Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >
Oct 25, 2007 09:27 PM

Good chinese in Huntington, LI?

We waited patiently as our favorite chinese restaurant, Imperial Huntington Lucky Garden, closed for renovation for the past 2 months, leaving only a mysterious note on the door. It just reopened... as another SUSHI bar, just what Huntington needs!!!!! This makes the 4th sushi place on the same 2 block stretch. Now what do we do? We loved Imperial because they had great food, very clean and fresh, lightly sauced, never too greasy. I went to Albert's Mandarin out of desperation and couldn't believe how such a mediocre restaurant with fairly high prices can do such good business. Anyone know what became of Imperial, and/or have any suggestions for an alternative?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've been stuck in the same dilemma - Imperial was the only Chinese place I would go to in Huntington over the past ten years... I've been going all the way out to Jani's at Walt Whitman mall for Chinese the past two months- its good, but too pricey and too far away to go to on a regular basis... guess I'm going to have to start trying out other places to see if anywhere else comes close (I doubt it).

    3 Replies
    1. re: dtolman

      Chinese delivery or sit down? We like Emperor Szechuan because they deliver really fast, have a large selection and the food is always fresh.

      1. re: jonathankavner

        I would try them... but aren't they closed?

        1. re: dtolman

          there is another empire szechuan a little south of the Walt Whitman mall on route 110, never been to that one though

    2. I hope you get more replies! I moved to Huntington recently and would love to find a decent Chinese take-out place. I ate at Dragon Gate on Main Street recently and it was quite horrible -- oily food sitting in pools of oil. And the service was slower than slow. The whole time, we could hear the manager on the phone answering call after call from people wanting to know what happened to their delivery orders.

      Also, I am dying for Vietnamese food, which I haven't seen anywhere since we moved out here. Where can I get Vietnamese in or near Huntington? Or Thai, for that matter?

      12 Replies
      1. re: mary crawford

        according to today's newsday some asian bistro place just opened in huntington village and has some vietnamese dishes on its menu. Don't rememeber its address, but its on Main st.

        1. re: jpf1980

          That would be the restaurant that replaced the beloved Imperial chinese restaurant on main street.

          1. re: dtolman

            We tried the new place and it was a nightmare. We were one of five tables of customers to get up and walk out after over 30 minutes waiting for food. Tables were all dirty, a pile of dirty dishes sat at the sushi bar front the whole time, no one got any food, save for one sushi roll at one table in almost 40 minutes. After 15 minutes, my husband got a flat soda and I got the wrong drink entirely.

            I can't believe Dragon Gate has lasted in this town and we lost our only good Chinese food.

        2. re: mary crawford

          Always hear good things about this Thai restaurant a few miles east on 25A in Kings Park...

          1. re: mary crawford

            For Vietnamese, you may want to try Paradise Island, on Hillside Ave in Williston Park. The food is generally good, but service is abominable. Still, it's the only Vietnamese restaurant anywhere near Huntington.

            1. re: phofiend

              Wow, you are a traveller if you consider Paradise Island near Huntington! It's at least a 1/2 hour, maybe more, away.

              1. re: Shayna Madel

                Went there last night. Service was marginally better, and we stayed away from the spring and salad rolls. The pho was just what I needed on a cold, windy night. Returned to the harbor in 27 minutes, a savings of 29 minutes over Flushing.

            2. re: mary crawford

              There are now or will be two Thai restaurants in Huntington Village. The older being USA Thai on New York Ave, north of Main St. I found it disappointing because it was lacking in flavor.I noticed one is opening or may have opened on New St near the new Brazilian restaurant, but, judging by the quality of Thai restaurants on LI, I wouldn't hold my breath nor wet my whistle.

              1. re: mary crawford

                Don't know about Vietnamese but on the thai topic there's a place called Thai USA on New York Ave that I don't like— the food is amazingly bland. There's a new thai place opening up on New Street that I am praying will be good. For good thai the best place is a bit of a trek but worth it in my opinion. Lemongrass Grill on Old Country Road near Roosevelt Field next to the Red Lobster. Great food, low prices and never a wait. It's little Chinatown-style dumpy, but who cares as long as the food is good? There's a Jaiya Thai restaurant in Hicksville that's related to the Jaiya thai in the city, but I haven't tried it. I like the NYC Jaiya, so hopefully their reputation might count for something. There's also a restaurant in Hicksville I've read about that's a fusion of thai, indian and chinese. That's a little more questionable, but it might work! The place is Masala Wok. It's a combo haaka chinese and indian with some thai thrown in.

                1. re: Pat Mckenna

                  Masala Wok is wonderful. Especially recommended: Manchow soup, cauliflower, and lamb chops. Don't forget the Hakka chicken, and the drums of heaven are divine.

                  1. re: phofiend

                    Paradise Island, the Vietnamese restaurant in Williston Park, was reviewed in today's NY times LI section and was given a very good rating. The complaint of two posters about the amateurish service is no mentioned so one can assume it has been rectified.

                  2. re: Pat Mckenna

                    Haven't been there in a while, but Jaiya Thai in Hicksville was always good (and they make it spicy!). We love Masala Wok, our favorites are the hakka noodles, chili chicken and cilantro chicken (I think that's what they call it). There's an appetizer I love but I can't remember the name -- basically drumsticks stuffed with crabmeat -- yummm!

                    Also try Dosa Hut -- south India vegetarian food that's very tasty and not overly greasy like a lot of the other places in the area...

                2. i understand the difficulty to find good chinese mostly because it can be so heavy & greasy even if the food is good. we have been favoring thai instead. good thai food can be very tasty without the geasy effect. try thai angel in islandia, you wont be dissapointed & will probably feel healthier for it

                  1. Jani by the Walt Whitman Mall is still fantastic. Was there during a recent trip to the Island. I wish we could get a chinese takeout like that in Central NJ. The chinese here is awful.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: LaurenNJ

                      We've had both adequate meals and very disappointing meals from Jani, which we've tried since Imperial closed down, and won't be going back, it's too inconsistent and not cheap enough to get away with it. I can't say we've ever had a dish from there that I'd describe as anything more than just average.

                      I live in Huntington village, and I'm really horrified not to have any decent Chinese food nearby. I've had occasionally very good dishes from Albert's Mandarin, but mostly it's very bland, disappointing and expensive, too.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Try the Empress chicken at Jani - a walnut crusted chicken - excellent dish, and not something you find at a typical chinese joint. Still - you are right, they are definitely expensive, and mostly not worth the price. But I still think if you ignore the price, they are the best Chinese in the area.

                        For more reasonable prices, the Chinese place in Southdown is OK - but no where as good as Imperial.Probably the best bet in the village area though. I've heard tales of a great place in Elwood/East Northport - but have yet to try it.

                        1. re: dtolman

                          Do you have a name for the Elwood/E. Northport place? Is Empress chicken fried? I don't eat doughy/starchy or deep fried stuff. If it's a light nut crust, I'd definitely try it.

                          I'm just elated to have a fabulous new Thai place on New St. that does take out, too. Some compensation for the loss of Imperial.

                          1. re: mcf

                            I believe the place is called Precious. The Empress chicken is lightly fried. I wouldn't call it a doughy or deep-fried crust.

                            Is the Thai place finally open??? I haven't checked in a week - I was almost starting to give up on the place ever opening...

                            1. re: dtolman

                              Thanks for the name and description. Yes, the Thai on New St. is open, and was running smoothly when we ate there, no mishaps.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Thought I posted this last night but apparently not... lemme try again...
                                Tried Precious last night, and we have a WINNER! Food was definitely prepared differently than at Imperial - so it didn't taste the same - but it was prepared very well - not greasy at all. And it tasted just as good! We also like that they throw in free seasame noodles with 20$ or more purchase. We will definitely be taking out from there again - They had some interesting dishes I had never seen before (chicken with bannanas?). Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a replacement to Imperial - for those of us south and east of the village, its about equal distant (at the intersection of Larkfield and Claypitt).

                    2. Love China King (in a strip mall on East Main Street - just before the 7-11). Take out only. But they are great - and we love the food. My husband loves the house special chicken - loads of ginger. We both love the Singapore Noodle. I actually like everything there - their scallion pancakes are great.

                      For Thai we love Thai Green Leaf on Jericho Turnpike - north side - between Laurel and Larkfield in Northport/Comack. They even deliver to our house no problem and we are right near Huntington Hospital. Food is always great if a little overdone by the time it steams itself all the way to our door. We have 2 small kids so maybe one day we will be able to get back to the restaurant to have it hot from the kitchen!!

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: swaabink

                        i hang out at the cigar shop next to the new thai place on new st. my buddies have been getting food from there and report it's decent. I haven't tried yet, as I only eat thai at the Thai House in Smithtown. Quite frankly, the other places in suffolk, save Siam Lotus in Bayshore, fall far short.

                        1. re: scottybooj

                          I have lived in Halesite for almost 5 years and agree that the Chinese is not great by any means. In fact there are many over-rated restaurants in Huntington which explains the high turnover rate of restaurants.

                          Here are the 4 Chinese places that I have tried.

                          China King (25A East). Is decent but the service is slow. The fried dishes like General Tso and Orange Chicken are good but dishes like Cashew Chicken or Chicken with Garlic Sauce are bland. I wouldn't go out of my way for this place. In fact I have stopped going here.

                          New China Express in the K-Mart/Home Depot shopping center I think has been pretty good food for a take out place. Not expensive. They like to throw in soda or appetizers if you order over certain $$$ amounts and everything I have had has been tasty although I will admit greasy. They do have a few tables but it is mainly takeout.

                          Alberts Mandarin I think is probably the best. One you can sit down. I have had good service always and the food has always been tasty but it is expensive and if you do not want to sit is too much for takeout. I usually only go here a few times a year. I think Jani is comparable in quality and cheaper in price but is further away.

                          Si Yuang Kitchen on Wall Street in Southdown was horrible. Dirty. I had a dish there where I actually thought (this isn't chicken). Stay away.

                          I have never been to East down by the mall but I hear that place is very good. That is from 2 Chinese people. It is always packed.

                          1. re: nkerr

                            Now that the last post to this thread is nearly two years old, I thought it might be useful to revisit it, especially since I live in Huntington village. Anyone had something new locally, or have hands changed in an old standby that's worth recommending? We rarely have Chinese food any more around here.

                            Ever hopeful...

                            1. re: mcf

                              We do takeout from Ming Star on occasion. The first time we did, the food was really good, very fresh tasting and not greasy. Other times we have had mixed feelings. It has never been inedible, which is more than I can say for several Huntington Chinese restaurants, but the level of oil/grease has been higher than I would like from time to time. Bottom line is that we go back at least every couple months.

                              1. re: ccwenk

                                Never heard of that one; what dishes have you had, if you don't mind rating them? Have you tried asking for less oil? I always order no sugar, corn starch or msg. I never get it all the way I want it, but it helps to get it closer.

                                1. re: ccwenk

                                  Is that the place on Park Avenue right by the train crossing? They occassionally have gai lan, which is a good sign. But agreed, it's still more or less "takeout standard".

                                  1. re: sbp

                                    That is the one. East side of Park Ave just North of the RR tracks. I always get vegetable lo mein, but, off the top of my head, we have had shrimp curry, moo shu pork, beef w/ broccolli. It has been at least a month since we have eaten from there, but it is definitely worth a try IMO.

                                2. re: mcf

                                  Went to Dao and it was thouroughly pedestrian, but with seriously jacked up prices and seriously undersized portions. I wouldn't mind if the food was better than Dragon Gate, Tofu, or any of another 1/2 dozen joints.

                                  1. re: sbp

                                    I loved Dragon Gate in the 80s, but since moving back here, YECCCH. Just the pits, we tossed dishes from there before vowing to stay away. Do you mean the Tofu in Commack? I found that place very frustrating; very good, fresh ingredients, nicely cooked and woefully under seasoned and bland.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Yes and yes. Dragon Gate is entirely forgettable, Tofu has fresh ingredients and dumbed down dishes. The only decent Chinese I've had in the Huntington area comes from my skillet.

                                      1. re: sbp

                                        Dragon Gate's food i.s not unlike PF Chang's.

                                        Heavy, with salt, sugar and oil and somehow prepared to look like it was cooked four hours ago.

                                        Sometimes they serve free wine, which helps you ignore the heavy handed cooking.


                                        1. re: Fred19

                                          Hunan Taste in Greenvale, across from TJ Maxx's is the best over this way, to the east of Huntington. May be worth a trip. --donnyp

                                          1. re: donnyp

                                            It's too far for routine takeout. And that's west, btw. I have heard it's good, though.

                                          2. re: Fred19

                                            I think you're being way too generous in your assessment of Dragon Gate.
                                            There's no amount of wine or booze that could make their food appear or taste edible to me. I'm no PF Chang fan, but I can eat there in a pinch. I'd rather go hungry than try DG again.