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Yao's wows in Centereach

dixdiner Jan 31, 2012 03:26 PM

Tried this place after reading about it on Newsday's Feed Me blog. Yao's Diner is located in a down-at-its-heels strip mall opposite Reptile Jungle You can't miss the big Chinese letters on the sign. Inside, we were the only guilows. Nothing fancy here. A few booths and a half dozen tables. There is no printed English menu, as yet (1-30-12) but the owner/manager gave us his iPad to read a proof of the English menu attached to an email! I already knew what wanted. Alas, no dan dan noodles (I was given the impression Yao's offered spicy fare), but the hot & sour soup was well-balanced, maybe the best I ever tasted. Also enjoyed fried lamb with cumin and hot pepper -- so addictive, I finished the entire plate of tthese crisp morsels. Snow pea shoots sauted with chopped garlic was vibrant in color and flavor. We made do with the smal takeout chopsticks, but the Asians in the restaurant were given full-length tools. BTW, tea was excellent, too. You can''t find this kind of food anywhere else on Long Island, not even at The Orient, but that's a different style of cooking. Hope they receive enough support from the local Asian community to stay in business since I doubt many non-Asians will be patrons.

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    EZ Pass RE: dixdiner Feb 1, 2012 12:34 PM

    This is great news, but are you saying that they gave you worse chopsticks than the Asian patrons? That's not a great way to appeal to non-Asians. OK, off to Centereach!

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      Lono37 RE: dixdiner Feb 10, 2012 11:45 PM

      I've eaten there twice now. Very impressed. They finally got English menus last week, and there are some pretty exotic choices: griddled frog, griddled duck head, pork liver and kidney, etc. Had the pork in spicy garlic sauce this last time, which was excellent, along with the snow pea shoots and kung pao chicken. All delicious. Happy to have this place nearby, but I hope they last; there hasn't been more than one table seated either time I went in. So, check it out, people.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Lono37
        scunge RE: Lono37 Feb 11, 2012 08:59 AM

        I couldn't find an on-line menu ,Do they have also have typical Chinese American fare ? .....for my wife who is not so adventurous as I tend to be .

        1. re: scunge
          Lono37 RE: scunge Feb 11, 2012 01:31 PM

          They have a small section of more "typical" L.I. Chinese fare - beef and broccoli, lo mein, General Tsao's etc. Not sure how good it is. I have a menu that I'll scan later tonight and post somewhere.

          1. re: Lono37
            scunge RE: Lono37 Feb 11, 2012 02:56 PM

            Thank you I would greatly appreciate it

            1. re: scunge
              Lono37 RE: scunge Feb 12, 2012 10:56 AM

              Menu below.

              1. re: Lono37
                Scott_R RE: Lono37 Feb 12, 2012 11:38 AM

                Any way to get bigger images? I'm finding these hard to read.

                1. re: Scott_R
                  mrsdebdav RE: Scott_R Feb 12, 2012 04:37 PM

                  control +

                  1. re: mrsdebdav
                    Scott_R RE: mrsdebdav Feb 12, 2012 07:58 PM

                    control plus?

                    If that's just the PC equivalent of Command-plus on the Mac, all that does is to make it fainter and more pixelated while zooming.

                  2. re: Scott_R
                    Lono37 RE: Scott_R Feb 12, 2012 08:39 PM

                    Scott, here ya go: http://imgur.com/a/Ob9xf#w5gR9

                    1. re: Lono37
                      scunge RE: Lono37 Feb 13, 2012 03:13 AM

                      Thanks !!! much better

                      1. re: Lono37
                        Scott_R RE: Lono37 Feb 13, 2012 11:09 AM

                        Thanks, Lono

                    2. re: Lono37
                      sbp RE: Lono37 Feb 12, 2012 04:35 PM

                      Wow, pretty nice. Could deep fried crab with chili be something like Singapore Chili Crab? Must try this place!

            2. Motosport RE: dixdiner Feb 13, 2012 08:35 AM

              Tnanks for the tip. Heading there tonight!

              1. Motosport RE: dixdiner Feb 14, 2012 06:46 AM

                On your rec we went there last night. We ordered hot and "sore" (is your proofreading responsible?) soup that came after 3 other dishes which was odd. Unfortunately, the soup was "off" to our tastes. They made another bowl which was good.
                Otherwise it was fantastic and a great find for Suffolk County. We had spicy shrimp with red chili peppers. The tasty shrimp was "nested" in lots of diced red chili peppers.
                A shredded pork dish that was excellent. Braised eggplant, very tasty and non greasy. Noodles with bean paste and Crab with ginger and scallions which I loved. No Dan Dan noodles. The manager didn't seem to know what they were. There was a bit of a communication gap.
                For a hole in the wall hard to find place it was packed on a Monday night.
                We'll be back.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Motosport
                  Fred19 RE: Motosport Feb 14, 2012 11:23 AM

                  I went to Yao's for lunch today. The food was good and definitely did not taste like your neighborhood takeout joint. The place was empty at 1PM. It is nice looking inside, but lacks the warmth of a restaurant where they speak your language, or even try to be friendly. The hot and 'sore' soup was different than your average hot and sour, with more vinegar in it.

                  I was served my main course before my soup, but this may be a Chinese thing.


                  1. re: Fred19
                    Motosport RE: Fred19 Feb 14, 2012 12:49 PM

                    I got the feeling that they served the food as it was made. The soup must have been made fresh and took a little longer.
                    The server/manager was very solictious to us. He even "warned" us "this is not American Chinese food" "That's why we are here!" we said.
                    The Asian clients all seemed to love the food and the fancy chopsticks.

                    1. re: Motosport
                      Scott_R RE: Motosport Feb 14, 2012 01:29 PM

                      I wouldn't think they'd have made soup on demand; most soups benefit from being made ahead of time so the flavors meld.

                      1. re: Scott_R
                        EZ Pass RE: Scott_R Feb 14, 2012 05:58 PM

                        Not Chinese soups. The broth may be long-simmered but soup is often assembled a la minute.

                        1. re: EZ Pass
                          Motosport RE: EZ Pass Feb 15, 2012 06:26 AM

                          That makes sense. The tofu, cilantro and other ingredients were still firm and "fresh".

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