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Normally, Jiang Nan would not be in our wheelhouse as they advertise themselves as Asian Fusion, specifically Sichuan-Huaiyang fusion cuisine, but we had to see what all the buzz was that they were generating at 631 Jericho Tpke., 11791 Syosset, NY. Well, as soon as you walk in, you see a work of art that is their restaurant.
Jiang Nan is right up the alley for residents who live on the Gold Coast of Long Island, and another high-end Chinese restaurant to take their place on Jericho Turnpike along with Master Chef. What’s odd though is the location they chose which is in a strip mall just a few doors down from a Chinese take-out restaurant. Though I must admit, the strip mall is very popular, and they’re getting “free” parking.
So, in we went, ready to be wowed.
As you can see, the fine attention to detail pervails through the entire restaurant, including custom baseball caps with the wait staff’s name embriodered on the side. You can see it clearly if you zoom in on this picture. HEY Buddy! Yeah you. Eyes UP!! The cap is on his head. Yes, the Peking Duck looks magnificent, but that’s not what I’m trying to establish here!
I started the night with a Mai Tai, and the others went with Tsingtao, or soda. Sadly, I have to say, unequivally, that this was by far, like in miles apart, the WORST Mai Tai I ever had. Maybe it was missing an ingredient or two. The glass was nice. I should have sent it back after the first sip. It was pricy too! $14.95. Technically, we all had soup too. Soup Dumplings to be exact. I loved them (perhaps anything was going to be better after the Mai Tai. The other Mee’s weren’t so kind. Saying that there wasn’t any, or hardly any, soup in the dumpling. And without the soup…
I could have had “plain water”. But, not at that price… 😉 I’m not one to focus on the fine print. Details shmetails!
By the way #2: I think all drinks are that price… maybe even “regular” plain water? Or the ice tax? Either way, we didn’t ask for water. Maybe a soda or two, and the Tsingtao to remind us that we wer in a Chinese restaurant. We were living dangerously now! 🙂
Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
These were actually quite delicious, and they better have been at $27.95. They really were. Would I order this dish again? Well, no because of the price
Steamed Chicken & Mushroom Soup Dumplings
Four to the order. Thankfully there were only four of us this evening as Mee Tsu Yan took ill, and was unable to attend. Thank you Tsu Yan, you saved us from fighting over a dumpling.
One out of four ain’t bad. Is it? And I was the odd duck. I liked these. From the feedback, it sounded like I got all the soup for four in my dumpling, and the others got none. Think the Grinch 😉 NO Soup for them!! With the soup in my dumpling and the chicken and mushroom in the broth, it was different than the normal pork soup dumplings that we normally get. I liked it. Now if Mikey had liked it, then their success percentage would have soared.
Pan Fried Pork Bun
Again, four to the order. And kind of small. And lacking that bit of crispiness on the bottom of the bun. Aside from that, each morsel was quite delicious. Again, we felt it was a little pricey for what we got. You don’t always get what you paid for, or for what you wanna.
I wanted to say, “May I please have another?”. I didn’t.
Only two entrees were ordered, and a rice dish. Surprisingly we were feeling a bit full after the appetizers. Perhaps there was more to those dishes than met our eyes.
Stir-fried Boneless Chicken with Chili Pepper
The pressue was put on to order a spicy dish. This was it. But, where was it? Pictures, they say, are worth 1000 words. I can’t come up with more than a hundred or two here.
The chicken was delicious I must say. The rest of the dish seemed like it was there to fill up the plate.
At $23.95 I want a full-grown chicken if you know what I mean. You either know it or you don’t. Don’t sweat it.
Grilled Fish, Striped Bask, (swimming) in Garlic Oil
Blame me for this one. I was very adamant that we try the grilled fish. Despite the price, $54.99 (every other dish and drink on the menu ended “x.95”. Not this one for some reason. Was it a code? I was too intrigued to ignore the possibility.
The presentation of this dish was quite impressive. At least until we started to worry that it was going to boil over.
While others fretted, I went on trying to get the best video I could. If I were wearing a tie, there’s no telling what kind of disaster was averted. This photo doesn’t do it justice. Hopefully, the video below will bring it to life. Almost literally.
There really wasn’t a lot of fish to be found here. Perhaps we needed to cast our line into other tables. Some of those lobster dishes and Peking Ducks look mighty good. The grass, they say, is greener on other tables. I don’t know what they were smoking, but our fish really started to.
To round out our culinary adventure, we ordered some rice to soothe our stomachs in anticipation of receiving the bill, and then calculating our rating of Jiang Nan.
Seafood Fried Rice
Despite looking like it was cooked in a jello mold, this rice dish seemed to have a chance. While the rice, shrimp, and other ingredients weren’t bad, they didn’t have any presence.
We came. We admired the impressive restaurant. We appreciated the very pleasant and attentive wait staff. But, the waiting was over. It was time to settle the bill, and calculate,
Our Rating of Jiang Nan:
Overall, an “above average” Chinese restaurant! And coming from us, that’s saying a mouthful!!
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)