodles were long and wide and soaked up all the deliciousness of the other ingredients, the veggies, and the duck. As for the Peking Duck slices, this is the kind you would find on the sweet buns with scallions and hoisin sauce as first-served when you order Peking Duck (which is on the menu).
If you don’t want to order the whole enchilada, you’ll be more than pleased with this dish. And, you will avoid the very fatty pieces of duck. Let’s call that Professional tip #4.
Vegetable Fried Rice – This isn’t a Young Chow Fried Rice, it’s not a House Special Fried Rice. No, this is their fried rice. The best we have had in Port Washington was at, the sadly closed, Green Leaf Chinese Restaurant. This is our new favorite fried rice dish.
Just look at this dish. I want to eat the screen!
Pure yummy deliciousness. Everything in this dish is clearly fresh and cooked to perfection, keeping the flavor in, and the dryness or sogginess far far away.
I saved the best for last!! Can you guess what it is? You’re cheating if you read the next line. Don’t let us catch you cheating, or tipping poorly.
Turn the volume up and hit the Play button! Enter your guess in the comments before proceeding.
Steamed Fish of the Day – Fresh off the boat. Scrumptious, moist, melt-in-your-mouth fish in black bean sauce. And yummy healthy vegetables! Put this dish on your must-order shortlist. I don’t have adequate words to describe this dish. The adjectives haven’t been coined yet. Taste it, and please put in the comments you would use to describe it.
The portions aren’t huge; the price of the dishes are, but they are also very delicious. If you want to savor some seriously good authentic Chinese cuisine, we highly recommend Jia Dim Sum. Aside from the saltiness of the chicken, each dish was seasoned perfectly. And for those that do not like spicy food, you’re in luck. The dishes were certainly packed full of flavor.
Bottom Bottom Line: Our Rating:
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Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)
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Summary : Authentic Chinese cuisine, presented right! Make reservations, bring your credit card, and enjoy!