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TEMPLE - Red Bank

JerzeyShore Jan 29, 2011 05:19 PM

Located on Broad Street this new Chinese gourmet restaurant is simply wonderful. Small, intimate, and upscale with well prepared dishes that are delicious this BYOB is certain to be a success. The owner of this new gem is former chef and son of the owners of the Peking Pavilion restaurant on Rt 33 in Manalapan.

My wife and I started out with two appetizers; steamed pork dumplings (smooth, fragrant and delicious!) and hot green pepper calamari, fried crispy, tender with thin sliced hot long green peppers and scallions. Entrees were velvet shrimp with fresh vegetables in a light sauce....and white meat, tender chicken on a sizzling plate with black bean sauce, light and spicy. The portion sizes were excellent, service was very good and we will definitely be going back.

My wife especially liked the crisp white tablecloths that added a nice touch to this new addition to Red Bank. The bottom line of $55 for our meal before tip was a nice value for this dining experience. Reservations are accepted.

  1. j
    joonjoon Jun 4, 2013 07:54 AM

    Overpriced and bland. It blows my mind that this place has a 4 star average on yelp.

    We ordered three things. A sesame noodle appetizer, Duck L'Orange, and sweet and sour pineapple chicken.

    The duck was probably the worst duck I've ever had at a restaurant. Not that it was *bad* or inedible (I love duck and generally find that restaurants that serve it do it right), but it had absolutely no flavor. There was no seasoning on the breast, and the orange sauce tasted like...nothing. I had to put a bit of salt and chili oil on it to taste anything.

    The other two dishes were fine. Fine as in, any random takeout joint around the corner could have made them just as good if not better.

    Check came to 53 dollars for those three things. Really not worth the money when you consider Pho Le is putting out good stuff next door for half the price.

    Will not return.

    17 Replies
    1. re: joonjoon
      corvette johnny Jun 5, 2013 06:25 AM

      JoonJoon, what do you recommend at Pho? I have been there once. It was just OK for me but I might try it again. And yes I did get one of the beef Pho soups

      1. re: corvette johnny
        j
        joonjoon Jun 5, 2013 08:24 AM

        Pho Le is a pretty average Vietnamese restaurant but there are two things that they do particularly well. Start with the Vietnamese egg rolls and do the Super Bowl for the main. Fantastic stuff!!

        1. re: joonjoon
          corvette johnny Jun 5, 2013 08:39 AM

          cool, thank you!

          1. re: joonjoon
            MGZ Jun 5, 2013 12:42 PM

            "Pho Le is a pretty average Vietnamese restaurant . . . ."

            Totally agree. I feel like they have sorta dumbed down what they make. Moreover, the owner comes across as sorta greedy: "You done now? You done?" (Sorry if that comes across as kinda racist, but I'm just using her voice and, after strugglin' with bein' honest, I figured you guys know me well enough to know I'm not a total asshole.) She does aggresively try to turn tables.

            Right now, I think the best Asian food in RB is at Muang Thai in the old Bienvienue space on Front Street. Unless you wanna meet me at Mom's house for Striped Bass dumplings on Sunday. My cilantro and garlic chives came in strong and early this year. The Bass run has been awesome. I'm thinkin' there is a way to pull off somethin' special for Mom.

            1. re: MGZ
              corvette johnny Jun 5, 2013 02:12 PM

              I wonder if it will come to a point where bass populations will have to be dealt with years down the road. It seems they are getting healthier year after year and those things eat anything they can fit in their mouth (including small tog, seabass, flounder/fluke, ling, lobsters, etc...all other important commercial fisheries)

              I've seen a freaking sea run brown trout in ones stomach. The chances of seeing that are pretty rare.

              1. re: corvette johnny
                MGZ Jun 6, 2013 05:48 AM

                "I've seen a freaking sea run brown trout in ones stomach. The chances of seeing that are pretty rare."

                Yeah, I agree. But were you 'hound enough to eat that too?

                1. re: MGZ
                  jrvedivici Jun 6, 2013 05:59 AM

                  What is this now "Fear Chow Factor"?

                  1. re: jrvedivici
                    MGZ Jun 6, 2013 06:03 AM

                    I'm a dirty, stinky old 'hound. What can I say? Let me go out back, please?

        2. re: joonjoon
          y
          yCf Jun 5, 2013 12:15 PM

          I never get this type of "Gourmet Chinese" restaurants but they seem to do very well from PF Chang's to Peking Pavilion.

          Looking at the menu of these places, similar to what joon says, most of them just remind me of any takeout place except for the marked up price.
          Most of them just seem to substitute more expensive ingredient to regular dishes like Filet Mignon with broccoli instead of Beef with broccoli and charge a fortune for it.

          1. re: yCf
            corvette johnny Jun 5, 2013 02:08 PM

            YCF, have you ever tried the Ruby Palace? I really like the food there and its reasonably priced.

            If I go there on a weekday I am literally the only non Asian guy there. I think next time I am in there I might just get the authentic menu and point to what characters look cool ...then order that LOL.

            The "special for 2" is a truck load of food and 2 alcoholic drinks. You have to ask for it by name.

            Its like 28 bucks I think and can feed like 6 people...literally. You get 2 soups, 2 eggrolls, a pupu platter, SEVERAL dishes and huge thing of fried rice.....oh and desert. Its probably 6000 calories worth of dinner but hey....you're only young once.

            1. re: corvette johnny
              z
              zidecar Jun 6, 2013 06:24 AM

              It appears that Ruby Palace (Route 35, Holmdel) has joined the ranks of closed reataurants. I haven't pulled into the parking lot to read the sign posted on the door, but it has looked deseted for the last 2 months or more.

              1. re: zidecar
                jrvedivici Jun 6, 2013 06:27 AM

                Where is/was this? Sounds very familiar but can't mentally place it, landmark please?

                1. re: jrvedivici
                  z
                  zidecar Jun 6, 2013 08:35 AM

                  On the southbound side of Route 35 - south of Lowes and just before Dearborn Market.

                  1. re: zidecar
                    jrvedivici Jun 6, 2013 09:27 AM

                    Was it attached to a Motel? Or in front of one?

                    1. re: jrvedivici
                      s
                      sockster Jun 6, 2013 09:37 AM

                      It was attached- and it was awful!!

                      1. re: sockster
                        corvette johnny Jun 6, 2013 09:44 AM

                        ^^^ LOL @ this guy ^^^

                        Sigh.....no it's not attached. It is NEXT to the holmdel motor inn.

                        I didn't know it shut down. Well that stinks...

              2. re: corvette johnny
                y
                yCf Jun 6, 2013 08:22 AM

                That's the one off Rt35 Hazlet/Holmdel? Never tried it and it is closed now. Oh well.

          2. jrvedivici Apr 25, 2013 08:50 AM

            Ok, last night the kids and I were trying to think of a “different” place to go. Low and behold, this thread came to mind and I was long over due checking this place out.

            We arrived around 7pm entered on the (right) side with the newly built bar and were quickly greeted by the hostess. The bar was empty of customers and there were two tables seated, both larger parties. She led us to the other side/dinging room where there were about a half dozen tables seated.

            After a couple minute wait the waiter came to our table recited the specials and asked us if we wanted anything to drink. I ordered my “usual” martini, to which the waiter responded, I’m sorry we don’t have a liquor license. I retorted, are you aware there is a fully stocked bar in the next room? The waiter then proceeded to explain that they had done the addition and build out about 6 months ago anticipating a liquor license, however that never came through, thus they cannot serve alcohol. (Not really sure whose bright idea it was to fully stock the bar before obtaining the license but hey......). I then ordered an unsweetened ice tea, to which he instructed me, they only had sweetened tea. I then asked if they have hot tea, he said yes, so I ordered a hot tea and two glasses of ice. (pretty tricky right??)

            We ordered the appetizer sampler which consisted off; 2 chicken & 2 steak satay, 2 spring rolls, 2 dumplings, 2 ribs and fried calamari. Satay was fine, the spring rolls were very greasy, dumplings were good (per kids), as were the ribs, the calamari was….ehhhh bland. Very bland tasting, as if the flour wasn't seasoned, and they were fairly large rings which were rather chewy. It was served with chopped hot peppers which added a nice flavor/kick to them, but over all the calamari itself wasn’t that good.

            Entrees: 1.) Peking Duck (mine), 1.) Chicken Chao Fan (daughter), 1. Crispy Steak Tangerine (Son) also a side order of 1lbs shelled lobster fried rice (this was a special).

            Peking duck was very good, large order (as all were) really for two people. The duck was very nicely done, not to gamey in taste, I enjoyed it. The homemade plumb sauce was excellent as well. Nice table side presentation.

            The Crispy Steak Tangerine had a very odd flavor to it, almost a smoky or char taste. It was completely void of any orange or tangerine taste unless you got a piece of the orange rind, then you got some flavor. The sauce was very “thick and gooey” for being completely void of any true flavor. It quickly turned my son off.

            The Chicken Chao Fan was very soggy and rather flavorless. The noodles were over cooked and water logged, which I assume, led to the diluted taste of the over all dish.

            1lbs. Shelled Lobster Fried Rice………tasteless.

            Dinner for 3 (with plenty of left over probably could have fed 4/5) $ 143.00 no drinks. Pretty hard to justify that for glorified Chinese food, with Little Szechuan a stones throw away and Far East a stone’s throw and skip away, I couldn't justify ever going back to Temple again. Honestly a rather miserable meal.

            I noticed the table next to us return an item to the kitchen 3x’s for whatever reason they were not happy with it. While nothing of ours was “bad” it just wasn't good either. (Peking Duck excluded).

            1. a
              aliciats Jan 10, 2013 09:54 AM

              We were completely underwhelmed and disappointed also. We ordered the crispy spicy calamari which unfortunately tasted of saturated fat (perhaps it was my mistake but I didn't expect deep fried NJ bar scene style in a Chinese restaurant). We had the tangerine scallops and the creamy spicy shrimp for our main courses. Neither of us could finish as essentially it was deep fried shrimp in a ketchup/mayo mix. Ugghh. The scallops had a chemical taste.
              Combined with the fact that the wallpapered wall our table abutted was dirty and full of splash marks and the waitress was sporting a black eye it didn't make for a gourmet experience. The ambience and intent is there (white tablecloths, tastefully decorated) but the execution is poor unfortunately.

              15 Replies
              1. re: aliciats
                JustJake Jan 10, 2013 10:06 AM

                You would be far better served had you crossed Broad St. and dined at Pho Le (Viet).

                Should you still desire a more positive Chinese dining experience (with fresh ingredients) and a spotlessly clean dining room (with linen cloth), I'd suggest Little Szechuan in Little Silver.

                1. re: JustJake
                  CatLadyJan Jan 11, 2013 11:12 AM

                  We've eaten at Little Szechuan many many times and have found them to be just good, not bad......the trouble is they run inconsistent, they go for a spell really good and then slide back to just good. Temple on the other hand, I find certain dishes I avoid and stick with the reliables (for me). Their pork dumplings I find delicious and their bbqued ribs although I have not tried them yet look absolutely succulent from what I have seen. We love the Velvet Shrimp and Chung King Beef, the meat is filet mignon and super tender and delicious. Look is it "authentic" Chinese? No but in my opinion very very good. Not every dish is something I'd order but the aforementioned are reliable IMHP.

                  1. re: CatLadyJan
                    JustJake Jan 12, 2013 11:28 AM

                    Hi Catlady, what's with no prices to their dinner menu??? Just asking as its very strange if you ask me. I'm not a regular at LS, but have eaten there a couple of times a year for the past 10 years or so. It's never disappointed as it doesn't pretend to be anything but a good Chinese American restaurant. It's super clean, love their soups for two, and I'll always order the Soft Shell Crab when they have it. Solid not spectacular, then again is there an excellent Chinese restaurant in all of Monmouth County?

                    Temple, it's Chinese food; though as I've peered in, it looks more like a singles bar on the Upper East Side.lol Oh well, maybe I should just chalk it up so to speak like the last scene in the movie 'Chinatown'.

                    "Forget it Jake, it's Red Bank town'. ;-)

                    1. re: JustJake
                      seal Jan 12, 2013 02:43 PM

                      Jake - While I accept that you don't like the atmosphere at Temple and thus are loathe to try it, I do this because you have more than a bit of cred on the Jersey board. In the same vein I take =Mark's criticism seriously. However,I do take exception at the one hit wonder panning the place above.

                      I eat at Temple about once a month and two of my favorite things there are the shrimp appy and the scallop main. Both are always fresh and tasty and I usually end up with a little of my daughter's beef as well. I know it's expensive and very americanized, but if I want soup dumplings and beef tendon I go to Shanghai Bun.

                      Also, they have recently expanded and remodeled and now have a full bar too. I have never felt anything but comfortable there.

                      Now if one of those new burger places in town would just serve up a decent cheesesteak...

                      1. re: seal
                        JustJake Jan 13, 2013 06:38 AM

                        Seal, I never intended on offending anyone's sensibilities here. Sorry about that if that was the case. With most of the posters having negative experiences, I merely suggested what I thought was a 'known' viable alternative and one that was local to Red Bank - with my closer being nothing more than 'tongue in cheek' frivolity.

                        Ahhh, a decent cheesteak made with something other than SteakUms.....now you're talking.

                        1. re: JustJake
                          equal_Mark Jan 13, 2013 10:06 AM

                          Ribeye Steak Sandwich at the Windmill 7 Presidents Location. Actual steak.

                          1. re: equal_Mark
                            JustJake Jan 15, 2013 04:12 AM

                            Mark, I just about swore off the Windmill after my last experience there. Two guys at the grill bs'ing while the third (at the register handling the dollars) having to get my hot dog roll without gloves because the other two were having a Lucy/Ethel convo.

                            I'll definitely stop in to try their Steak sandwich - but there will most definitely be a comment and a beat down (verbally that is) should I witness more of that unsanitary nonsense.

                            Thanks for the tip

                            1. re: equal_Mark
                              jrvedivici Jan 15, 2013 09:14 AM

                              Hmmmmm excuse the potentially ignorant question however does the Windmill's menu items vary per location?

                              I only "dine" (term used loosely) at the Windmill further down the road closer to downtown LB....you know the actual Windmill. I have never ever had a problem with service or sanitary type issues..........however it's generally between 12-2am when I'm there and I would probably eat it off the floor at that point. I never knew they had steak sandwiches.

                          2. re: seal
                            jrvedivici Jan 14, 2013 07:32 AM

                            Did Temple just acquire a liquor license or has it always had one? It's rare to find Chinese places with liquor licenses......I routinely travel to Middletown (the name escapes me but it's located in the same strip mall on 35 South as 5 guys and Tellercio's Deli) because they are a decent Chinese place with a liquor license. There is also Crown Palace but that is a little further down the road. I will have to give Temple a try.

                            For the 20+- years I have been living in the area LS has always been consistently good. Still over all favorite for Asian /Thai is Far East in Eatontown. Even as awkward of a dining experience of eating there can be it's well worth it in my opinion.....but luckily I live with in pick up range so it's most often enjoyed at home!!

                            1. re: jrvedivici
                              equal_Mark Jan 14, 2013 09:58 AM

                              "Awkward dining experience?" Do tell...

                              1. re: equal_Mark
                                jrvedivici Jan 14, 2013 10:17 AM

                                Re-reading how I explained it I guess my explanation might sound snobbish however It's not my intention to come across as such. There is no real "dining" experience in my opinion. You are there for the food (which is excellent) but there is nothing inviting about the atmosphere. The table's and chairs are mis-matched....the booth's are old. There is no "ambiance" to be had. The servers don't wear a uniform of any kind and are generally younger more food runners than servers.

                                The owner (I assume he is the owner) is a very nice guy who is often at or around the door to greet you....do some magic tricks for younger kids. I've eaten there more than a few times and in my opinion the focus is strictly on the food and not the dining experience or location.

                                That said still never a bad meal!! That's the most important thing.

                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                  equal_Mark Jan 15, 2013 10:27 AM

                                  Up until 6 or 7 years ago Richard and his wife used to always be at the register and running the food (she always referred to me as "Mr. Spicy" as per my requests), and the large round table at the rear was reserved for his family members who often sat there and helped by doing food prep. Then Richard moved to open a new location up in New Brunswick or thereabouts. Since then the Eatontown location has been relegated to a series of family members with varying degrees of consistancy.

                                  I've since heard that Richard has been dealing with some serious health issues. I still stop by for takeout occasionally but have to agree with your assessment of the in-house dining atmosphere. Ahhh, changes...

                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                    jrvedivici Jan 15, 2013 11:45 AM

                                    Oh ok......whew....I thought I might have offended you in some way by my comment. I didn't mean it as a knock against the place but by the same token I didn't want someone reading this thinking it's a "destination" dining spot. You can eat there for sure....but I wouldn't plan a night out around it. lol

                                2. re: jrvedivici
                                  MGZ Jan 15, 2013 05:54 AM

                                  When I stopped in around Christmas, they had built and stocked a new bar. At that point, however, the license was still pending so they could not serve - which was sad since I could've used a quick pop that day.

                                  1. re: MGZ
                                    jrvedivici Jan 15, 2013 09:15 AM

                                    Yes I have seen the work and activity going on over there over the past few months. I had no idea they were adding a bar/liquor license to that location. Nice! Now I have somewhere new to look forward to trying.

                                    Next question is when in the hell is Char going to get their act together and actually open?

                      2. equal_Mark Nov 16, 2011 10:03 AM

                        Went to lunch at Temple yesterday, and was rather underwhelmed. The serviry good and the decor is nice but the food was pedestrian Chinese-American. The Hot & Sour soup was pretty good (Not overly thickened with cornstarch) but the Kung Pao Chicken, the only lunch item advertizes as "Spicy" on the lunch menu, was rather bland. I specifically asked for Extra Spicy, but all I noticed was a greater quantity of dried chiles had been tossed in, which does little to spice up the dish (Unless of course you chow down on the chiles themselves). The brown rice that was served was woefully undercooked, verging on vaguely crunchy.

                        Will stick to Far East Taste or, in a pinch, Little Szechuan.

                        -----
                        Far East Taste
                        19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: equal_Mark
                          Tapas52 Nov 16, 2011 02:19 PM

                          It's a shame that the "customer" has to be the one to make it spicy.....your not the first one I've heard this from. For spicy Asian there is much better. Incidentally I was at Far East Taste Sunday it was wonderful....isn't Temple & Peking Pavilion the same owners?

                          1. re: Tapas52
                            JustJake Nov 16, 2011 02:48 PM

                            Thought this was a 'new' restaurant - opened up the thread, and it went from 'Wow!!" to just another Chinese-American restaurant as I scrolled down and read.

                            Little Szechuan - still the 'measuring stick' as to the best in this area.

                            -----
                            Little Szechuan
                            2025 Old Trenton Rd Ste 15, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

                        2. s
                          sandratalarico Mar 15, 2011 02:47 PM

                          Two of us went to Temple last night, and we did not have a great experience. For the price, $82 with tip for 2 appetizers and 2 dinners, we'd have done better at Little Schezuan in Little Silver for quality and price.

                          I had scallops. They were wet scallops complete with a chemical taste. The vegetables were nothing more or less than you would find at any Chinese restaurant. The dish was supposed to be spicy, but it was not. My appetizer of calamari was ok, but salty. The ground chicken to wrap in lettuce leaves was ok. Filet mignon with mushrooms over spinach was ok, but it was supposed to be very spicy and there was no heat whatsoever.

                          -----
                          Temple Gourmet Chinese
                          91 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                          1. m
                            musicbiz101 Feb 11, 2011 04:06 PM

                            Was looking forward to it, however was extremely disappointed. The service was far better than the food, the decor looked unfinished, the uni-sex bathroom, candle lit, but in a very bad spot. All in all about a step above (by not much) Crown Palace, minus the liquor license.
                            Limited menu with non-creative fare. The appetizers were better than the entrées and that is always a no no.
                            Not exactly the China Grille and many steps below Far East Taste.
                            The advertising and marketing of a "gourmet" Chinese restaurant is really a bit of a stretch.
                            Fortunately went down Front St. to Sugarush the new cupcake establishment for dessert which was spectacular and run by an incredibly friendly group of people.
                            That made me forget the massive let down of Temple.

                            -----
                            Far East Taste
                            19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

                            Crown Palace
                            8 N Main St, Marlboro, NJ 07746

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: musicbiz101
                              HillJ Feb 11, 2011 04:13 PM

                              Temple didn't wow me either.

                              Sugarush cupcakes were far from spectacular. The nickel and dime method of ordering add ons was a real turn off and I'm incredibly confused that a successful bake shop in Washington, DC of the same long standing television name hasn't inquired about this new shop in RB.
                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/sugar-rush...

                            2. s
                              sockster Feb 5, 2011 12:38 PM

                              If it's anything like the original PP, or the "new" PP, it will be ok American Chinese food, at high prices- that said, PP in Manalapan packs them in. This said, we'll give it a go and see if it's the same, or highly improved. I would think the former...but we'll see.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: sockster
                                seal Feb 6, 2011 07:20 AM

                                A friend of mine who loves american chinese went last night. He said it was the best he ever had. He did say it wasn't cheap, but he is sure to be a regular from now on.

                                I plan on going soon myself too.

                                1. re: seal
                                  s
                                  sockster Feb 6, 2011 09:04 AM

                                  Spent many nights at PP. Their food was always good...just crazy priced for what it was. Also, I prefer the Chinese of a West Lake, or Shanghai Bun- much more authentic....but that's what makes horseracing....

                                  -----
                                  Shanghai Bun Restaurant
                                  952 State Route 34 Ste 6, Matawan, NJ 07747

                              2. Bob Martinez Feb 3, 2011 12:49 PM

                                Sounds promising.

                                1. fershore Feb 1, 2011 01:10 PM

                                  Per a recent article in Red Bank Green, the owner is Victor Kuo, whose parents once operated Peking Pavilion on Oakland Street. It doesn't sound like he is a chef because the article states that he hired one.

                                  http://www.redbankgreen.com/2010/11/c...

                                  Anywho...looking forward to trying it out!

                                  1. HillJ Jan 29, 2011 06:25 PM

                                    91 Broad St
                                    Red Bank, NJ 07701

                                    (732) 212-8858
                                    Hours:
                                    Mon-Thu, Sun 11:30 am - 10 pm
                                    Fri-Sat 11:30 am - 11 pm

                                    no web/online menu yet

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ
                                      a
                                      aklein Jan 30, 2011 03:09 AM

                                      That's the old Torcello/Osteria Dante site, correct? Little Szechuan (though that's subjective, of course)?

                                      -----
                                      Little Szechuan
                                      2025 Old Trenton Rd Ste 15, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

                                      1. re: aklein
                                        bgut1 Jan 30, 2011 06:50 AM

                                        Correct. I passed by it last night on my way to Dish and was wondering what it was. Thanks for the report Jerzey. I hope to give it a try soon.

                                      2. re: HillJ
                                        fershore Mar 20, 2011 06:34 AM

                                        http://www.templegourmet.com/

                                        1. re: fershore
                                          HillJ Mar 20, 2011 07:25 AM

                                          thanks!

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