Westlake chinese on rt 34 keeps getting better
- seal Feb 5, 2007 04:02 PM
I liked this place since it arrived to be sure, but my latest visit was the best yet.
Their casserole dishes are as good as any I have had in Chinatown nyc, especially the new steak, chinese sausage and black mushroom one - yummy!
Fish swim in tanks in the back oblivious to the tasty fate that awaits them. Do yourself a favor and get one of the whole fish dishes if you go. I like the crispy ones, my wife prefers steamed, and we both love the ginger and scallion.
Also top notch is their salt and chili pepper pork chop or seafood dishes.
One last thing - I love real wonton soup. When I used to workout in Boston's chinatown many many years ago there was a small and now long gone place that would make big bowls of it that I almost lived on. You can recognize it by two things; crispy fresh lettuce is the only "garnish", and the wonton are wrinkled and look like little brains rather than triangular ravioli. Try a bowl.
seal, They do have a website: http://www.westlakeseafood.com
Chinese food is not a favorite of mine, and the only Chinese restaurant in our area of NJ that I've ever really liked -- actually, loved! -- was the Chinese Kitchen, in Rumson, now long gone. But my husband likes Chinese food and occasionally goes off by himself to have lunch at one of the mediocre spots near our house. However, I always live in hope that I will find a Chinese restaurant nearby that is at least tolerable, which brings me to today....
After reading your original post above this morning, come lunch time, I was struck with a huge urge to have some wonton soup. Since the husband, obviously, does not have to be coaxed to go for Chinese, and you spoke so glowingly of the wonton soup at West Lake, and we had never been there, off we went.
It was just after 3 p.m. when we got there. There were no other patrons (though another couple came in right behind us), and all the cooks were sitting at a back table having lunch. The space is fairly large, has nice decor, comfortable seating, and was properly heated on this extremely cold afternoon.
A pot of tea was immediately brought to our table, along with a small dish of pickled cabbage and carrots -- delicious! I could eat a whole bowl of that -- and another containing what I think were roasted peanuts. No Chinese noodles, duck sauce, or hot mustard. We did have to ask for water.
They stop offering the lunch menu at 3, so we ordered off the regular menu.
The wonton soup was as excellent as you said it was. Based on your comments, we decided to try the beef and turnips casserole. It was not exactly what either of us expected. While the sauce was excellent and we liked the turnips a lot, we didn't realize this dish contains not just beef but what turned out to be beef tendons. There was not a whole lot of meat, but whatever meat there was was very tasty. There were, however, lots of tendons. I've never had them before, and I found them so unappealing that I couldn't bring myself to taste any. My husband did try some and said they were o.k., but he wasn't enamoured. Too bad because we would have loved this dish if it had been strictly beef. :-( Btw, the menu lists it as "Beef Stew with Tulip." lol
Despite this little disappointment, we will try West Lake again. Next time, the whole fish.
Oh, and how did I discover they have a website? When we left the restaurant, my husband noticed that the signage in the window included the url.
I used to order that casserole a lot, and as I spent some time living with a chinese family, I am not tendon shy. This is true chinese food that is not "westerned down" at all and, to be honest, my wife thinks it is gross as well ;o)
Try the new beef, chinese sausage and black mushroom casserole next time. It has a yummy sauce and you will definately prefer the cut of beef they use.
If I didn't cook beef curry casserole at home so often I would also order that one. Who am I kidding? I would order everything at least once.
Dim Sum Sunday anyone? ;o)
Now that I know I'm not alone in my reaction to the tendons, I feel better. That other casserole does sound tasty. Thanks for the suggestion.
When it come to being a culinary adventurer, you sound a lot like my husband. He is willing to give just about anything a try.
We've never done dim sum. Are you serious about getting a group together?