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Jun 13, 2009 10:19 PM

Fortune (the new Westbury Chinese)

We arrived at 5:00pm and were looking forward to trying this newly opened restaurant. The place was well decorated, the bathrooms spic and span, but nary another patron although one Chinese foursome and a few caucasians had arrived by the time we left.
My companion and I ordered from the American menu. The dishes we prefered were there although we had originally had the Chinese menu in mind. What we ordered: wonton soup which my companion judged acceptable, hot and sour soup which was okay, not at all Flushing style meaning it lacked ingredients like mushrooms and meat, but it was okay.
Tea,for which a charge of $2.00 was levied for a decanter. I ordered jasmine tea and they served it as a teabag inserted into the hot water. Again, it was acceptable, but the presence of steeping leaves was missed. .
We ordered two main courses: first, chicken with black bean sauce. A large dish was presented which included sliced chicken, onions, a few other veggies and numerous black beans. Overall, it was okay, but sorely devoid of flavor despite the presence of the beans. I added chili and soy sauces to add some flavor and it worked. The last dish was shrimp with lobster sauce which was passable, but the lobster sauce was thin and had no pork bits to enhance the taste. The shrimp were medium sized , plentiful and fresh.
In toto, the food was average.

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  1. I'm trying to control myself after reading your post.

    1. You ordered from the Chinese-American menu. Yet you want a Flushing experience; That makes little sense.

    2. This is a restaurant is, IMO, ahead of the curve. Let me explain. Even if you go to Flushing, you know that Cantonese is being challenged, big time, by other regional cuisines. The cooking of Sichuan, Taiwan and Guizhou are more and more available. This is because of demographics. The places serving this food are catering to new immigrants from China from those regions. The older immigrants from Guangdong have migrated to the suburbs and now frequent the Orient. Check out that place on a Sat or Sun. It's full of big Chinese families that I'd bet are originally from that province. But they don't eat the newer regional dishes.

    So , let's get back to Fortune. It plops itself down in Nassau county and offers authentic, spicy Sichuan food and gets very few takers. As mentioned above, most Chinese out here are Cantonese and many Caucasians do not like really authentic,spicy food ( Frog any style and Braised Pork Intestine, for example) .Their true clientele is back in Flushing; they won't be ready to move to the burbs for another ten to fifteen years. Fortune is then forced to supplement their offering with Chinese-American dishes that are NOT their forte. Thus your mediocre dishes.

    So, if you want to really enjoy this restaurant go and ask for the CHINESE menu (small book-like menu) and order the spicy dishes from Chengdu

    8 Replies
    1. re: toby1355

      I'm glad I read your post. I'd normally avoid the American menu, but now it sounds like an actual Destination, as I always look for "authentic, spicy food."

      1. re: toby1355

        Toby, i am impressed with your erudition of Chinese ethnicities. i do go to Flushing esp, Spicy and Tasty, Imperial Manor, and Joe's Shanghai. As basically an American who wasn't brought up to eat many organ meats, I still avoid them. I also stay away from deepfried foods: consequently, I found little to choose from on the Chinese menu with all due respect for those that opt for it. All I am saying is that the American menu could have been enhanced with more seasoning and spice even for the general LI population that Fortune is seeking. (no inverse pun intended)

        1. re: budcar


          I understand your feeling about the Chinese menu and organ meats; I'm not that different from you on that point. So how about a compromise and we both continue to frequent a place that needs our patronage to stay alive in a county that is sorely lacking in culinary diversity.

          I'll go for the spicy and you go for the comfort food and we both remind them to make it like they make it in Flushing!

          1. re: toby1355

            Let's get a little clarification, please. Deep-fried is one of my few bugaboos--not because of health, but because I just don't like the taste/texture. I mostly enjoy stir-fried--I suspect it's the battering that usually comes with deep-frying that's my main turn off.

            OK, I also prefer my food to not be sweet. I remember being at a friend's house while he had a dinner party and watching him cook broccoli rabe with sweetener. The others loved it, I didn't like it at all--I prefer the natural taste of the rabe.
            On the other hand, I eat just about everything else. Organ meats, reptiles, insects... no problem.

            So, that being said, the initial description of spicy worked for me. Braised intestines--yum. How's the menu for anything not sweet/deep-fried?

            1. re: Scott_R

              Here's a sampling:
              Wok roasted Prawns w. pepper spiced salt
              Shredded eel w. garlic
              Sauteed fresh pork bacon w. spicy sauce
              Duck's tongue with spicy capsicum

              Plus lots of hot and cold Sichuan openers and a regular Cantonese/ Chinese-American menu and Sushi.


                1. re: kelvin8r

                  Thanks for the sampling, Toby.

                  The link to the menu, Kelvin, looks to show the American menu only.

                  1. re: Scott_R

                    You're right Scott. I have a take-out menu and it has over a 167 dishes listed. In fact, many of the dishes on Kelvin's in no way correspond to the one I'm reading at home. You need to just go and see for yourself. Enjoy.