Although the area near Stony Brook University is becoming a nexus for genuine Chinese cooking, it's not the only place on Long Island to find the real deal. Here are four others:
While you can order off the printed menu at this popular Chinese spot, you'd do best to ask host Tommy Tan to guide you. Standouts include shrimp with walnuts in mayonnaise sauce and crunchy fried chicken. On weekend mornings, sample the fine dim sum.
623 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage, 516-822-1010, theorientonline.com
RED TIGER DUMPLING HOUSE
The Shanghai delicacy known as the soup dumpling is one of many specialties at this casual spot offering fare from Shanghai, Beijing and northern China.
1320 Stony Brook Rd., Stony Brook, 631-675-6899, redtiger1320.weebly.com
The fiery cuisine of northern China is the focus of this attractive eatery, opened by Adam Yao to offer fellow expatriate students at Stony Brook University a taste of home. Standouts include cumin lamb, West Lake beef soup, ringing-hot kung pao chicken and sauteed sliced chicken with chili pepper.
2503 Middle Country Rd., Centereach, 631-588-2218
GREEN TEA RESTAURANT
A compelling main course is fisherman-style fish fillet — fried flounder tossed with a mix of chili peppers, garlic, cilantro, black beans and dried pork. Walnut shrimp with mayonnaise, a Cantonese classic, is beautifully rendered. The showstopper, though, is cumin tofu — crisp soy cubes coated with a velvety spice mixture — that can make your eyes fly open.
1015 Rte. 25A, Stony Brook, 631-689-1111, greentea-restaurant.com