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Tengda in Katonah

Love to get some feedback. We are going next weekend. Thanks.

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  1. Looking forward to your report.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SLO

      Went with a friend to Tengda last night. The restaurant was full at 7:30(on a Wed.)when we arrived. They do not yet have a liquor license, which is okay, but then I hoped for some interesting drinks (bubble tea, exotic juices...) which they also did not offer. Although the sushi sounded interesting, we opted for hot food. We shared a short ribs appetizer which was served in bit size chunks over a slightly spicy/sweet sauce and was excellent. It was served along side cubed sweet potatoes with a slightly different glaze. The potatoes were undercooked IMO. I had thai chilli snapper with baby bok choy for the entree. It was a great piece of fish but the sweet chilli sauce was just good, not great. The bok choy was quite tender. For dessert, we shared fried coconut cream. There were 5 balls of delicious coconut cream custard with a tempura crust. The crust was flavorless but the inside was decadent. It was also sprinkled with caramelized peanuts that were wonderful. The total came to $33 each including tip. I'm going back Satuday night w/my DH and another couple. Worth a visit.

    2. I had lunch there today with a friend. I was really excited about it, having checked out the take-out menu and the posts here. I ordered the basil with shitake mushrooms and chicken, but I noticed that the menu only offered two choices of soup - Tom Yum and Miso, while the take-out menu also offered Hot & Sour. And for main courses, the take-out menu also offered fried rice, vs brown and white in the restaurant. My friend asked for fried rice when he ordered his food; the waiter refused, telling him he could only get what was on the menu, so he ordered brown. After the waiter left, I went and got a take-out menu and showed him where it said that fried rice was available, although I also told him that I had read that the menus were different for take-out (the NY Times article pointed this out). When the food was delivered, he asked again for the fried rice, and again was refused. He asked to see a manager, and a woman came over, who again repeated that the take-out menu was different, mumbling some lame excuse about it being what customers wanted. So my friend asked why he could not have fried rice with his in-house lunch; the woman said the menu was a management decision. So he asked where management was, at which point the woman told him that she was a manager. And of course, she refused to budge on it.

      The food was pretty good (in fact, it was excellent, and large portions too), but they pissed off my friend (who is a lawyer and judge, and had eaten there twice before but obviously had not ordered off that portion of the menu where rice was an issue) so much that he is going to refuse the eat there in the future. I just do not get places like this that simply insist on doing profoundly stupid things that piss off customers (and for absolutely no good reason). I stopped going to Ace in Thornwood when they decided to charge a dollar for rice with my sashimi, and other petty stuff like charging for green tea. And I'm kind of upset too, since I would have preferred the Hot & Sour soup, which is obviously not an option at lunch, unless I get my food to go.

      I do hope to get back there for dinner to try those coconut balls (and I can get the H&S soup then).

      1. Went again for lunch yesterday ... Has anyone else found the food to be very salty? How about lots of MSG?
        Specifically: lettuce wraps and Miso soup

        I really want to like this place

        2 Replies
        1. re: SLO

          I'm with you on that. I *really* wanted to like this place. But the arrogant attitude I found (see my earlier post) really turned me off.

          1. re: SLO

            I found their soups and many kitchen dishes over salted, and I like salt.I don't think it's MSG. Most chinese rests use MSG and lie about it. It's really powerfull stuff and Restaurant Depot has it in TUBS! So someone is using it. Often times it'll give you a headache, and that's the dead giveaway.

          2. Almost glad to read that others shared my impression of management being arrogant. I had been there a number of times previously and found the food to be pretty good and the service fair but eager. I went there recently for what will be my last time with my friend and his wife. The sound system had a very loud incessant electronic beat that precluded any conversation. A sound very much like what one hears at the aerobic classes in health clubs.Repeated polite requests to have the volume lowered finally brought a young lady to our table who identified herself as the manager.She adamantly refused to lower the volume.
            Since I knew that they had two other restaurants I took it upon myself to e mail them to appraise them of the situation and let them know that they had a manager there who was certainly not helping the image of the restaurant. To date ( three weeks) there has been no response.

            1 Reply
            1. re: docooker

              So I finally got to do a take-out lunch from Tengda today. I ordered the chicken hot & sour soup and the Wok Basil Chicken. The chicken was excellent, a very large portion, I will have it for lunch on Monday as well :-). The soup was so-so. Not as good as other hot and sour soups that I have had (in terms of spiciness and richness), but it was chock full of tofu, and even had some enoki mushrooms. And there was almost no chicken, which didn't really bother me.

              They also pack their food very nicely. Mine was in a paper bag, and then a nice clear plastic bag. Much nicer than other Chinese places.

              Oh, and relative to the earlier discussion here about their customer friendliness, I found an interesting quote in the Journal News article here:


              where they claim he opened in Katonah because customers requested it and "the customer is always right". I guess his Katonah manager doesn't believe that.

              Also, I posted in this thread earlier this week that their website was broken. It apparently got deleted. I wonder why?

            2. I think that Tengda is yet another Asian fusion restaurant which seems to be chic these days. The change over from a specific Asian cuisine (Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc) to a mix has vitiated the quality of the fish, the food in general and the freshness of foods prepared.
              I wish I could say that Tengda's food is of note, or that there is at least one item on the menu that is compelling, but I would be telling a fib.
              We were a foursome for lunch, folks in their sixties and fifties who were looking for a decent casual meal. Disappointing would be a complement to the chef.
              I had an appetizer mix (tom yung gong, "thai" calamari and steamed vegetable dumplings & 2 thai crab cakes), my wife and the other woman in the group had the bento box which included salmon with a "teryaki" glaze and a california roll. I've actually for
              gotten what the other man had, but it obviously made no impression on me.
              Now for a description of the food: (and note that all my items came to the table COLD, not even tepid). 1-Tom Yung Gong is a standard shrimp broth combination that I've had both in the States and in Europe. The shrimp had freezer burn, had been defrosted and refrozen and had that fall apart not fresh in your mouth taste. There was a lack of anything Thai about the dish, a bit of cayenne, some mung beans (no lemon grass presence at all nor any sambal) with a cloying amount of sugar (I can say this for most of the dishes tried). Both the calamri and the dumplings were in a gelatinous sauce of a tiny bit of heat and you guessed it, sugar. The crab cakes might have had a hint of crab and was bland (which suggests the substitution of a bland inexpensive fish like pollack) had no character to speak of and had no thai flavoring at all. (Same questions-where was the heat from a sambal or chili pepper, where was the lemon grass, garlic/ginger/green onion/thai basil?) Even some salt would have helped.
              My wife reported back that the california roll had no character, was absolutely bland, she had one bite and was finished. The salmon in the bento box was also cold with the "terryaki" sauce a gelatinous corn starch laden plastic cover to the fish. Terryaki sauce, especially for an oriental restaurant, should be a no brainer - soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic and green onion, a touch of sugar or honey, a bit of sesame oil, mirin...
              Since we were with friends and the social experience was way more important than the food, I decided not to get up and leave or engage with management (who sound unresponsive at best by other posters) to comp the whole meal. I doubt that they would have anyway.
              Now my review is way more negative than most other folks who have posted here. I would never go back there even for free food (Tengda should pay its customers for the unpleasant eating experience). I should mention that I am foodie, been told that I am an excellent cook (including my oriental food), and have watched the quality of food in restaurants deteriorate with the economy.
              Anyone else share my negative experiences?

              1. Kicho in Bedford Hills much nicer, and more authentic -- straight Japanese. Best asian food in the area.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rgweiser53

                  I don't get sushi when I go to Tengda. And their hot & sour soup is the best in the area. We have lunch there regularly and it's almost always excellent. The last time was not as good, we got tiny portions of soup and I thought my entree was not as good. But the server seemed to be different than normal, and I'm thinking maybe the regular crew was off because it was Super Bowl Sunday (we went for lunch).

                  1. re: rgweiser53

                    It's OK, but my vote would be Oishi, however they'v gone downhill. The have no exotic Japanise fish like Amber Jack, Orange Clam, Yellow Jack. They are all big on the "WHAT CAN I CALL THIS" roll, and shove 6 different fish into it and charge you $22. Boy, that's not sushi! That's garbage! My favorite is Azuma in Hartsdale, HANDS DOWN!