Location: 903-A Montauk Hwy. Copiague, NY 11726
Description: A small but attractive spot complete with a sushi bar and polished dining space, Tang ... More »
A visit to Tang may start with a sense of confusion. Although there's a sushi bar and a chic and polished dining space, the place is dominated by a bustling takeout counter on its far end. No reception area up front and no one to greet you.
Stand around a minute, and someone eventually will emerge from behind the counter to seat you. The service you get may be efficient or absent-minded, depending upon who takes care of your table. Everyone here, though, is cheerful and upbeat.
From the sushi bar comes the Yummy roll, a creamy-crunchy juxtaposition of avocado and peanuts with a crown of spicy salmon. Fine, as well, is the pristinely fresh yellowtail and jalapeño roll. A Black Dragon roll -- shrimp tempura with eel, avocado and spicy mayo -- is ideal for those averse to raw fish.
Great share dish: chicken in crispy lettuce wraps, the minced poultry with cashews and vegetables playing well against the cool crunch of iceberg. A bowl of tom yum goong with shrimp hits the right hot and sour notes. It's way preferable to the vegetable hot and sour soup, which falls flat.
But main dish noodle soups should not be missed. One, featuring roast pork, shrimp dumplings and al dente Chinese egg noodles, has subtle overtones of five-spice mixture. Another, with shrimp and udon, is simpler but no less hearty, the fat noodles properly toothsome.
Avoid the Thai red curry with chicken. It's oily, the poultry encased in cornstarch and, along with similarly battered tofu, deep fried. Clearly, the kitchen does best with Chinese dishes. Half a roast duck, beautifully plated, is a well-wrought treat. So, too, is an entree of beef and scallops with vegetables in a light-textured brown sauce.
Kung pao chicken should be made with cubes of dark meat roughly the same size as the peanuts that characterize the dish. Here, it features larger pieces of white meat. It's a bit awkward, although flavorsome. An all-out success is the vegetable lo mein, imbued with the smokiness of a very hot wok.
Other than fortune cookies, Tang features no desserts. Nor should it. This little eatery with multiple cuisines has enough of a balancing act offering takeout, delivery and full-service dining. That's a very full plate.