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Aug 3, 2008 06:52 AM

Great new Shanghai Juicy Bun Joint-Bellmore Long Island!

Shang Hai Pavillion II has replaced Engs on Merrick Rd. in Bellmore.

Finally a Shanghai-style restaurant shows up on south shore of Long Island-YAY! No more trips to Bethpage or Flushing for Juicy Dumplings!

This is another Chef Zong establishment and for the time being, it's excellent. Great variety on the menu and very attentive service, even on a packed-house night recently. Highest recomendation, and a welcome addition to the neighborhood!

(On a sad note, Zong's Shanghai in Bethpage unfortunately has had a HUGE downward slide in food (bulletproof juicy buns) and service (hectic, unfocused, annoying) after he left a while back. They recently even added a Sushi bar, tsk tsk...what's next, a General Tso's Burger plate with fries and a coke?)

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  1. Great news. On an earlier thread the OP was lamenting the loss of Engs. To each his own. Big plus for Shanghai food lovers. They seemed to think it was affiliated with the Port Washington place. In the beginning I was a huge Zong's fan but it started to decline so haven't been back. Sushi Bar? The kiss of death! Can't wait to give the new place a try.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MKS

      OOPS just saw the old thread. Sorry to sound redundant.

      1. re: MKS

        Hi MKS, According to the promo piece printed on Shang Hai Pavillion II's menu, they are affiliated with Shanghai Pavillion in Port Washington. Chef Zong apparently gets around .
        "The 5 star master chef Zong Xing Tu" (who happens to be world renowned) "has previously headed many of the best Chinese restaurants in New York and ..Texas" (?)..."including Joe's Shanghai in Flushing, where Mr. Zong earned a two star rating with the NY Times."

        Sounds...great, I guess, but hope the master stays in Bellmore long enough to insure some kind of stability. Right now, especially for the South shore, this place is an oasis in a sea of mediocrity. Down the road a bit, the tide may ebb at the place formaly known as Engs.

        1. re: kelvin8r

          Hi kelvin8r, I didn't know the "elusive" Chef Zong was affiliated with PW. Haven't been there in a while,so I wonder how it's holding up. If in fact it's still pretty decent without Zong at the helm, there may be some hope for the new place to succeed. Probably a good idea to get over there asap.Hope his sous chefs are paying close attention.

        2. re: MKS

          Got a mailer from Zong's with the menu. Looks like almost all the Shanghai style dishes are gone. Lot's of sesame chicken style stuff now. I would guess it's more in line with what patrons are ordering. To bad.

        3. least one other person mentioned trying it on the earlier thread and they were not very impressed.maybe it's too soon for a consistent test.

          1. I respectfully disagree. This place is the pits. One would think that they would have put at least a few bucks into redecorating the place. It is as drab, dark and dank as it was when it was Engs. The service was horrendous. The receptionist was cold and robotic. I did not feel as if our business was appreciated at all. The hot and sour soup was terrible. The Mo Po To Fu with minced pork was like eating sponge. The dumplings were gummy and cold. Everything else I had was as (bad) good as a local take out joint. This place will be out of business within the year. You want great Chinese food? Go to Shun Lee or Tse Yang in New York City. All the rest is swill. Caveat emptor.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bdr814

              bdr you are being way to kind. the soup dumplings were a joke. the skin was so thin that there was no way to pick one up without it sticking to the bottom and falling apart and if per chance you placed one on the soup laddle which btw we had to ask the waiter for there was little to no soup to slurp.
              the waiter we had seemed clueless so the female came over to translate our requests. shanghai food? i think not. asked if they had pea shoots. oh yes.we received chinese water spinach, at that point we inquired about the chef zong connection. he's in the kitchen. would you like to meet him. sure. out comes a chinese man in jeans and tank top who looked to be in his early 30's. pretty sure he was the delivery guy. all the portions of less than mediocre food were tiny served on huge plates. to add insult to injury they charged us $14.00 for the "pea shoots". a man at the table next to us refused to pay his check saying there were 2 shrimp in the dish he ordered.
              i feel for the regular customers who loved Engs. at least they were getting served food they enjoyed. this place is an abomination. we love shanghai cuisine and will gladly return to Queens to enjoy the real deal.

              1. re: MKS

                WOW! What a harsh review! Either you went on a spectacularly bad day, or this place has had an incredibly fast downward slide.

                Several weeks ago, it wasn't perfect, but was at least perfectly acceptable for South Shore Shanghai.

                Our soup dumplings were juicy, delicate and had a perfect tender filling. They were served with the standard soup spoon & gingered dipping sauce. We also shared tasty turnip dumplings, excellent shredded beef with hot peppers and a perfect braised Lion's Head with baby bok choy. The portions were the standard sized full plates you typically get in any Chinese restaurant.

                One possible explanation: This place may be playing a balancing act-trying to cater to the old "Engs" crowd, who still want their chow mein, and may be having a lot of trouble surviving the transition. If the majority of customers are still demanding "hot & sour soup" and "General Tso's chicken" then the quality of the food will inevitably drop.
                When we ordered, we really made a point of specifying "Shanghai style", since most of the surrounding patrons appeared to be ordering standard LI phony Cantonese stuff-egg rolls, sweet & sour chicken, beef w/broccoli etc, which unfortunately are still on the menu.

                Bottom line: South Shore diners may not be ready for this style of Asian food and any eterprising restauranteurs who attempt to rock the boat will have a tough time making it in this neck of the woods.

                Sounds like we still have to make the schlep to Queens to escape the wasteland of Nassau. Oh well...

                1. re: kelvin8r

                  I think this is what caused the massive menu change at Zongs. I had an old menu and almost all the Shanghiese (sp?) dishes are gone. My guess is the regular diners were just not ordering these dishes and keeping fresh items on hand would be costly.

            2. We had orange beef, vegetable fried rice, egg rolls and a little bit of wonton soup. First the good....The fried rice was excellent and the beef was average. The egg rolls tasted like they were doused in pepper and the soup was tasteless. This area has a poor selection of good Chinese restaurants which puts Shanghai Pavilion in the pack with every other restaurant in the area. I've had much better in the past. The food is somewhat geared toward the Shanghai cuisine but is definitely Americanized.

              6 Replies
              1. re: sbernstei

                What about the soup dumplings? How were they?

                1. re: phantomdoc

                  Tonight I had six orders of the soup dumplings and let me tell you, they were excellent. These soup dumplings are right up there with Joe's Shanghai, but I did not have to travel to Queens. I also had the Shanghai style noodles and also it was very yummy. If I didn't order the noodles, I probably could have eaten two more orders of the soup dumplings. I'm crazy for soup dumplings!!!

                  1. re: UTOG196

                    Thanks for the heads up! We were afraid to return after all the bad buzz.

                    Last night we had the most amazing meal here. First rate juicy buns, soups and a few outstanding mains. I spoke with the new hostess, who was quite personable, and was granted an audience with the legendary Mr. Zong, who gave us a tour of his spotless kitchen. The man's obviously a genius who even manages to make his plain white rice (the best in the Tri-state area, IMHO) sing on your tongue!

                    Despite previous Chowhound negative press, they were very busy (half Asian crowd) even for a Saturday night, with no open tables. Makes me wonder if anyone still reads these posts???

                    Is there another worthwhile online presence that covers the LI dining scene?

                    1. re: kelvin8r

                      Gonna give it a shot tonight. Mrs. Doc wants Chinese. I will report back.

                      1. re: phantomdoc

                        Just back. Crab and pork dumplings are the goods (highest possible praise in my neighborhood) as is the lion head casserole, although a bit small, 3 glorious meatballs and a few mini bok choy in a great gravy. Kung Pao chicken was fine. Service was excellent, minor complaint about temperature of kung pao was resolved immediately. Go get the soup dumplings.

              2. Finally had a chance to try this place. Will definitely return!

                My husband and I aren't familiar with Shanghai-style food, but we love more authentic Chinese/less American Chinese food. Even my daughter who's fine with bland food was happy.

                We shared 3 dishes - garlic shrimp, pork with bean curd sheets and edemame and chicken mai fun. All delicious. Jennifer, the manager introduced herself to us and promised she'd introduce us to more interesting meals when we return. Definitely looking forward to that.