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Apr 26, 2012 12:05 PM

Lake Pavilion, new Chinese in Flushing

Lake Pavilion opened earlier this week in what used to be the Palace Diner, at the corner of Main Street and the LIE. Now looks very grand with a vast menu. Way too crowded to get into last night. Has anyone been?

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  1. oh interesting, i had read that it was going to turn into a chinese restaurant

    do u know what type of chinese restaurant it is?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      First impression is Cantonese / Hong Kong--the menu is very seafood heavy, there are the fish tanks out front, etc., and there didn't seem to be a critical mass of specialties from any other regions besides Peking Duck, shrimp in spicy Szechuan style, etc. But an expert would probably be able to walk in and know instantly where these guys are from.

      1. re: emarcus

        interesting, well i guess ill just have to try it

        1. re: Lau

          I was there on Sunday when it was the Free opening Day food. Of course Free Food = Crazy Mobs.

          The food is AWESOME, and if thats how it tasted when it was free.... must be tastier if you have to pay for it right? :)

          1. re: pchan911

            So, pchan911: How would you characterize the food, regionally?

            1. re: emarcus

              Definitely Cantonese food. The old Lake Pavilion (used to be called East Lake, the Chinese name is the same, just with the word "new" in it) was on Main Street and Franklin, across from Duane Reade (which used to be Rockbottom). A couple of my co-workers have been there already, and they were complimentary about the food. Will report back when I go myself.

    2. I swung over on Wednesday to get a take-out menu. This was at around 4pm, and the joint was empty, bone dry. It was clearly an off-hour.

      I came back today at 12:30, for a solo lunch, and it was jam-packed, with about 20 people holding numbers in their hands and waiting. Perhaps, because I was alone, I didn't wait more than 5 minutes to be seated, but it appeared as if they were moving things along very skillfully in general.

      The space is cavernous, with a big main room, complete with dragon, phoenix, chandeliers and private rooms off to the side, presumably for special parties. It's your classic Cantonese seafood and dim sum specialist. The service was attentive, helpful, friendly and efficient - no complaints there. The prices are high for a lot of dishes, but not out of the ordinary compared to other moderate-to-high price Cantonese venues. All indications are that, if you like this type of cuisine, as I do, much of the fare will be well worth it.

      When I arrived, most everyone was doing dim sum. It's cart-style but everything seemed to be moving at a fast, fresh pace. A lot of it looked and smelled great, but, being on my own, I ordered off of the main menu (there's also a lunch special menu, which didn't interest me as much, but which contained the most affordable dine-in items).

      There are several very interesting, tantalizing dishes on LP's menu, especially the seafood and crustacean offerings. They also had a squab casserole dish with bamboo shoots and mushrooms which looked good and, at $15.95, was one of the cheaper of the selections that tempted me.

      Being in the mood for seafood, though, I went with Sea scallops and conch in a mildly spicy XO sauce. It was excellent. The scallops were fat, juicy and fresh tasting, the conch perfectly chewy with just the right amount of give, the sauce layered on with a light touch, just right. The portion and price ($17.95) is comparable to other places I like, such as Imperial Palace and Canton Gourmet. This is the kind of dish you look to a restaurant of this kind to do right, and Lake Pavillion's kitchen staff nailed it. If it's an indication of what they can do with the rest of their vast menu, then these guys are a keeper.

      Some more info about Lake Pavillion: Dim Sum is served everyday between 9:30 and 3:30, after which time they go with their main menu. Right out front, however, is an adjoining take-out counter where you can order buns et al to go. I have a feeling you can probably get dim sum items there, some even to order, from there all day, but I might be mistaken. They also have roasted meats in the take-out section, ducks and pigs hanging from hooks and such.

      Lake Pavillion also has it's own parking lot on the street adjacent to the Horace Harding Expressway, but, when they're packed, as they were this afternoon, it's much easier and less of a hassle to find street parking. As this little mini-Chinatown stretch of Main Street is conveniently located on the way home from work, I've come to this section of Flushing many times, and have never had a hard time parking at all. If I'm lazy, I'll go with a meter spot, but can almost always find free spots within a few blocks of where the restaurant is.

      Based on today's solo visit, I will be back, with reinforcements, and soon. It's the kind of place best enjoyed with company.

      60-15 Main Street
      Flushing, NY 11355
      (718) 886-6693


      7 Replies
      1. re: Polecat

        hmm sounds interesting, would be nice to have a new good cantonese restaurant in NY

        1. re: Polecat

          Had a big family dinner there last week, 20 people, 2 tables. I didn't do the ordering so I don't know the exact names of the dishes.

          Everything was done well. Service was good. They went out of the way to cut and serve a birthday cake that we brought. The only snafu was they forgot our cold jelly fish appetizer until the end of the meal.

          Some hits were the steamed crabs over flat noodles (the noodles soaked up the crab flavors), chicken with crispy skin (breast was not dry), and salt and pepper fried fish (excellent but don't let it sit too long).

          The misses were the lamb chops (overcooked) and noodles with mushrooms (under seasoned).

          Best of all, it's easy to find street parking. The parking lot is very small. I didn't witness it but my wife said the parking lot attendant gave a lady's car keys to someone else and the lady was panicking.

          1. re: Robotron

            Excellent. Crabs Ho Fun is one of my favorite dishes. Didn't find it on the menu but figured they must be hiding it somewhere.

            1. re: Robotron

              yah those are typical cantonese dishes which i love....this sounds promising, i need go here

              if u want to try a really good lamp chop, go try it at imperial palace / east lake:

              1. re: Polecat

                I passed by Lake Pavillion a few days ago, and was hoping it would be a good place. It's not really Flushing flushing, the neighborhood probably has a different name. It's right off the LIE at Main St. Anyway, I used to go to East Lake and enjoyed it. I hopefully will try this new place soon. Less traffic than all the way down Main St.

              2. Went there today, just to look around. Picked up a menu, and got some stuff from the take-out section, which has a separate entrance. Got a duck (the drier, split kind), some char-siu pork, and a cuttlefish. Excellent! Especially the duck and char-siu.. Extremely tasty, yet not as overly salty as these things can be. Bill was cheaper than what I usually pay at Rice and Tea in Elmhurst. I'm looking forward to eating there soon. By the way, looking at the menu, what do they mean by "screw clams" ?

                2 Replies
                1. re: EricMM

                  is there a menu online at all? thanks

                2. Went to Lake Pavilion on Mother's Day. The parking lot was full and the restaurant as well (they do take reservations though). We arrived before 6:30PM and waited over an hour to be seated.

                  The restaurant is spacious, clean and bright with windows all along the side. Service is quick and efficient, our tea was checked throughout the meal and replenished accordingly.

                  We ordered the mixed mushroom dish, lobster with shrimp, sauteed dao miao, lamb chops with onion and peppers, sweet and sour pork. corn soup.

                  All dishes were handled with a deft hand, we requested that the dishes be prepared "less salt, sugar, oil" and they complied with excellently prepared food that was indeed light and respectful of our request.

                  The mixed mushroom dish was flavorful and the sauce light and full of wonderful aroma, the lobster was tender, perfectly cooked and generously portioned. The shrimp was likewise cooked with delicacy. The lamb chops were caramelized and juicy. The dao miao was a tad overcooked but light, and fresh. The corn soup was competent but not meriting mention. The least popular dish was the sweet and sour pork which was well prepared but had a milk flavor that was not well received.

                  This is a first, I called the waiter over and ordered Peking duck. The waiter looked at our dishes and said that Peking duck doesn't do well as take out. I said that we wouldn't be doing take out, we were going to eat it there. He paused, looked at us and said, "No, you wouldn't be able to finish it" and walked away. We looked at each other shocked but we all had a laugh.

                  All in all my favorite Cantonese restaurant in Flushing and well worth many a return trip. A great recommendation by CHers and many more dishes to try. The braised duck tongues, lobster salad and crispy skin chicken look particularly delicious.

                  1. Stopped by for dim sum on Sunday and found the food to be good, not great, and the service surly as described by other posters. We sampled a wide variety of dishes, most of which were generally as good as Jade Asian - which in my opinion is the high water mark for dim sum in Flushing right now. Some, like the dau miu gow (snow pea leaf dumplings) and the sin chet keun (the tofu skin rolls which I may be misspelling) were particularly good. The cheung fun (rice roll) dishes were good, and others like the ham sui gok (fried rice flour dumplings) were just mediocre.

                    I do have to note that at least one of the servers crossed the line from being passively rude to full-on, aggressively rude. Also, the head servers weren't terribly friendly or helpful either. I asked a couple for gook char siu bao (baked roast pork bun) which my son likes but wasn't circulating, and they all said, "Later." There are several other places in Flushing where the head servers will bring something like that over to you. I found the response especially annoying when I realized that there was a take-out section that had plenty of the buns available.

                    However, since I generally hit dim sum parlors to eat rather than socialize with the staff, I can say the food was worth returning for. I'll definitely try it for dinner since I'm not a fan of the other larger banquet halls in Flushing for dinner and it would be nice to have a place that can easily accommodate large groups. Plus, the parking was convenient, though no more so than Asian Jewels or simply hitting the municipal lot for Jade Asian.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: Greg

                      Had dimsum there Sunday. Place was insanely crowded. Greg's appraisal was right on except for the servers who were exremely helpful and good.It all flowed well and had a grand time. All parking was taken but we were lucky to get a spot on the street in bak of the restaurant across from its parking lot which I didn't dare to approach.

                      1. re: Greg

                        I went for dim sum with a small group last weekend and found it overall pretty bad. Much of the stuff we got, despite looking good, turned out to be cold or dried out or both. Many things tasted only like hot water, where the steam from the skin was the only flavor.

                        A dim sum newbie that was with us wanted to order soup dumplings, so we did, and I thought they were terrible, with rubbery, thick wrappers that fell apart immediately. Strangely, they were served in small muffin cups.

                        The free parking is nice, although when I pulled into the lot, the attendant said to me, "This not diner, this Chinese food," and I had to assure him I was there for dim sum.

                        I don't plan on returning. I find it hard to imagine that the cooked food is so much better than the dim sum. I'd rather explore other things.


                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                          Peter Cuce - this place has gotten universally awful dim sum reviews (just go look at yelp), but i guarantee you that you'll find dinner pretty good. I'm pretty confident in my knowledge of good and bad cantonese food.

                          Bad dim sum doesn't necessarily mean bad dinner...Oriental Garden in manhattan serves some of the worst dim sum I've ever had, but their dinner is decent

                          1. re: Lau

                            It's not all that surprising that bad dim sum doesn't always equate bad dinners. There is usually a separate chef for dim sum and I've heard that dim sum chefs move around quite a bit. Consistency is an issue with many dim sum places.

                              1. re: Peter Cuce

                                im eating there tmrw for chinese new years, so if something drastically changed ill let u know

                                1. re: Peter Cuce

                                  i ate there on sunday, nothing has changed, the food was just as good as last time

                                    1. re: mookleknuck

                                      most of the same stuff as a last time except i got a type of boiled scallion chicken, this type of fried crab thats called typhoon shelter crab in chinese and a double egg fried rice

                                      here's what i got last time

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        Yeah, I remember reading that. I like eating bifenggangxie, too. Are any of the new dishes something you would get again?

                                        1. re: mookleknuck

                                          i'll add a review soon, but the quick of it was:
                                          boiled scallion chicken: the preparation was good although could've used a little more salt, but the problem is that the chicken they used was too lean
                                          bi feng tang xie: alright, a bit too greasy, imperial palace's version is better
                                          double egg fried rice: this was good i liked it

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            Thanks! I'll try that fried rice if/when I get up there. Too many places to get to...

                                            1. re: mookleknuck

                                              btw im going to revise my rating on the crab rice, it was better this time. definitely order it

                            1. re: Peter Cuce

                              Were you by any chance seated in one of the private rooms? If so, the dim sum ladies make their rounds throughout the main dining room first then go to the other rooms. I was seated in a private room and picked out a couple of plates. Terrible. Cold and dried out like you describe. So I then took matters into my own hands and basically stalked those ladies down with my ticket in hand, trying to get them when they just come out. We all took turns getting the food so it wasn't too bad. I still prefer Jade Asian for dim sum but thought that Lake Pavilion was fine.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                No we were in the main dining area. It's not just that things were cold and/or hard but as I mentioned, some had no flavor. I've never had the experience in NYC dim sum of getting so many cold dishes no matter where I sat either.

                                But based on Lau's rec I'll give it a shot for non-dim sum food. He's right about OG, and it's not that I exactly doubted his review, I just thought perhaps things had gone quickly downhill since he wrote it.

                                1. re: Peter Cuce

                                  i obviously read all the reviews about Lake Pavilion's dim sum and when you have that many reviews i figured they were probably right (i.e. it sucks), but on the other hand i read good dinner reviews there (and here) so i figured it was worth trying. i was a little nervous when i went there bc i figured it was going to go one way or another and i actually kind of set my expectations low and it turned out to be pretty good

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    I'm too loyal to Imperial Palace. Took some uber noobs there last night. 'The best pork I've ever had' was the reaction to the Peking pork chops.