The decor is interesting: large stone lion statues are prominently displayed on both sides (symbol of guardians during the Tang Dynasty) of the dining room, which is cleverly divided by the bar area. They also had a replica of one of the soldiers whose army they uncovered in a buried city. Further authenticity is revealed by hand painted murals, and several fine examples of calligraphic art also adorn the walls. The atmosphere is lively, and the service is attentive, although they are unforgivably slow to get your bill. Chuck waited over thirty minutes to pay for the meal. That is inexcusable.
We took Julie, our French exchange student, with us, and she was flabbergasted at the choices offered to her on the menu. In fact, she read it several times and eventually I ended up ordering for her.
We started with the Harvest Spring Rolls, which were lightly fried and melted in your mouth, with a filling of shredded veggies. Next came the Malaysian Chicken, which was out of this world: a mixture of coconut milk, peanuts, and raisins in a curry sauce with extra-shredded coconut and plum sauce raisins on the side. Needless to say, I sprinkled the whole thing on the chicken. We also partook in shrimp double-pan-fried noodles, which were a bit reminiscent of pad Thai, but crispy instead of soft. That, too, was excellent. You can enjoy wine, which is anything but traditional Chinese. The dessert menu is very interesting and very American. Cheesecake, cappuccino? There is also a selection of blended teas. The bar area was humming with activity, mostly with couples or couples in the making.
Be sure to save room for the wonderful American desserts. Treat yourself to savory sweets such as New York Style Cheesecake, the Great Wall of Chocolate, six layers of sinfully rich chocolate cake, and the Temple of Heaven, a flourless chocolate espresso dome adorned with fresh seasonal berries. Round out your experience with a cappuccino, espresso, or after-dinner liquor.
Bayside, New York
September 24, 2001
From journal A Very Long Island