The best Asian restaurants on Long Island: Eat here now
From Beijing duck to Thai chicken satay, Indian dosas to Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, the specialties of Asian kitchens have become staples on Long Island -- and the competition has jumped. Here are the top 10 Asian restaurants in Nassau and Suffolk.
Red Tiger Dumpling House(Credit: Heather Walsh)
Red Tiger Dumpling House, Stony Brook: The soup dumpling, a Shanghai delicacy, is a major attraction at this casual spot serving dishes from Shanghai, Beijing and Northern China. There are other draws, as well, like delicate crystal shrimp dumplings and open-topped shrimp and pork shumai. Try the deeply nuanced cumin beef, the ''big meatball with brown sauce,'' a Shanghai classic made with ground pork, and fiery Beijing-style shredded potato with hot pepper (pictured).
Steamed crabmeat and pork soup buns are served at the Red Tiger Dumpling House in Stony Brook.
Southern Spice Chettinad Cuisine(Credit: Barbara Alper)
Southern Spice Chettinad Cuisine, New Hyde Park: Don't let the modest decor fool you. Southern Spice serves the vibrant, little-known cuisine of the Chettinad region of India. The restaurant's curries sparkle, and don't miss the pepper-crusted tandoori duck breast or the paneer pudina tikka, wherein slabs of paneer (firm, fresh cheese) are marinated in a mint-cilantro-yogurt mixture, then skewered with peppers, roasted in the tandoor oven, then unthreaded onto a piping hot griddle. For the adventurous: goat brain masala (pictured), creamy and surprisingly mild.
Egg biryani is served at Southern Spice Chettinad Cuisine in New Hyde Park.
Fortune Wheel(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Fortune Wheel, Levittown: Fortune Wheel is a bit like a time capsule. The decor, the lighting, the noise, the pace, all have a 1960s feel. It's tucked into a mall near Best Buy and BJ's Wholesale Club, so the overall atmosphere may not be your cup of oolong. But the Chinese food is dependable -- very good, sometimes better. Recommended: delectable dim sum from the rolling carts (especially fried or steamed dumplings); crisp taro cakes; turnip cakes; steamed pork buns; lobster with ginger and scallions (pictured), black bean sauce, or Cantonese; shrimp with lobster sauce; kung pao chicken; General Tso's chicken; and eggplant with garlic sauce.
Shumai and steamed pork buns are served at Fortune Wheel in Levittown.
Chef Wang(Credit: Benjamin Petit)
Chef Wang, New Hyde Park: Well-credentialed chef Ding Gen Wang, who also owns three Manhattan Sichuan restaurants, brings the authentic fare of his native Sichuan province to New Hyde Park. Dishes you'll want to try include cool and sprightly smoked tofu with Chinese celery, seductively spicy cumin fried lamb, and shredded pork with dry bean curd, bold and smoky. Hot pot cooking, for groups that like to get interactive with their food, is also a big draw. (Pictured: seared tuna with jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu; scallops with cucumber, cilantro, red onion and special chef sauce; sweet shrimp and deep-fried shrimp heads and ikura.)
Smoked tofu with Chinese celery is a vibrant appetizer at Chef Wang in New Hyde Park.
Frankly Thai(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
Frankly Thai, Franklin Square: Five years after opening their gracious Thai restaurant, married couple Frankie Perrone and Jintana Lauchalermsuk seem as passionate about the place as ever. The affable Perrone presides over the dining room while Lauchalermsuk rules the kitchen. Her cooking is filled with nuance, the flavors artfully layered. Perennial favorites include curry puffs, drunken noodles (pictured), pad Thai and pineapple shrimp curry. Be sure to ask about specials, and don't miss the Thai zeppoli for dessert.
Clockwise, from the left, are shrimp pad Thai, Thai zeppoli, duck salad, and mango curry with shrimp, made at Frankly Thai in Franklin Square.
Pho Maxia Vietnamese(Credit: Kevin Du)
Pho Maxia Vietnamese, Westbury: Hidden inside a modest strip mall storefront are some of Long Island's top Vietnamese dishes. Pho, the namesake noodle soup, may be had in several variations. Try the crisp, delicate hot fried spring rolls, to be wrapped up with fresh mint in cool lettuce leaves. Or get a banh mi sandwich; the most compelling of which is made with grilled hash pork. Other hits: Bahh hoi, comprising angel hair pasta, grilled meat and lettuce; and bun, a dish featuring grilled meats over rice or vermicelli. (Pictured: Papaya-shrimp salad.)
Beef pho (noodle soup) is a specialty at Pho Maxia Vietnamese in Westbury.
Monsoon Steak & Sushi(Credit: Doug Young)
Monsoon Steak & Sushi, Babylon: Although Monsoon added steak and sushi to its name, and is excellent for both, the kitchen peaks with chef Michael Wilson's flavor-packed, imaginative takes on Asian cuisine, served in a high-style dining room in a former bank building. Monsoon is part of the Bohlsen Restaurant Group, which includes Prime, an American kitchen and bar in Huntington, and Tellers: An American Chophouse, in Islip. Recommended: Beijing duck, kung pao monkfish (pictured), Korean fried chicken, Vietnamese ''shaking beef,'' Bibb lettuce wraps with chicken, lobster Cantonese, steamed pork-belly buns, shredded duck buns, spicy rock shrimp tempura, sashimi and sushi platters, dry-aged steaks, Chinese eggplant, edamame dumplings, wok-fried shishito peppers, pork fried rice and chilled lobster salad.
Monsoon Steak & Sushi in Babylon serves Bibb lettuce wraps with chicken coconut and Thai peanut sauce.
Moonstone(Credit: Newsday/ Erica Marcus)
Moonstone, Great Neck: The moonstone symbolizes passion and luck -- and standout Chinese food at this sleek, contemporary restaurant. It brings a taste of Flushing and much more to points east. Recommended: Shanghai-style soup dumplings, wheat noodles in sesame-peanut sauce, roast pork-and-taro puffs, pan-seared chicken-and-Chinese chive dumplings, Beijing duck, claypot chicken (pictured), wok-seared rack of lamb, citrus-flavor crisp beef, kung pao monkfish, ''kung fu'' halibut with peppery Sichuan-style mala sauce, whole red snapper in sweet-sour sauce, eggplant in garlic sauce, stir-fried string beans with minced pork and a banana spring roll.
House of Dosas(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
House of Dosas, Hicksville: The specialty here is the vegetarian cuisine of Southern India, specifically the manhole cover-sized rice-lentil crepes called dosas, which come stuffed with scores of savory fillings. Also try the thicker, dinner-plate-sized uthappams (pictured), seductively spongy, crisp-bottomed rice-lentil pancakes whose fillings are embedded in the tender top surfaces. Other hits include bhel puri, a popular street snack made with puffed rice, onion and chili, and the ''healthy salad'' made with bitter gourd.
The Orient(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
The Orient, Bethpage: The Orient's menu ranges from authentic Chinese (clams in black bean sauce, head-on garlic-fried chicken, weekend dim sum) to Chinese-American standards (meaty spareribs, young-chow fried rice) to proprietor Tommy Tan's own creations (he has a thing for filet mignon). Ask what Chinese vegetables are in season and you may be treated to sauteed pea shoots, or garlic scapes. Be prepared to wait for a table on weekends; no reservations. (Pictured: Cold jellyfish with chili sauce.)