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Mar 22, 2009 01:23 PM

Andy's Chinese Restaurant, Rego Park

Just tried this new restaurant on Queens Blvd, just before 63rd Drive. I believe it is where Raj Gate used to be...don't know how it is in the restaurant, because we got a delivery, but I was very impressed. I believe it is Taiwanese. They have a lobster special- twin lobsters for $18. We ordered them steamed....came with some ginger and scallions...quite good. We also ordered tea smoked duck, lamb in cumin sauce, dry bean curd with fresh hot pepper, and grilled squid and taiwanese sausage. Prices are very of all, the delivery came with a 2nd menu, more than twice as big, with just about any Chinese dish I could want...all kinds of seafood, including abalone and conch, frog's legs, and all the organ meats (not my thing though...) anybody could want. I already feel like ordering again tonight...Its great to finally have a restaurant like this in my immediate neighborhood.

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  1. I work nearby and have seen the pre-opening activity, are there any lunch specials?

    6 Replies
    1. re: jinglejangle

      Not only are there lunch specials, they have a dollar menu!

      1. re: EricMM

        whats on the dollar menu? some of the dishes you mention above sound like sichuan; hope it doesn't try to be a catch-all place; would be very nice to see a good chinese restaurant in the hood.

        1. re: bigjeff

          The dollar menu is only at lunch time...lots of things. There's
          "Peking duck" which I believe is a slice of duck, scallion, in a bun...I know there's a squid dish....I don't have the menu with me. I get the impression that it is overall Taiwanese, but the have several Sichuan dishes on the menu...which are very good. I had sliced conch in hot oil, and it was the best I've had in years...ever since the old Queens Dumpling House (where Mr. Tongs is now..). I've also had the cold sesame noodles...definitely Sichuan, not the crappy "peanut butter" noodles. Best of all, my objection to a lot of the Sichuan stuff I've tried is that its way too salty. This stuff isn't. Also, on the dinner menu..the grilled items on skewers (shrimp, squid, beef, lamb, and Taiwanese sausage) are all only $1.50 each.

          1. re: EricMM

            hope lunch special applies on weekends! am planning to go tomorrow . . . . cool!

            1. re: bigjeff

              did some sleuthing; lunch special is only weekdays 11 to 4pm. real info is linked.

              Andy's Seafood & Grill
              95-26 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11374

              1. re: bigjeff

                looked at the menu for the dollar menu, there is a little buffet/steam table cart setup near the front of the restaurant but the closest analogy is like those 4 dishes for $4 or $5 places that are all over chinatown or flushing since it works out to about $1 per item; this one simply doesn't limit you to 4 or 5 items, but can be however many items you want (selections are similar to those sorta places too, lotta takeout standards for $1 per portion, as well as the peking duck and fried apps).

      1. re: bigjeff

        going there today and planning to get oysters in as many ways as possible: fried oyster pancake (o-a-jian), salt pepper oyster, and whatever else they might have.

      2. Is this the same Andy's that was on Montague street?

        1. finally ate here tonight and the food is EXCELLENT. calling all area 'hounds and anyone else searching for various taiwanese dishes; this is the spot! well, we had a very small sampling but, very very happy with everything

          + oyster pancake (o-a-jian)
          + salt pepper fried oyster (xian-su o-a)
          + oyster and vermicelli soup (o-a-mi-sua)
          + sesame balls in soup (tong yuan)

          we went for the oysters 3-ways because, well, this is what I love about taiwanese food. overall the cooking, ingredients, freshness of oysters and preparation were all excellent. the oyster pancake was pitch-perfect; beautiful oysters, cooked perfectly (not overcooked, but still gooey); didn't have watercress (I think the greens were spinach) but the flavor, portion and prep were perfect ($4.95). The oyster and vermicelli soup ($3.95) was also cooked and flavored perfectly; the thick goopy soup rich with seafood flavor but not oversalty; garnished with fried onions, cilantro; plump fat oysters and noodles perfectly, I mean, perfectly, cooked. that is, dense enough with texture to hold and pick up, but you could also chew off whole clumps of it; really bad description but trust me, it is the perfect consistency for this sorta dish. they also had the cuttlefish thick soup (yo-yui-gen) with the strands of fish paste and cuttlefish, but that will be for next time. the fried oysters were no joke and the highlight; i mean, the menu says fried baby oysters but these were, again, the same thick, sweet, juicy, plump beauties used; maybe a dozen oysters, very simply fried in cornstarch with salt/pepper, laid on the plate over fresh basil; we requested a small dish of the salt/pepper to dip in but you could go without; these were by far the best fried oysters I've ever had, ever. just, fresh, sweet beautiful specimens, perfectly hot and juicy inside, great crust and when dipped into the salt/pepper mixture, heaven. could either pop them in your mouth whole (so good) or take slow bites (two or three) and enjoy that way as well; the texture is so nice. seriously. could easily get one order per person along with a bowl or two of rice each and call it a day. beats all fried oysters.

          we also had the dessert of sesame balls, it came in that very homestyle thick sweet soup with swirls of egg, not overly sweet and tasting almost like that alcohol rice, extremely homestyle. and with every check comes a bowl of red bean soup with glutinous rice balls/dumplings which was very nice for a complimentary dessert; not too sweet and could definitely use more red bean flavor, but quite nice.

          the place has been open for 2 weeks (since mar 16); the room is a vast cast improvement on the previous restaurant and, as far as chinese dining rooms go, very pleasant; bright, simple decor, spacious but the room is small enough that it feels cozy enough, 4 booths on one side and one large round table in the back. there seemed to be a lot of servers, managers, owners and waitstaff on hand, and the place was doing brisk business with pickup, takeout, as well as dine-in customers. we were there for a while and saw at least 3 or 4 tables turn over with not just plenty of asian diners and families but also locals walking in to check out the new place.

          there are two menus! so ask for both, or be sure to ask for the chinese one; I think a lot of the items overlap but they organize it differently so I didn't get to see the american menu but the chinese menu opens with that type of dinner deal which is, choose 2 entrees + 1 soup for $14.95, or add one more entree for $7.25; pretty typical deal; couldn't read it because all the choices (about 30-40) were in chinese; the second page is the regional specialties so the top half is sichuan and the bottom half is taiwanese. they sorta shoot themselves in the foot because none of that is written in english, along the items themselves are in english (with translations and explanations) so, its difficult to know that those two front sections are actually grouped together. we didn't order any sichuan stuff but they had many of the meats and cold cuts in chili oil, various twice-cooked and hot pepper (water-cooked) entrees; they should do a fish fillet in chili broth, they also had the bean paste whole fish (should be carp but they had striped bass and buffalo fish) for $14.95 which is a steal (pronounced dou-ban li-yui). the sichuan menu also had various offal and organ meat; should be great for a group.

          the taiwanese menu had the gua-bao (taiwanese burger), stinky tofu (fried only), various skewers for cheaps, popcorn chicken (similar to salt-pepper seafood prep), various intestine and stomach and tripe soups, various noodle soups including a pork chop soup, but they didn't have a pork chop rice plate, which I was surprised at.

          I'm rambling but basically, from the sampling that we had, the seafood, the prep, the care, the heart and the soul was poured into our meal ($18 total, whatt??!?!) and if you go in a larger group of say, 4 to 6, you could really go to town, for excellent prices; the owners could easily charge $1 or $2 more on every item on the menu and you wouldn't need to blink an eye, that's how low the prices are. oh, and most impressively, they had the peking duck for $28 and right on the menu, they explain that it is served 3 ways (wraps, stir-fry, soup). so I would definitely order that the next time. looking at the american menu (in takeout form) they do have a "signature" dishes section but its well-worth it to try and go through the whole menu and do some compare/contrast to pick the best items from each of the sections and, even more helpful than that, to bring a fluent chinese speaker/reader who can actually read all the items on the menu, e.g. they list 3-cup chicken (the taiwanese classic) as "chunk chicken with basil", which is easily missed (that's also on my "next meal" list).

          so again, everyone check it out! especially, everyone who is looking for taiwanese food (or even sichuan food) and, especially, looking for an alternative to the flushing taiwanese scene; this is quality food, great surroundings, great prices and deserving of success. let's keep the chef churning out the quality regional dishes, and don't let them get trapped into the drudgery of making sesame chicken all day long.

          oh! and, didn't quite get all the intel, but spoke with the owner and he said he used to be at some restaurant in manhattan, in the 30s? with the word Hunan in it; he told me the chinese name but I wasn't familiar. eventually, he left and just opened up this spot. yum!

          4 Replies
          1. re: bigjeff

            great review, we'll check it out this week. Thanks.

              1. re: jinglejangle

                Went yesterday and opted for the lunch special, soup and chicken and string beans, friend had chicken and eggplant which was delicious. Not at all greasy like in some places. Also had the "popcorn chicken" aks salt and pepper, as an appetizer which actually appeared after our main dishes. Very tasty but there were a few bones which was sort of an unpleasant surprise. I asked about the dollar menu and was told it was "a dollar per scoop" from the steam table. I'm not sure how they determine who much a scoop is (how many dumplings are in a scoop?) and who does the actual scooping, but I may try this another time when I want to take out. The place is very clean and everyone is very friendly. A real welcome addition to this part of QB.

              2. re: bigjeff

                Cause for jubilation, Jeff. Dancing in the streets and various honks and shouts from cars and rooftops. I'll be there soon. Thanks for the report and info.

              3. Three words: deep fried banana.

                Unlike Mei Li Wah's version, which is wrapped in bread then dipped in a batter that gets brown and crispy, Andy's makes theirs with a thin sweet batter that's more of a glaze. A slice of this with the glazed side walnuts, and you're in banana heaven.

                On to dinner, which was pretty good in its' own right. I'm with Big Jeff on the fried baby oysters. These, for me, were the tastiest dish on the table. They had just a hint of crispiness in places - just a tad more and they would have approached perfection. Still, the freshness of the oysters weren't compromised one bit. We also had the pancake, which was sweet and gooey. Again, the oysters were the show, but this one was a tad too sweet for my taste. It's also nice to have a place that's all of two subway stops away from me that serves an authentic Gua Bao (Taiwanese burger); Andy's version doesn't reach the same heights as the one served at Flushing's Temple Snacks, but it's along the same lines. The pork belly, while on the tender side, is not nearly as flavorful. Still, okay. Finally, we had a satisfying dish of Taiwanese fried noodles, a dish which struck my wife as a "true Chinese noodle dish." The noodles were of the very thin, rice noodle variety, perhaps a Vermicelli.

                Thinking back on it, this wasn't exactly the most balanced of meals - noodles, a burger, oyster apps and a deep fried banana. But the chow was good enough to make me want to return. Just before we left, the table behind us got served a delicious looking plate of sizzling grilled shrimp. So I've already got a jump on next time.


                3 Replies
                1. re: Polecat

                  glad you made it! saw those deep fried bananas too but you know, I still hold Waterfront International tops for that; I long for the day I go back for the fried taro dessert; so goddamn good. the last noodles sound like good ol' mei-fun, what certain cities in Taiwan, in particular Hsin-Chu, are well know for, rice sticks. sounds very homestyle and probably not what I'd order; cool to hear about the gua-bao as well. a friend told me he found the beef in cumin (sichuan dish) to be really good, among others. will try to get his info.

                  will head back soon; thanks for the report!

                  1. re: bigjeff

                    I'd put this fried banana perhaps in the same genus as Fu Ron's taro dessert, but not the same species. It's softer, and, with the glazed walnuts, a different experience - soft against crunchy. Try it.

                    And, yeah, the noodles were mei fun. I'm definitely up for more hardcore seafood dishes next time.

                    1. re: Polecat

                      Sorry. But after 2 mediocre meals, I have to post the dissenting opinion.

                      Knowing that Rego Park, and that block in particular, is not known for it's Asian food (ever since Goody's moved out), I went with low expectations. Still I was disappointed. Here's my rundown:

                      Fried Baby Oysters -- this was the dish I came for. unfortunately the oil wasn't hot enough. The less than crispy oysters were fresh enough, but not enough to overcome the poor prep.

                      Salt and Pepper Squid -- not only was this probably cooked in the same oil as the oysters, but wasn't spiced as well as we'd hoped.

                      Sliced Fish with Garlic sauce -- maybe the best dish. The sauce was a little gloppy but not bad. There was a little too much filler and not enough fish though.

                      Tea Smoked Duck -- much too salty. doesn't hold a candle to Little Pepper's version.

                      Stewed Pork Shoulder -- this was truly disappointing. A very small piece of meet in a brown gravy reminiscent of the gravy on a Thanksgiving turkey. I was hoping for something like long-gone Goody's version or even Little Pepper's take on this dish. Everyone was disappointed in this.

                      Twin Lobsters (in ginger and garlic sauce) -- not a bad deal for 2 one pound lobsters. This is what everyone was ordering but it was really nothing special, other than the price.

                      Hot and Sour Soup -- when this is the second best dish, you know you're in trouble.

                      My 5 year old niece ordered off the dollar menu. A "scoop" is 3 dumplings, 3 fried shrimp, or 2 spring rolls. Even though it was only 12:15 that day, none of it was fresh. The shrimp would have been excellent had they been hot. I'm not sure that anything could have saved the other two items.

                      I was really hoping Andy's would be good since it's within walking distance for me. unfortunately, I won't be back. I'd rather make the long trip to Little Pepper than walk the 6 blocks.