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Chinese restaurant Saaho Village opens in Great Neck

Steak and asparagus dumplings are on the dim

Steak and asparagus dumplings are on the dim sum menu at the new Saaho Village in Great Neck. Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Long Island’s current wave of authentic Chinese restaurants has been dominated by the cooking of the North — lots of lamb and potatoes, cumin and red chilies, rustic dumplings and hand-pulled noodles. (See Splendid Noodle and China Sation in Stony Brook, LOL Kitchen & Grill in Centereach.)

Now, hot on the heels of, and across the street from, the 2½-star Northern Chinese New Fu Run in Great Neck, comes Saaho Village, a resolutely Cantonese restaurant owned by the Chinese impresario Spencer Chan.

Chan, who emigrated from Hong Kong in 1976, was a partner at three seminal Cantonese restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown: 20 Mott, Golden Unicorn and Sweet-n-Tart (whose Manhattan and Flushing locations are now both closed). His new venture derives its name from Saaho in Guangzhou (formerly Canton) in Southern China, a town famous for its delicate, translucent rice noodles.

Homemade rice noodles form the backbone of this small but elegant restaurant. Rather than relying on classic Cantonese dishes, Chan has created a menu full of originals, many of them using untraditional ingredients.

Starters include chicken wings with lemongrass with fermented tofu ($12), mountain yam salad with tahini and coconut milk dressing ($11).

Among the rice-noodle-skinned dim sum are filet mignon-asparagus dumplings topped with caviar, and barbecued eel-chayote dumplings (both $9 for 3). Ho fun (wide rice) noodles are served with eggplant, dried squid and cured duck ($18); cheong fun (even wider rice noodles) are rolled around roast duck and chayote ($16) or cured duck, chicken sausage, mozzarella and tomato sauce ($17). Non-rice-noodle dishes include poached lamb belly with tofu skin, goji berry and cumin sauce ($20) and osmanthus-honey-glazed smoked duck breast with sugar beets ($24).

Saaho Village is at 69 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 516-482-8866, saahovillage.com

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